Allusions In Literature

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Allusions in Literature:
Historical Events, works of literature, prominent people, and essentially anything, can be alluded to in literature to stimulate ideas and thoughts that may not be stated in the author's original work. These allusions can be based off of religion, mythology, art, literature, science; the possibilities are endless. Writers create these allusions to associate extra information within their writing, by referencing something in which they believe their reader would have knowledge of. This creates a connection between the two, normally separate sources, adding a whole new meaning to the author's writing. Everything has a purpose in literature, especially allusions and the significance they hold. Charles Bazerman, a English
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Widely known battles or wars, as well as important leaders, make helpful allusions since the reader more than likely has knowledge on them. These allusions can go back to any period of time, and can compare or contrast the situation it is being referred to. For example, “The Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them hardest”(Lee), a quote from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, alludes to the Great Depression of 1929. If the reader didn’t understand this allusion, they wouldn't be able to grasp the struggle that the Cunninghams went through as farmers. This allusion allows for Harper Lee to address the struggle, without going into too much depth, considering that most readers are aware of the financial crisis the Great Depression caused for many. Later on, Lee also adds “There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with nothing to see…” to emphasise what it was like for the people of Maycomb County to live during the Great Depression. They may not be the most important quotes of the novel, but they set the scene and the allusion acts as a foil for the Cunningham …show more content…
Popular topics of these allusions can even involve gods and goddesses from Roman and Greek mythology. Authors such as Homer and Shakespeare seem to value mythological allusions considering their frequent references to them throughout their works. In in Act I, Scene 4, of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio tells Romeo to “Take Cupid’s wings and fly higher than the average man.” (shakespeare). Romeo retorts with, “His (meaning Cupid’s) arrow has pierced me too deeply, so I can’t fly high with his cheerful feathers.” . This excerpt alludes to the god of desire, affection, and love; Cupid. Mercutio is trying to persuade Romeo to dance as if he was in love, similar to the the winged Cupid. Opposingly, Romeo responds that he can't because he’s so much in love that it's weighing him down and making him unhappy. Without this allusion, the reader would have a difficult time analyzing Romeo's feelings toward love. This can illustrate how allusions may not always be in comparison with the author's writing, but procuring a contrasting view that emphasized the difference between the mythological god and

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