Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction 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

  • Sappho, Fragment LP 111 (The title, 1.3.28)
  • William Shakespeare ("Seymour" 1.1)
  • William Shakespeare, Macbeth: The Lieutenant jokingly refers to Buddy as "Macduff" ("Roof Beam" 2.152); the line "somebody around here hath murdered sleep" is an allusion to a line in Macbeth ("Seymour" 3.5)
  • William Shakespeare, The Tempest: Buddy refers to the character Prospero ("Seymour" 1.1)
  • William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar: Salinger's line "I haven't come to bury but to exhume, and most likely, to praise" ("Seymour" 1.5) is an allusion to the line in Julius Caesar, "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him."
  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet: Buddy reference the character Fortinbras ("Seymour" 9.6)
  • R.H. Blyth ("Roof Beam" 4.3)
  • Saigyō Hōshi ("Roof Beam" 4.4)
  • Franz Kafka (epigraph to "Seymour," 2.1.2, 2.1.11, 2.1.14)
  • Søren Kierkegaard (epigraph to "Seymour," 2.1.2, 2.1.37)
  • John Buchan, "Skule Skerny" ("Seymour" 1.1)
  • Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums ("Seymour" 1.1)
  • J.D. Salinger, "Teddy" ("Seymour" 1.1, 2.5.1)
  • J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye ("Seymour" 1.7)
  • J.D. Salinger, "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters" ("Seymour" 1.7)
  • J.D. Salinger, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" ("Seymour" 1.7)
  • Thomas Kilroy ("Seymour" 1.1)
  • Kobayashi Issa ("Seymour" 1.11)
  • Yosa Buson ("Seymour" 1.11)
  • Masaoka Shiki ("Seymour" 1.11)
  • Matsuo Bashō ("Seymour" 1.11)
  • Lao Ti-Kao ("Seymour" 1.11)
  • Tang-Li ("Seymour" 1.11)
  • Ko-Huang ("Seymour" 1.11)
  • P'ang ("Seymour" 1.12)
  • John Keats ("Seymour" 1.12)
  • Robert Browning ("Seymour" 1.12, 2.1.13)
  • William Wordsworth ("Seymour" 1.12, 2.1.13)
  • Anne Nichols, Abie's Irish Rose ("Seymour" 1.14)
  • Sherwood Anderson ("Seymour" 1.16)
  • Henry David Thoreau ("Seymour" 1.16)
  • Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Buddy tries to trick the young man into doing his yard work the same way Tom tricks a friend into white-washing the fence for him in this Twain novel. Buddy explicitly references Twain's character here. ("Seymour" 1.16)
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias" ("Seymour" 1.17)
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein ("Seymour" 1.17)
  • Robert Burns, "To A Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest, With The Plough" (footnote from 2.1.17)
  • Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (Buddy references Betsey Trotwood, a character from this novel) ("Seymour" 1.18)
  • Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina ("Seymour" 1.26)
  • Louis Bouilhet ("Seymour" 1.37)
  • Max Du Camp ("Seymour" 1.37)
  • Gustav Flaubert, Madame Bovary ("Seymour" 1.37)
  • Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac ("Seymour" 5.3)
  • Sofya Tolstoy (Leo's wife) ("Seymour" 6.5)
  • The Texts of Chuang-tzu, Book XXVI ("Seymour" 9.2)
  • Hans Christian Andersen, "The Red Shoes" ("Seymour" 9.6)
  • Anton Chekhov ("Seymour" 9.6)
  • Somerset Maugham ("Seymour" 9.7)

Religious and Historical References

Music, Art, and Pop Culture

  • Richard Wagner, Lohengrin ("Roof Beam" 2.8)
  • Johann Sebastian Bach ("Roof Beam" 2.9)
  • Rogers and Hart ("Roof Beam" 2.9)
  • Emily Post ("Roof Beam" 2.152, 2.1.15)
  • Vincent Van Gogh ("Seymour" 1.2)
  • Sigmund Freud ("Seymour" 1.2)
  • Ludwig van Beethoven ("Seymour" 1.6)
  • Ned Wayburn ("Seymour" 1.20)
  • Pat and Marion Rooney ("Seymour" 1.20)
  • W.C. Fields ("Seymour" 1.20)
  • Irving Berlin ("Seymour" 1.31)
  • Harold Arlen ("Seymour" 1.31)
  • Jerome Kern ("Seymour" 1.31)
  • Schubert Lieder ("Seymour" 1.31)
  • Pablo Picasso ("Seymour" 7.1)
  • Kay Nielsen ("Seymour" 7.2)
  • Stoopnagle and Budd ("Seymour" 9.2)

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