From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.
Literary and Philosophical References
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1.1)—the novel's first line references the first line of Moby-Dick.
The Book of Jonah (1.1-2)—the narrator's choice of pseudonym references both the Minor Prophet Jonah and his story.
Gospel of Matthew 22:21 (46.14)
Gospel of Matthew 18:4 (49.24)—Bokonon's poem "Be like a baby / The Bible say" is a reference to this Biblical verse.
St. Augustine of Hippo (48.6)
Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan & Slaughter-House Five (49.10)—characters with the last name Rumfoord appear in other Vonnegut works. How or if these characters are related is anybody's guess although they always seem to come from a wealthy New England family.
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (51.3)
Don Juan (53.4)
Psalm 23 a.k.a. A Psalm of David (70.13)
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (79.1)—Castle's line about life being "short and brutish" is a shout-out to this work by Hobbes.
Edgar Lee Masters, The Spoon River Anthology (114.26-27)—the specific poem shouted out to is "26. Knowlt Hoheimer."
Genesis 1:1 (118.12)
Johann David Wyss, The Swiss Family Robinson (122.9), (123.1)—might be a shout-out to the Disney film of the same name.
John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men (123.Chapter Title)—the title of this chapter is more than likely a shout-out to Steinbeck's famous novel.
Plato, The Republic (126.2)—the title of Bokonon's book on utopias, "Bokonon's Republic," is a reference to Plato's famous utopian tract.
John Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (126.6)—the line about soft pipes playing on, yeah, shout-out to this famous Keats's poem.
The Hiroshima Bombing (1.7), (4.8), (4.13), (5.2), (5.3), (6.9), (6.15)
The Manhattan Project (5.5)
Adolf Hitler (10.5), (40.5), (102.25)
Alfred Nobel (32.8)
Dr. Albert Schweitzer (40.1), (75.3), (75.10)
Benito Mussolini (40.5), (102.25)
Tommy Manville (40.5)
Barbara Hutton (40.5)
Charles Atlas (47.9)
Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard (48.3)
The Battle of Ypres (49.3)
J.P. Morgan (49.11)
General John J. Pershing (49.11)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (49.11)
Enrico Caruso (49.11)
Warren Gamaliel Harding (49.11)
Harry Houdini (49.11)
Hernando Cortes (57.2)—a possible shout-out to Hernán Cortés.
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Spain (57.2)
Auschwitz & Buchenwald (73.23)
The S.S. (83.19)
Joseph Stalin (102.24)
Fidel Castro (102.24)
Karl Marx (102.26)
German Emperor Wilhelm II, a.k.a. Kaiser Bill (102.27)
Mao Zedong (102.28)
Walt Disney (123.1)
Betty Ross (123.5)
Helen of Troy (119.1)
Pop Culture References
Phillips Brooks, "O Little Town of Bethlehem" (20.13)