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In Ayn Rand's book Anthem, how do allusions contribute to the story?

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user3731337 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 22, 2013 at 3:45 AM via web

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In Ayn Rand's book Anthem, how do allusions contribute to the story?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted February 22, 2013 at 5:51 PM (Answer #1)

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Like all figures of speech, an allusion is a literary device that an author uses in order to convey a message that the reader will understand. Allusions can refer to other stories from history or other texts that a reader might understand and be able to make a connection with for understanding purposes. In futuristic stories, allusions can also be images that the reader may understand from the present time. For example, Equality finds items and relics from Rand's time period that the reader will understand even though her main character does not. Equality finds a subway line, electrical wires, and light bulbs, for instance. These images of tools that we know about in our everyday lives helps readers to understand the main character's plight as he lives in a world of candle light and no electricity. Another allusion is that the people of Rand's world wear tunics like the ancient Greeks did. The clothing represents an ancient time period to show that the society has regressed rather than progressed. The Greeks, however, were political geniuses who had a very structured government which was adhered to strictly--another reference that can be connected to Rand's constructed society.

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