David and Goliath
Allusions in Literature
Being able to understand allusions in literature is kind of like being in on an inside joke. If you know what the joke is referring to, you might join in on the fun, but if you have no idea where the joke is coming from, you’re left in the dark.
In order to truly understand and analyze literature, it is imperative that you are in on the joke.
Now I know what you’re thinking.
How is that possible, Ms. Casarez? I mean, I know a lot of stuff, but how can you expect me to know EVERY reference to ANYTHING and EVERYONE?
Well, I can’t. This is why it’s so very important for you to read closely and pay attention not only to what you DO know but to what you DON’T know as well.
When writers use allusions in literature, it’s not because they want to confuse you. It’s because at one point in time, the reference made perfect sense to the average human being. So if something doesn’t make sense, you need to look it up. Wikipedia, much as it is a second hand source and should never ever be used in formal research, can be very helpful in identifying and defining allusions.
Follow this link for a short practice quiz on allusions. *Quiz was not created by Ms. Casarez.