Literature that makes a statement. What is an allusion?. An ALLUSION is an indirect passing reference to some event, person, place or artistic work, an economic means of calling upon the history or the literary tradition that author and reader are assumed to share.
An ALLUSION is an indirect passing reference to some event, person, place or artistic work, an economic means of calling upon the history or the literary tradition that author and reader are assumed to share
From where do allusions come?
Recognizing allusions will help you become a better reader. You will be able to identify symbols, decipher hidden meanings, and understand the "secrets" behind a writer's craft.
Are allusions used in the real world?
ABSOLUTELY! See if you can guess the following references
COUNT ON CUPID!
Online dating site that capitalizes on the Greek god of love
Reference to Greek mythology and Helen of Troy. Helen was Zeus’ daughter and was given the gift of beauty…she was known as the most beautiful woman of all. The Trojan war began after Paris of Troy kidnapped the King of Sparta’s wife…you guessed it, Helen. Thus war began!
Mentioned in many pieces of literature all the way from Shakespeare to Edgar Allan Poe.
More mythology! Achilles was a Greek hero who was invincible to mortal wounds because his mother dipped him in the River Styx as an infant. Only his heel, where his mother held onto him, is vulnerable to injury.
So finding an Achilles heel, means finding one’s weak spot.
This is a headline found in Newsweek Magazine just a few weeks ago. It references the master plan to end the Trojan War. During the war, Odysseus came up with a master plan to infiltrate the City of Troy by sending a “gift” (a wooden horse) to Paris. Why was this a good plan? Well, Odysseus and his men were hiding inside the horse, so as soon as the horse was accepted….SURPRISE!!!!
So a Trojan Horse means to launch a surprise attack.
Something Morally Wrong
A Safe Haven
A Farewell Dinner
The End of the World
“I cut these candlesticks myself, so they are easy to adjust. Well, I mean they can be adjusted shorter, it’s kinda hard to adjust them taller; but if they tell a few lies they’ll just shoot right back up”
“Mommy! Come quick! Emily just crashed her bike! Just joking!”
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
“I’m no good when I’m tired. I turn into a pumpkin at midnight.”
Take a look at the allusions used in headlines and articles published by the New York Times.
Oh! Now is the time your remind Ms. Mac to give you the next handout
1. Cross the Rubicon = to make an irrevocable decision.
Julius Caesar crossed the river knowing full well that this move would start a civil war.
Pyrrhic, the King of Epirus, defeated the Romans with heavy losses.
A Gordian Knot is an extremely intricate knot, and legend says that whoever could undo the knot would rule all of Asia. Many men tried to untie it in vain, until Alexander the Great cut the knot with a single stroke of his sword.
Waterloo is where Napoleon was defeated by the Duke of Wellington
The day that American troops launched a massive counter attack again Nazi Germany and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France.
During the Spanish Civil War, the fifth column referred to a group of sympathizers or enemy supporters that engaged in espionage or sabotage.
Don Quixote (Don Quixote by Cervantes)
Don Juan (Don Juan D’Marco by Lord Byron)
Robinson Crusoe (Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe)
Man Friday (Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe)
Uriah Heep (David Copperfield by Charles Dickens)
Mr. Micawber (David Copperfield by Charles Dickens)
Mr. Pickwick (Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens)
Jekyll and Hyde (Jekyll and Hyde by Robert Stevenson)
Frankenstein (Frankenstein by Mary Shelley)
Faustian Bargin (Faust by Johann Von Goethe)
Holden Caufield (Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger)
Lolita (Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov)
Walter Mitty (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber)
Catch 22 (Catch 22 by Joseph Heller)