Fahrenheit 451 Allusions

Edna St. Vincent Millay An American lyrical poet, playwright, and feminist, also known for her activism and her many love affairs-she was openly bisexual. She wasn’t afraid to go against the flow.
Walt Whitman An American poet, essayist, and journalist. He was a humanist, part of transition between transcendentalism (protest to the general state of culture and society) and realism (the trend toward depictions of contemporary life and society as it was or is). His work was very controversial. He was either homosexual or bisexual.
William Faulkner American Writer and Nobel Prize Laureate, known for experimental style, wrote often highly emotional, subtle, cerebral, complex, and sometimes Gothic or gross stories.
“Play the man Master Ridley; we shall this day light a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”(p.36) Hugh Latimer said this to his friend Nicholas Ridley as they were both about to be burned as heretics for their teachings.
Towel of Babel a tower built in the plain of Shinar, where the people there resolved to build a tower “with its top in the heavens.” God saw what they were doing and said “They are one people and have one language and nothing will be withholding them from which they purpose to do so. So he scattered them upon the face of the earth and confused their languages and they could not build the tower.
Dante a major Italian poet of the Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called Commedia and later called Divina by Boccaccio, is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature
Swift satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer poet and clericHe is remembered for works such as Gulliver’s Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, Drapier’s Letters, The Battle of the Books, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, and A Tale of a Tub
Marcus Aurelius Roman Emperor from 161 to 180, his Stoic tome Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration.
Hamlet a tragedy by William Shakespeare. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius’s brother and Prince Hamlet’s father, and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude, the old king’s widow and Prince Hamlet’s mother
Little Black Sambo children’s book written and illustrated by Helen Bannerman, and first published by Grant Richards in October 1899 as one in a series of small-format books called The Dumpy Books for Children. The story was a children’s favorite for half a century until the word sambo was deemed a racial slur in some countries and the illustrations considered reminiscent of “darky iconography”. Both text and illustrations have undergone considerable revision since.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel “helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War”
Shakespeare an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist
Plato was a philosopher in Classical Greece. He was also a mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world
Old Testament Christian term for a collection of religious writings of ancient Israel that form the first section of Christian Bibles, in contrast to the Christian New Testament
New Testament the second major part of the Christian biblical canon, the first part being the Old Testament
Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States
Book of Job commonly referred to simply as Job, is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. It relates the story of Job, his trials at the hands of Satan, his discussions with friends on the origins and nature of his suffering, his challenge to God, and finally a response from God. The book is a didactic poem set in a prose frame. An oft-asked question in the book of Job is, “Why do the righteous suffer?”
Consider the Lilies From the bible, St. Luke, 12:27 or theSermon of the Mount as it has been recorded by St. Matthew, 6:28
Hercules son of Zeus, famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures
Antaeus He would challenge all passers-by to wrestling matches, kill them, and collect their skulls, so that he might one day build out of them a temple to his father Poseidon. He was indefatigably strong as long as he remained in contact with the ground (his mother earth), but once lifted into the air he became as weak as other men
Caesar a Roman general, statesman, Consul and notable author of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire
Milton an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost.
Sophocles one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides.
Bible a canonical collection of texts considered sacred in Judaism or Christianity
Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays can still be read or performed, the others being Sophocles and Euripides. He is often described as the father of tragedy
O’Neill an Irish American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into American drama techniques of realism earlier associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish playwright August Strindberg. His plays were among the first to include speeches in American vernacular and involve characters on the fringes of society, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations, but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair
Cheshire Cat a fictional cat popularised by Lewis Carroll’s depiction of it in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and known for its distinctive mischievous grin.
Dover Beach a short lyric poem by the English poet Matthew Arnold
“Who are a little wise, the best fools be.”(p. 105) Said by Beatty, quoting John Donne in “The Triple Fool”
Ruth tells of Ruth’s accepting the God of the Israelites as her God and the Israelite people as her own
“We’re all sheep who have strayed at times.” (p.105) Said by Beatty, quoting the Bible- Isaiah 56:3
“Sweet food of sweetly uttered knowledge.”(p.105) Said by Beatty, quoting Sir Philip Sidney, a friend and patron of Edmund Spenser, whose poetry he deeply influenced. During his own lifetime he attracted extraordinary admiration throughout Europe as the model of a Christian knight and chivalrous gentleman.
“Words are like leaves and where they most abound, Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.” (p.106)”A little learning is a dangerous thing. Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring; There shallow droughts intoxicate the brain and drinking largely sobers us again.” (p. 106) Both said by Beatty, quoting Alexander Pope. The quotes are from his poem “An Essay on Criticism”
Pierian Spring believed to be a fountain of knowledge that inspires whoever drinks from it
“Knowledge is more than equivalent than force!” (p.106) Said by Beatty, quoting Montag from his dream, quoting Dr. Johnson.
Dr. Johnson an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history”
Alexander Pope an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. Famous for his use of the heroic couplet, he is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson.
“He is no wise man that will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.”(p. 106) Said by Beatty, quoting Dr. Johnson. It means that you’re smart to stay with something you know will work (or something you already have) rather than moving along to something you think you want, but might not end up getting
“Truth will come to light, murder will not be hid long!”(106) Said by Beatty, quoting Montag in his dream, quoting The Merchant of Venice, a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare’s other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic scenes
“Oh God, he speaks only of his horse!”(106) Said by Beatty, a paraphrase of “he doth nothing but talk of his horse” from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene ii
“The Devil can cite scripture for his purpose.”(106) Said by Beatty, quoting the Merchant of Venice, Act 1, Scene 3, Page 5
“This age thinks better of a gilded fool than of a threadbare saint in wisdom’s school!”(p.107) Said by Beatty, quoting Montag in his dream, quoting Thomas Dekker’s play “Old Fortunatus”
“The dignity of truth is lost with much protesting.” (p. 107) Said by Beatty, quoting Ben Jonson, an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor, most famous for his plays Volpone and The Alchemist, his lyrics, his influence on Jacobean and Caroline poets, his theory of humours, his contentious personality, and his friendship and rivalry with William Shakespeare.
“Carcasses bleed at the sight of the murderer!” (107) Said by Beatty, quoting Montag in his dream. This quote was from Benjamin Jonson’s play “Cateline’s Conspiracies”
“Knowledge is power!” (107) Said by Beatty, quoting Montag in his dream. It is a phrase first used in Latin, scientia potentia est, commonly attributed to Sir Francis Bacon.
“A dwarf on a giant’s shoulders sees the farthest of the two!” (107) Said by Beatty, quoting Montag in his dream. found in George Herbert (1593-1633), Isaac Newton (1642-1727) and RobertBurton’s Anatomy of Melancholy.
“The folly of mistaking a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage is a spring of capital truths, and oneself as an oracle, is inborn in us.” (107) Said by Beatty, quoting Paul Valery, a French poet and lived between 1871 to 1945. He had many famous quotes including this one.
“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.” (71) Said by Montag, reading from James Boswell’s Life of Dr. Johnson.
That favourite subject, Myself Quote from James Boswell in Letter to Temple, July 1763
“Old Montag wanted to fly near the sun and now that he’s burnt his damn wings, he wonders why.” (113) Beatty says this, alluding to the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus. Daedalus and his son have to leave an island, so he invents a pair of wax wings for him and Icarus, his son, to use. He warns Icarus not to fly too high or too low- sun=melt, ocean=dampen. Icarus heeds advice for a while, but then is having too much fun and starts to fly higher. His wax wings melt and he dies.
“You think you can walk on water.” (118) Beatty says this, alluding to Jesus, who had the ability to walk on water.
“There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats, for I am arm’d so strong in honesty that they pass me in an idle wind, which I respect not!” (119) Beatty says this, quoting William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar,” a tragedy written in 1599 that portrays the conspiracy against Roman dictator Julius Caesar. It shows the struggle between conflicting demands of honor, patriotism, and friendship.
Harvard An Ivy League University in Cambridge Massachusetts
Keystone Comedy Alludes to the “Keystone Cops,” incompetent policemen who featured in silent film comedies in the early 20th century. Produced by Mack Sennet for Keystone Company
Thomas Hardy 19th century novelist, influenced by Romanticism, best known work probably Tess of the d’Urberville
Cambridge University of Cambridge, in eastern Massachusetts
UCLA University of California Los Angeles
Ortega y Gasset Spanish Liberal philosopher and essayist, worked during first half of 20th century, while Spain oscillated between monarchy, republicanism, and dictatorship
Columbia Ivy League College in New York City
Ecclesiastes narrative in Bible given from perspective of “The Preacher,” who reveals depression caused by seeking happiness in worldly things, pleasure leaves him unsatisfied and with lack of self-meaning. It contradicts itself and doesn’t fit in with the Bible.
Revelation Last book of the New Testament, written by St. John. About the end times and judgment that God will send because of man’s sin and rejection of Him, provides a sense or justice in the Bible
Plato’s Republic First link in long tradition of Utopian works, written in the form of a political dialogue, concerns definition of justice and the order and character of the just city-state and the just man
Charles Darwin English scientist, author of theory of natural selection, survival of the fittest
Arthur Schopenhaur (1788-1860), German philosopher best known for his book, The World as Will and Representation, in which he claimed that our world is driven by a continually dissatisfied will, continually seeking satisfaction
Albert Einstein German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics).While best known for his mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”) he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”
Albert Schweitzer was a German—and later French—theologian, musician, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa best known for his interpretive life of Jesus, got Nobel Peace Prize in 1952
Aristophones a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his 40 plays survive virtually complete. These, together with fragments of some of his other plays, provide the only real examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy, and they are used to define the genre
Mahatma Gandhi the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing non-violent civil disobedience, led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world
Confucius a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history. His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity
Thomas Love Peacock an English novelist, poet, and official of the East India Company. He was a close friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley and they influenced each other’s work. Peacock wrote satirical novels, each with the same basic setting — characters at a table discussing and criticizing the philosophical opinions of the day.
Abraham Lincoln the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its greatest constitutional, military, and moral crises—the American Civil War—preserving the Union, abolishing slavery, strengthening the national government and modernizing the economy.
Lord Byron an Anglo-Scottish poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and the short lyric “She Walks in Beauty.” He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential.
Tom Paine an English-American political activist, author, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of two highly influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the Patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Britain
Niccolo Machiavelli an Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He was for many years an official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He was a founder of modern political science, and more specifically political ethics
Henry David Thoreau an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state
Magna Carta required King John of England to proclaim certain liberties and accept that his will was not arbitrary—for example by explicitly accepting that no “freeman” could be punished except through the law of the land, a right that still exists
“disintegrate, leave no stone on another, perish. Die.” (158) allusion either to St. Luke, 21:6 or St.Mark, 13:2, where Jesus speaks of the destruction of the temple
“And on either side of the river was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (165) A quotation at the end of the novel from Revelations

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