Allusion - TurpinEnglishClass

What is symbolism? Who uses symbols and
why? Are symbols universal? Give examples
and written explanations.
• What is symbolism?
• A symbol is anything that represents
both itself and something else.
In other words…symbolism uses
• objects to convey to the reader a bigger idea
that can’t be expressed by words, in some
• Two Types of Symbolism
1) A conventional symbol is one with a
traditional, widely recognized association.
2) Personal or Idiosyncratic
symbol is one that assumes the
symbol stands for something
else other than itself because of
the special use by the writer.
Personal symbols do not have
always have to make sense.
What are you referring to?
What am I referring to?
•“He was a real
Romeo with the
What am I referring to?
•“When she lost
her job, she
acted like a
What am I referring to?
•“I was surprised his
nose was not
growing like
So what is it?
•These were all examples of
•What are you doing when you
allude to something?
In “To Kill a Mockingbird”
•“Dill had seen Dracula, a
revelation that moved Jem to
eye him with the beginning of
respect. “Tell it to us,” he said.
(Lee, 8)”
• In the early 1930′s, the Dracula
extremely famous vampire
story was turned into a film. It
was a big hit.
In “To Kill a Mockingbird”
• “Let the cup pass from you” (Lee 88)
• This is an allusion to the night before
Jesus’s crucifixion. He prayed to the Lord:
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup
from me; yet not my will but yours be
done [Luke 22:42].” By imploring for his
father to “take this cup from me”, he was
praying to avoid his fate (in Greek, the cup
is a figurative meaning of fate). When
Uncle Jack commented on Atticus, he
understood that his brother was not
happy with the inevitable: the fate of
having to defend Tom Robinson in court.
In “To Kill a Mockingbird”
• “But it was a time of vague optimism for
some of the people: Maycomb County
had recently been told that it had nothing
to fear but fear itself.” (Lee 6)
• The phrase “nothing to fear but fear
itself” is an allusion to President Franklin
D. Roosevelt’s first Inaugural Address
which attempted to assess the enormous
damage of the Great Depression of 1929
to 1940. A stock market crash that led to
depression spread quickly throughout the
industrial world and affected the lives of
many Americans.
Allusion Definition
• An allusion is a reference to a statement, person,
place, or event from the arts, history, religion,
mythology, politics, sports, or science.
• An allusion can be anything from the mention
of a name to a line of a song, as an author
uses the reference to make his point clearer.
Allusions are used not only in literature but
also in:
1. films
2. speeches
3. poetry
4. common everyday dialogue.
Allusion Definition
• To create an Allusion you first need a
point of reference….
• Something the reader/audience can
easily identify or relate to.
• For example
• Most allusions are based on the
assumption that there is a body of
knowledge that is shared by the
author and the reader and that
therefore the reader will
understand the author’s references.
• There are several ways that an allusion
can help a writer:
1. Allusions engage the reader and
will often help the reader
remember the message or theme
of the passage.
2. Allusions allow the writer to give
an example or get a point across
without going into a lengthy
EXAMPLE: Allusion in Music
1. Listen to the following song
2. Circle the Allusions that you
have identified in the song
3. See if you can hear the
• I will show the lyrics for you to
follow along with