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Hard Times

Hard Times

by Charles Dickens

Analysis: Allusions

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

Biblical References

  • Galatians 6:7, "for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (the Volume titles are "Sowing," "Reaping," and "Garnering")
  • Luke 10:42, "the one thing needful" (1.1 Title)
  • Matthew 2:16, "murdering the innocents" (1.2)
  • Millennium (1.2)
  • "Gloria" in the Book of Common Prayer, "as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end, Amen" (1.5)
  • Catechism of CofE and Matthew 7:12, "do unto all men as I would that they should do unto me" (1.9)
  • Genesis 3:14, "submissive to the curse of all that tribe" (1.10)
  • Litany in the Book of Common Prayer, "from battle, and murder, and from sudden death, Good Lord, deliver us" (1.11)
  • Matthew 8:23-7, "abate the raging of the sea" (1.12)
  • Genesis 11:1-9, Tower of Babel – 1.12
  • John 8:1-11, "Let him who is without sin among you, cast the first stone at her" (1.13)
  • Ezekiel 18:27, "saved my soul alive" (1.13)
  • 1 Corinthians 15:52 & Revelation 11:15, Judgment Day (1.15)
  • Judas Iscariot (2.4)
  • Genesis 25:30-34, Jacob and Esau (2.4)
  • Matthew 26:11, "the poor you will have always with you" (2.6)
  • Psalms 42:7, "depth answers unto depth" (2.7)
  • Mark 5:9, "my name is Legion, for we are many" (2.8)
  • Revelation 21:8, fire and brimstone (2.8)
  • Mark 10:14, "suffer the little children" (2.9)
  • Matthew 7:16, "the golden waters were not there" (2.9)
  • Luke 10:29, the Good Samaritan (2.12)
  • Genesis 3.4, "creeping on your bellies all the days of your lives, like the serpent in the garden" (3.4)
  • Daniel 5, The Writing on the Wall (3.9)

Historical References

  • Schedule B, the teacher training scheme set up in 1846 (1.2)
  • Sir Richard Owen, a famous zoologist and anatomist (1.3)
  • Teetotal Society (1.5)
  • The Calmucks of Tartary (1.15)
  • George Bidder, the calculating boy (1.16)
  • New Poor Law of 1834 (2.1)
  • The Roman Brutus (2.4)
  • Lord Castlereagh (2.4)
  • The Holy Office, a.k.a. the Inquisition (3.2)
  • William Harvey, physician who demonstrated the circulation of blood (3.8)

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