An allusion involves referencing or making a brief, indirect reference to a person, place, event, or thing that is outside the text. It is up to the reader to make a connection to the subject being mentioned. Allusions can be direct or indirect, and are often used to add complexity and depth to a narrative, to create a sense of familiarity or nostalgia, or to establish a connection between the author and the reader.
Examples of allusion:
“She had a smile that could light up a room, like the Mona Lisa” – In this example, the allusion to the famous painting creates a vivid image of the woman’s smile, emphasizing its beauty and enigmatic quality.
“It was a day that would live in infamy” – In this famous quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech about the attack on Pearl Harbor, the allusion to the “day of infamy” creates a sense of gravity and historical significance.
“I am the Walrus” – In the Beatles’ song “I Am the Walrus,” the allusion to Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass” adds a whimsical and surreal quality to the lyrics.
“The winter of our discontent” – In William Shakespeare’s play “Richard III,” the famous line “Now is the winter of our discontent” is an allusion to the end of the Wars of the Roses, creating a sense of political upheaval and instability.
2 thoughts on “Allusion”
is this an allusion: “I envy the earthquake, at least you felt it – unlike me.”?
Not necessarily, an allusion is when an author refers to something that is “common knowledge”, like calling someone Einstein…
Einstein has become an allusion for someone really smart, but if you didn’t know who Einstein was, you would have no idea what it was supposed to mean.