p. 71-80 Allusion, Flashback

P. 71-80 FAHRENHEIT 451
Part Two
Barry 2010
An allusion is a reference to a mythological,
Biblical, literary, or historical person, place, or
thing or any reference to another work of
 Allusions are usually brief and passing.
 Allusions can enrich our reading of one text by
causing us to think about another text.
The quotes we wrote about today are
allusions. They are references in Fahrenheit
451 to the writings of James Boswell and to
the Bible.
 Often allusions are less obvious, and are not
actually quotes.
On page 38 of the novel, Beatty is yelling at
the woman who chose to burn with her books.
He says,
“Where’s your common sense? None of these
books agree with each other. You’ve been
locked up here for years with a regular
damned Tower of Babel. Snap out of it!”
His mention of the Tower of Babel is an
allusion to a story in the Bible.
In the Old Testament book of Genesis,
everyone spoke one language.
The people built a huge tower, trying to
get to heaven.
God realized they needed to be
restrained from accomplishing so much.
He confused, or mixed up, their language
so that everyone spoke different
Mention of the Tower of Babel now means
confusion and corruption of language, the
disagreement between different languages, or
the inability to communicate.
 What do you think Beatty meant by saying this
to the woman?
A flashback is a scene that interrupts the
action of a work to show a previous event.
 Flashbacks often serve to illuminate the
current action by showing an event from the
 Usually, flashbacks represent a character’s
memories of some past event.
Can you find the flashback on page 78?
“Once as a child he had sat upon a yellow dune by
the sea in the middle of the blue and hot summer
day, trying to fill a sieve with sand, because a
cruel cousin had said, “Fill this sieve and you’ll
get a dime!” And the faster he poured, the faster
it sifted through with a hot whispering. His hands
were tired, the sand was boiling, the sieve was
empty. Seated there in the midst of July, without a
sound, he felt the tears move down his cheeks.”
Read the next paragraph on page 78.
 How is the idea of the sand and the sieve relevant
to Montag’s current experiences? In other words,
what reminds him of his experience with the sand
and the sieve in the past?
Look through last night’s reading and find
another flashback.
 Why does Montag flash back to the afternoon he
spoke with the old man in the park?