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Analysis

Dead End in Norvelt Allusions & Cultural References

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

The Bible (6.3, 23.38)
Dr. Frankenstein's monster from Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (7.31)
Lazarus, from The Bible (8.66)
King Arthur, from Howard Pyle: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (9.1, 9.27)
Pied Piper of Hamelin (11.27)
Ernest Hemingway (13.84, 15.40)
Thor (20.4)
Chicken Little (25.6)

Historical References

World War II (all over the place)
General Custer (1.15, 18.48, 26.67)
Francisco Pizarro (1.60-1.63, 2.1, 7.1, 11.7)
Incas (1.60-1.63, 2.20, 2.54, 4.20, 7.1, 11.7, 25.32)
John Glenn (2.13)
John Quincy Adams (2.63)
World War I (2.79)
Great Depression (all over the place)
Eleanor Roosevelt (all over the place)
Wat Tyler (2.85-91)
Peasants' Revolt (2.85-91, 25.32)
King Richard II (2.87)
War of 1812 (3.9)
Dolley Madison (3.9)
George Washington (3.9)
Paul Jennings (3.9): A slave who belonged to President Madison and Dolley Madison.
Susan B. Anthony (3.10)
Amelia Earhart (3.11)
Revolutionary War (4.2-3)
General Prescott (4.2)
Battle of Bunker Hill (4.2, 6.81)
Sputnik (5.6): The Soviets launched the first satellite, a little thing that basically circled the earth beeping. But it caused a lot of anxiety for Americans and kicked off the space race.
Jesus (6.3, 6.4, 6.7).
Christopher Columbus (6.52)
Hernán Cortés (7.1)
Aztecs (7.1, 9.86, 18.28)
Captain Kidd (7.32)
Alexander Graham Bell (7.32)
Henry Hudson (8.2)
William Penn (8.3, 24.22)
King Tut (9.48)
Admiral Farragut (9.72)
American Civil War (9.72)
Clara Barton (10.93)
John F. Kennedy (11.10-11.20)
St. John's Dance (multiple references from Chapter 11 on)
Salem Witch Trials (11.27)
Julius Caesar (13.90)
Titanic (14.5)
John Adams (16.17, 16.20)
Thomas Jefferson (16.17, 16.20, 16.25)
Declaration of Independence (16.17)
Alexander Berkman (17.61-17.85)
Emma Goldman (17.61-17.85)
Henry Frick (17.61-17.72)
Geronimo (18.10)
Abraham Lincoln (18.11, 21.44)
Henry Ford (18.12)
Harry Houdini (18.15)
Henry VIII (20.3)
Thomas Cromwell (20.3)
Robespierre (20.3)
Queen Elizabeth (21.44)
Joan of Arc (21.44)
Anne Frank (21.50-21.55)
Bergen-Belsen (21.50)
Orville and Wilbur Wright (22.19, 22.22)
Kitty Hawk (22.22)
Hiroshima (23.37, 23.47, 23.51)
Underground Railroad (24.22)
Great Influenza (25.5)
Antony and Cleopatra (26.40-26.44, 26.57)
Octavian (26.42)
Magna Carta (26.42)
Crusaders (26.67)
Social Security Act (27.7)
Spanish Inquisition (27.53)

Pop Culture References

Monopoly (2.11, 14.2-3, 14.12)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (6.14)
Hells Angels (multiple references from Chapter 9 on)
Girl Scout cookies (multiple references from Chapter 10 on)
Dracula (10.116): This most likely refers to the 1958 film version (but could possibly refer to the 1931 version).
"Sixteen Tons" (14.3)
Ouija board (17.35)
Slinky (23.34)
Marilyn Monroe (23.41-23.42)
Bambi (28.4)

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