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Allusions

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by

Kylie McCollum

on 20 October 2012

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Transcript of Allusions

What's an Allusion? An allusion calls something to mind without mentioning it explicity.

In other words, an allusion is an "indirect" reference to someone or something. For example:
Martin Luther King, Jr. started his "I Have a Dream" speech with "Five score years ago..."

To what was he alluding? Allusions as Cliches "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
--Andy Warhol

Joseph Heller's novel "Catch 22" set on a U.S. Air Force Base.
“Catch-22” refers to a regulation that states an airman’s request to be relieved from flight duty can only be granted if he is judged to be insane. However, anyone who does not want to fly dangerous missions is obviously sane, thus, there is no way to avoid flying the missions."

Saying has come to describe no-win situations. Examples of Allusions “The side lines is lined with casualties
Who sip the life casually, then gradually become worse
Don’t bite the apple, Eve” --Jay-Z

“Coming from the deep black like the Loch Ness,
now bring apocalypse like the Heart of Darkness.”
-- Talib Kweli
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Not to be confused with “ILLUSIONS”
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In order to understand allusions, one must have a good grasp on “well-known” works of literature, art, music, pop culture, etc. So, if one is not well-read, it will be difficult to fully grasp why an author/writer/director uses an allusion. This is sometimes difficult for high school students.
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Allusions are NOT references to someone/something only a smallgroup of people know. So, don’t say, “Sally’s smile looked like my mom’s smile.” While this is a method of comparison, it is not to something well-known (outside of your community). Allusion "Problems" What does the writer want me to understand about this character, setting, plot, etc. by connecting it to something with which I am already familiar? Purpose of Allusions What is the author’s purpose in using this allusion?
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To create the same feeling/mood as the original work
For comedic effect?
To foreshadow event(s)?
Sense of relevance for understanding?
To caputer audience's attention?
􀂾To show character’s motives or traits? Peter Pan (Robin Williams) says, “What is this, some sort of the Lord of the Flies Pre-school?” Allusion
The land is run by kids
They are savages with no adult influence
They have been abandoned without adult supervision "The streets were a furnace, the sun an executioner."
(Cynthia Ozick, "Rosa") Metaphor My mother’s kitchen was like a holy place: you couldn’t wear your shoes, you had to sit there at a certain time, and occasionally we’d pray. Similie There was a firestorm of controversy surrounding the president’s statements. Personification
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