Historical Allusion in 1984 The Parson’s children spy on their parents while they sleep. They set fire to a lady who wraps her sausages in newspaper with an image of Big Brother on it. This is an allusion to the Hitler Youth before and during World War II.
The steamer is a rocket bomb and represents the V-I bomb which was dropped on London during World War II. The bomb created terror because it was unmanned and would hum right up to the moment it dropped. Also called the ‘doodlebug.’
Oceania is at war with Eurasia and Eastasia at various times. Sometimes the change from ally to enemy is sudden. This reflects how quickly the U.S.S.R. became an enemy of the U.S. and Britain after World War II ended. The Cold War ensued.
Rationing was common in Britain, other European nations, Canada, and the U.S. in World War II and for years after. This is reflected in 1984 when the chocolate ration is reduced (but said to have increased) and Mr. Parsons runs out of razor blades.
Big Brother representsJoseph Stalin – they both have moustaches!! Some people say BB could be Adolph Hitler too. Why would these men be used as models for BB? What do they have in common with BB?
The Russian purges after the Russian Revolution and before World War II are reflected in the disappearances of characters such as Comrade Withers and the majority of old people in the society.
Historical allusion in Brave New World • There are many allusions in this novel. Not all of them are historical, however. You will find many references to Shakespeare and to mythology. The great majority of characters have names which reflect an actual person from history- often a political leader or philosopher. In some instances, both the first and last name of a character reflect two separate historical individuals. It is YOUR responsibility to find out for what reason a particular person is famous. Most of the names have to be taken as a group rather than on an individual basis. For example, Bernard Marx and Karl Marx have little in common, but the level of control in BNW society suggests a totalitarian regime such as a communist or fascist regime. • Leon Trotsky (Polly Trotsky) Karl Marx (Bernard Marx)
Henry Ford-inventor of the assembly line and maker of Model T Ford motor car (His Fordship, singery clock, etc. ), Vladimir Lenin –a Russian revolutionary leader (LeninaCrowne) and Thomas Malthus-population statistician (Malthusian Belt to control population through contraception)
John Calvin (Calvin Stopes), Friedrich Engels (Sarojini Engels) and Benito Mussolini (Benito Hoover) – Mussolini was a fascist. You need to find out about the other men if you want to use them in the allusion essay. Republican Herbert Hoover was the 31st U.S. President (1929-1933). He was the U.S. President when BNW was written.
Ivan Pavlov (Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning Rooms)- he was a Russian scientist famous for his conditioning experiments on dogs. He could get the dogs to salivate before they saw or smelled the food. This reference is in connection with the conditioning of the eight month old Delta babies who are being “conditioned” to hate books and flowers. Why does that matter to BNW society?
The Indian Caste system is referred to indirectly when the caste system of BNW is discussed. The top caste in BNW is Alphas, followed by Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons (A,B,C,D,E). The lowest caste – Epsilons – represent the “Untouchables.”
Charles Darwin and Napoleon Bonaparte (Darwin Bonaparte). Remember, YOU have to say who these people are and why they might make useful references in the novel (what the name suggests or implies about BNW society). By naming someone after Charles Darwin, what does that suggest about BNW society? Have the people of the society taken evolutionary theory to an extreme?
Task for you-find a cartoon from the internet or a newspaper which reflects or mocks something which occurs in 1984. Bring the cartoon to school to share on the same day that you bring your OWN cartoon to share. Your cartoon should follow these specifications: standard size white paper = 8 ½ x 11, write in black ink in boxes or bubbles. Must be readable. Pictures must have color. No stick figures unless showing a crowd. Cartoon may be one box or up to four boxes (to show sequence). Box must contain at least ONE word. Write your name on the same side as the picture.