What are some allusions in "Raymond's Run"?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Toni Cade Bambara makes several allusions in the short story “Raymond’s Run.” These references bring interest and imagery to the story.

The author alludes to Mercury, the Roman god of swiftness and speed, when writing about Squeaky’s running abilities.  “The big kids call me Mercury cause I’m the swiftest thing in the neighborhood.”

Another allusion is to Dodge City when Gretchen and her posse are walking toward Squeaky and Raymond on Broadway. Dodge City refers to the name of a town associated with visions of a wild, reckless outpost town in the Wild West.

So they are steady coming up Broadway and I see right away that it’s going to be one of those Dodge City scenes cause the street ain’t that big and they’re close to the buildings just as we are.

Jack in the Beanstalk is also used as an allusion in the story in Squeaky’s description of Mr. Pearson, the race organizer. This allusion provides the reader with visual imagery and an idea of the persona of Mr. Pearson.

Then here comes Mr. Pearson with his clipboard and his cards and pencils and whistles and safety pins and fifty million other things he’s always dropping all over the place with his clumsy self. He sticks out in a crowd because he’s on stilts. We used to call him Jack and the Beanstalk to get him mad.