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Delahunty - The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions (2001).pdf
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persisting until someone investigated and brought forth Eunice Ann saying she didn't want to play Shadrach any more—Jem Finch said she wouldn't get burnt if she had enough faith, but it was hot down there.

HARPER LEE To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960


The entries below include not only those subjected to temptation (JESUS and PERSEPHONE), but also the tempters or agents of temptation. • See also


Devil The Devil is another name for Satan, the arch-tempter in the Bible.

I am very sure I had no manner of design in my head, when I went out; I neither knew, or considered where to go, or on what business; but as the devil carried me out, and laid his bait for me, so he brought me to be sure to the place, for I knew not whither I was going, or what I did.

DANIEL DEFOE Moll Flanders, 1 7 2 2

Eve According to the Book of Genesis, Eve, the first woman on earth, persuaded Adam to eat the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Her name is sometimes used in the context of a woman tempting a man. • See special entry

D ADAM AND EVE 0/7 p. 5.

I was firm as a man could be till I saw those eyes and that mouth again—surely there never was such a maddening mouth since Eve's!

THOMAS HARDY Tess of the D'Urbervilles, 1891

Evil One The Evil One is another name for Satan, the arch-tempter in the Bible.

Where, to what distance apart, had her father wandered, led by doubts which were to her temptations of the Evil One?

ELIZABETH CASKELL North and South, 1 8 5 4 - 5

forbidden fruit According to the account in the Book of Genesis, God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge but, tempted by the serpent, they disobeyed him: 'So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate' (Gen. 3: 6). The phrase 'forbidden fruit' can be used to describe something that is desired or enjoyed all the more because it is not allowed, especially illicit sexual pleasure. •See special entry

D ADAM AND EVE 0/7 p. 5.

Later, we had to sneak. I'd hired on at Rent-a-Back by then, and she would ride along on my jobs—spend the day with me while her parents thought she was swimming at their club. 'Oh forbidden fruit! No wonder you two were attracted,' Sophia said.

ANNE TYLER A Patchwork Planet, 1998


JesilS Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. See SATAN.

Mephistopheles Mephistopheles is the evil spirit to whom Faust in German legend sold his soul, especially as represented in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus (c.1590) and Goethe's Faust (1808, 1832). Mephistopheles entraps Faust with wit, charm, and rationality. His name, and the adjective 'Mephistophelean', are often used to describe a fiendish but urbane tempter.

[The show's] core [is] the Faustean pact between a young college teacher and the Mephistopheles of NBC television desperate for a hero with whom they believed the viewers could identify.

The Guardian, 1995

Persephone In Greek mythology, after Persephone had been abducted by Hades to be his queen in the underworld, she was granted the opportunity to return to the earth on condition that no food had passed her lips in the underworld. However while wandering in the gardens she had eaten some pomegranate seeds from a tree, and this fact was revealed by Ascalaphus. Persephone was ordered by Zeus to remain six months with Hades and to spend the rest of the year on the earth with her mother, Demeter. • See special entry n HADES on p. 172.

It must just be a question of what you're used to, she thought, picturing Persephone, resolutely anorexic in the Halls of Dis until the pomegranate proved too much for her will power.

ALICE THOMAS ELLIS The 27th Kingdom, 1982

Satan Satan, or the Devil, is characterized as the arch-tempter in the Bible. At the end of Jesus' 40-day fast in the wilderness he challenged Jesus with a series of temptations: to relieve his hunger by turning stones into loaves of bread; to prove his divine power by throwing himself from the temple-top; to gain absolute earthly power 'if you will fall down and worship me'. Jesus rejected each of these temptations (Matt. 4: 1-11). The famous words 'Get thee behind me, Satan!' were spoken by Jesus as a rebuke to Peter for suggesting that Jesus ought not to be crucified (Matt. 16: 23; Mark 8: 33). The phrase is commonly used now when any kind of temptation is being renounced. • See special entry

n JESUS on p. 223.

Charles felt himself, under the first impact of this attractive comparison, like Jesus of Nazareth tempted by Satan. He too had had his days in the wilderness to make the proposition more tempting.

JOHN FOWLES The French Lieutenant's Woman, 1969


A common literary device when describing a thin person is to do so with reference to the work of EL CRECO, CIACOMETTI, or MODIGLIANI, all noted for their exaggeratedly thin figures. • See also Fatness.


Ichabod Crane In Washington Irving's short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820), Ichabod Crane is the village schoolmaster, suitor to the local girl Katrina Van Tass. He is skinny and gangly, with a nose 'like a snipe'. His rival suitor, Brom Bones, disguises himself as a ghostly headless horseman and scares the timid Ichabod out of the village.

'Tall chap with exophthalmic eyes, prominent nose. Walks with a stoop,' Ecco said out of the blue, remembering.

Cordelia blushed. The bluntness of the description—which was deadly accurate— took her by surprise. Among undergraduates back home, Wain was known affectionately behind his back as Ichabod.

JOHN SPENCER HILL The Last Castrato, 1995

He had an Ichabod Crane body and a wild thatch of Einstein-like white hair. His sunken, permanently sad eyes and big, expressive hands had held many a courtroom spellbound as he's pled for the rights of underdogs of all shapes, colors and sizes through the years in a booming evangelistic voice.


Don Quixote Don Quixote is the hero of a romance (1605-15) by Miguel de Cervantes, a satirical account of chivalric beliefs and conduct. He is described


the opening chapter as being 'of a hale and strong complexion, lean-bodied,


thin-faced'. He has his wits disordered by his devoted reading of chivalric

romances and sets out in search of knightly adventures with his companion, Sancho Panza, whose short, fat appearance contrasts with that of Don Quixote. • See special entry o DON QUIXOTE on p. 00.

A tall, thin, Don Quixote-looking old man came into the shop for some woollen gloves.

ELIZABETH CASKELL Cranford, 1 8 5 1 - 3

The short jacket and the low, round hat he assumed .. . brought out wonderfully the length of his grave, brown face. He stepped back into the full light of the room, looking like the vision of a cool, reflective Don Quixote, with the sunken eyes of a dark enthusiast and a very deliberate manner.

JOSEPH CONRAD The Secret Agent, 1907

El Greco El Greco (1541-1614) was a Spanish painter, born in Crete as Domenikos Theotokopoulos. His portraits and religious works are characterized by elongated and distorted figures and solemn facial expressions. Among his famous works are the altarpiece The Assumption of the Virgin (1577-9) and the painting The Burial of Count Orgaz (1586).

They're like the hands in El Greco's portraits.

SOMERSET MAUCHAM The Razor's Edge, 1944

Senor Aguirre joined his El Greco hands and looked at me over the spire of his fingertips.

JOHN BANVILLE The Book of Evidence, 1989

Alberto Giacometti Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss sculptor (1901-66) noted for the exaggerated length and thinness of his figures.

Their Giacometti-like thinness is a withering by pitiless experience.

CAMILLE PACLIA Sexual Personae, 1990

Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) was an American Republican statesman and the 16th president of the United States (1861-5). Lincoln

3 8 6 THRIFT

was a tall man, standing over six feet, and had a gaunt face with sunken, wrinkled cheeks.

I looked at him, at the long, bony, almost Lincolnesque face.

RALPH ELLISON Invisible Man, 1952

Inside was the church pew, as straight and spare as Abe Lincoln lying down. ALICE WALKER Advancing Luna—and Ida B. Wells, 1980

Amedeo Modigliani Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) was an Italian painter and sculptor. Influenced by African sculpture, his portraits and nudes have boldly simplified features and distinctively elongated forms.

She was . .. waiting like a longbodied emaciated Modigliani surrealist woman in a serious room.

JACK KEROUAC On the Road, 1957

It was enough, however, for Mayo to see everything that needed to be seen: a longer shadow depending from one of the newel posts, a Modigliani figure, grotesquely elongated, its own shadow dancing alongside as it gently swung, a heavy, carvedoak upright chair kicked away and lying on its back.

MARJORY ECCLES A Species of Revenge, 1996

Olive Oyl In Elzie Segar's comic strip Popeye the Sailor Man, Olive Oyl is Popeye's skinny girlfriend.

The nice thing about leggings is they fit anybody from Olive Oyl to a lapsed Weightwatcher.

SARAH LACEY File under: Arson, 1995

She stood tall, straight and thin, like a tense Olive Oyl gone blonde.

LINDA MATHER Gemini Doublecross, 1995

Twiggy Twiggy (born Leslie Hornby, 1949) was an English fashion model of the 1960s. She began her modelling career in 1966, becoming famous for her short-haired, thin-bodied boyish look. Twiggy later appeared infilmssuch as

The Boyfriend (1971) and The Blues Brothers (1980).

He looked over at waiflike Louise, a Twiggy lookalike with her cropped hair and


EILEEN GOUDCE Such Devoted Sisters, 1992


This theme encompasses the general idea of carefulness with money. The more negative and extreme version of this attribute is covered at the theme Miserliness.

Mr Micawber The ever-impecunious Mr Wilkins Micawber, in Dickens's novel David Copperfield (1850), famously encapsulates the principle of balancing income and expenditure as follows: 'Annual income twenty pounds,

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