Quote and Page of Allusion
What is it referring to?
“Byron had gotten a conk! A process! A do!
A butter! A ton of trouble!” pg. 87
The conk (derived from congolene, a hair straightener gel made
from lye) was a hairstyle popular among African-American men
from the 1920s to the 1960s. This hairstyle called for a man with
naturally "kinky" hair to have it chemically straightened using a
relaxer (sometimes the pure corrosive chemical lye), so that the
newly straightened hair could be styled in specific ways.
“With big clumps of hair sticking out to the
side over his ears like that he really did look
like Bozo.” Pg. 89
“I pretended I was holding a bugle and
starting playing that “Day Is Done…” song
that they play at funerals.” Pg. 92
Bozo the Clown is a clown character very popular in the
United States, peaking in the 1960s as a result of
widespread franchising in early television.
“I could hear By stiff a couple of times, then
Dad started whistling that stupid song
“Straighten Up and Fly Right.” Pg. 96
“I’d like to introduce you to your long-lost
son from Siam, His Royal Highness, Yul
Watson!” pg.98
"Taps" is a musical piece sounded at dusk, and at funerals,
particularly by the U.S. military. It is sounded during flag
ceremonies and funerals, generally on bugle or trumpet,
and often at Boy Scout, Girl Scout and Girl Guide meetings
and camps. The tune is also sometimes known as
"Butterfield's Lullaby", or by the first line of the lyric, "Day
is Done".
"Straighten Up and Fly Right" is a 1943 song written by
Nat King Cole and Irving Mills and performed by The King
Cole Trio. The single became the trio's most popular single
reaching number one on the Harlem Hit Parade for ten
non consecutive weeks.
Yul Brynner, The King of Siam, in the movie
The King and I.
Group Work
Directions: With your group, look back in your assigned chapter(s) and try to find as many allusions as
you can. Be sure to write the quote and the page number that contains the allusion. For homework, look
up what each allusion is referring to and take notes on it to share with the class.
Assigned Chapter(s):
Notes about what the allusion means:
Quote and page #
What do the allusions bring to the book? Why would Christopher Paul Curtis include so many?
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