Questions tagged [allusions]

For questions about references to other works, external incidents, etc. in literature. Use this tag with the relevant author and work tags if applicable.

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3
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1answer
178 views

What movie is Holden describing?

In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden describes a movie: It was about this English guy, Alec something, that was in the war and loses his memory in the hospital and all. He comes out of the hospital ...
3
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1answer
312 views

Allusion to Plato in Fahrenheit 451?

I have been told there is an allusion to Plato in Fahrenheit 451. The name "Plato" is mentioned once, but I don't think it counts as an allusion. He dialled the call on a secondary phone. The phone ...
6
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1answer
113 views

Stendhal reference in Michael Herr's “Dispatches”

In Michael Herr's book about the Vietnam War, Dispatches, he describes Operation Pegasus—the relief of the besieged USMC garrison at Khe Sahn in 1968—in the following way: Pegasus was almost ...
2
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2answers
110 views

What's the source for the allusion of 'mere vessels of happiness'?

Source: Benatar, David. Better Never to Have Been (2008 1 edn). pp. 36 Bottom - 37 Top.   The judgements supported by the asymmetry of (3) and (4) are not universally shared. For example, ...
3
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1answer
143 views

Why could Cú Chulainn not recognise his own son?

I was reading WB Yeats play On Baile's Strand in which the protagonist Cú Chulainn kills a young man whom he later recognizes as his son. How did he not recognize him earlier? Fintain, a character in ...
7
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1answer
68 views

What is the “Eastern wolf” in this poem?

I'm reading through J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fall of Arthur and in I.29 - I.33 it says [...] But what foe dareth war here to wake or the walls assail of this island-realm while Arthur liveth, ...
7
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1answer
167 views

Is the speaker with an on-off switch a reference to Orwell?

I'm intrigued by this passage in Lois Lowry, The Giver, chapter 10. He watched as the man rose and moved first to the wall where the speaker was. It was the same sort of speaker that occupied a ...
6
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1answer
116 views

Vision of the future in Max Beerbohm's “Enoch Soames”

Max Beerbohm's 1916 novelette "Enoch Soames" (available e.g. at Project Gutenberg) is the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil for the privilege of spending an afternoon in a library (the ...
6
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1answer
512 views

Is the song “Mabel Grey” by Brown Bird an allusion to a real ship?

The song Mabel Grey, by Brown Bird contains peculiar lyrics. The lyrics are awfully specific about what happened to this ship, which is a common pattern I see when a song is referent to a real-life ...
11
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1answer
755 views

In “The Importance of Being Earnest”, what does 'Or they come in the evening, at any rate' mean?

In The Importance of Being Earnest, when Lady Bracknell asks Jack about his politics, he answers "Liberal Unionist". Here's the exchange: Lady Bracknell: What are your politics? Jack: Well, I ...
6
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1answer
210 views

Who is Thoreau quoting (or paraphrasing) here in Walden?

The passage in question is in Walden's conclusion: The philosopher said "From an army of three divisions one can take away its general, and put it in disorder; from the man the most abject and ...
4
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1answer
121 views

Is there a “Romeo and Juliet / Romen and Junior” connection drawn in “Love”?

Two major characters in Toni Morrison's Love are local youth Romen and street-smart Junior, who carry on a love affair while both are employed at the Cosey household. In a 2003 review, Elaine ...
8
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0answers
125 views

Was Isidora's fate in Melmoth the Wanderer directly inspired by Faust?

When reading Charles Robert Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer I couldn't help but notice that Isidora's fate largely resembled Gretchen's in Goethe's Faust and especially the endings of both storylines ...
7
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1answer
121 views

Are there any debated authorship references in Thursday Next series?

Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series is a sort of fantasy about literature. Much of the story line about the books and literary characters that appear in this series is obviously made up, but there ...
22
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3answers
2k views

What reference is Shakespeare making in Act 2 Scene 2 of Macbeth?

In Act 2 Scene 2 of Macbeth there is this line. What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine eyes. Someone two days ago told me this is a reference to a different piece of literature. I didn't ...