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 Ben Jonson poem "To Celia " (1616), ("Ylla," 48)
- The Lord Byron poem "She Walks in Beauty," ("The Summer Night," 6)
- The Mother Hubbard nursery rhyme, ("The Summer Night," 17)
- The Lord Byron poem "We'll Go No More A-Roving" (1817), ("—And the Moon Be Still as Bright," 103, 109)
- The Wizard of Oz, ("Interim," 1)
- "Usher II" is stuffed full of literary references, including writers like Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Ambrose Bierce (30); many characters from The Wizard of Oz books, including Glinda, Ozma, Polychrome, and Jack Pumpkinhead; and many figures from fairy tales, such as Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, and Sleeping Beauty; and also figures from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.
- "Usher II" also references Sinclair Lewis's realistic novel Babbitt, about a conformist (56).
- "Usher II" also references three great horror movie actors, Lon Chaney, Sr., Boris Karloff, and Bela Lugosi (96).
- "Usher II" also references a lot of Edgar Allan Poe stories: the seven rooms of the house are based on "The Masque of the Red Death" (123); the beating heart is from "The Tell-Tale Heart" (123); the murderous ape stuffing a body up a chimney is from "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (150); the deadly pendulum is from "The Pit and the Pendulum" (162); the premature burial is from "Premature Burial" (173); and the death of Garrett is from "The Cask of Amontillado"(187).
- Sam Parkhill mangles Emma Lazarus's "The New Colossus" (the poem on the Statue of Liberty) ("The Off Season," 172).
- The Sara Teasdale poem "There Will Come Soft Rains" ("There Will Come Soft Rains," 43)
- Hernando Cortez, Spanish Conquistador ("—And the Moon Be Still as Bright," 221)
- Pilgrims ("The Settlers," 2)
- Johnny Appleseed ("The Green Morning," 7)