An allusion is a reference to a piece of work in a current piece of work, which could be a person, place, thing, event, or quote. It must be well-known and identified by a large group of people. Allusion means REFERENCE • • • • • • • • • A brief, symbolic reference to a wellknown or familiar: person place event literary work author work of art historical event musical work film or movie Literary - References literature (books, poems, fairy tales, nursery rhymes) Historical - References history (war Religious - References religion (Bible, creation, other religion or religious texts) Classical - references Mythology (Greek, Roman, etc) Modern - reference pop-culture (celebrities, athletes, movies, news, politics) • “I was surprised his nose was not growing like Pinocchio’s.” • This refers to the story of Pinocchio, where his nose grew whenever he told a lie. Purpose We, as readers, need to know what allusions are so we can identify them in our reading. We need to be able to recognize allusions in the books we read because they are usually important in our overall understanding of the book. Why do writers and musicians use allusion? • A quick allusion can create a mood in just a few words, rather than using a long explanation. • Allusions help writers and musicians relate to their audiences. • Combinations of allusions can contribute to a certain THEME. For example, a musician may use a number of Biblical allusions to make a statement about his own religious beliefs.