Study Guide

We Need to Talk About Kevin Allusions

By Lionel Shriver

Allusions

Literary and Philosophical References

  • Franz Kafka (1.25)
  • O. Henry (2.105)
  • George Orwell (3.2)
  • William Shakespeare (3.7) (22.106)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche (4.4)
  • Dr. Seuss (11.38)
  • Virginia Woolf (14.72)
  • John Updike (15.54)
  • Tom Wolfe (15.54)
  • H. L. Mencken (19.29)
  • Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire (20.37) (20.111)
  • Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (22.102)
  • Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (22.102)
  • E. M. Forster, A Passage to India (22.102)
  • Tiny Tim, A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (24.75)
  • Jonathan Swift (25.75)
  • Peter Shaffer, Equus (Chapter 25)
  • Thornton Wilder, Our Town (25.147)
  • Neil Simon (25.147)
  • Niccolò Machiavelli (25.235)

Historical References

  • 2000 U.S. Presidential Election (referenced throughout)
  • Ronald Reagan (2.16)
  • Nelson Mandela (13.3)
  • Pol Pot (16.22)
  • Adolph Hitler (19.27)
  • Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky (23.122) (24.23) (24.71)
  • Sputnik (24.5)
  • McCarthyism (24.5)

Pop Culture References

  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1.47)
  • Cabbage Patch Kids (2.15)
  • "Ebony and Ivory" (2.16)
  • All in the Family (2.16)
  • M*A*S*H and Alan Alda (2.16)
  • Father Knows Best (2.20)
  • Terms of Endearment (2.21)
  • Beach Boys (4.6)
  • Elvis Presley (4.6)
  • Pearl Jam (4.6)
  • Star Trek (4.9)
  • The Monkees (4.27)
  • The Sound of Music (4.33)
  • Hello, Dolly! (5.42)
  • Rosemary's Baby (6.23)
  • Alien (6.23)
  • Mimic (6.23)
  • The X-Files (6.23)
  • The Talking Heads (6.61)
  • Mozart (6.76)
  • Marlo Thomas (9.16)
  • The Cars (10.43)
  • Joe Jackson (10.43)
  • The A-Team (11.21)
  • Little Orphan Annie (13.10)
  • Braveheart (14.21)
  • Reservoir Dogs (14.21)
  • Child's Play 2 (14.21)
  • Sidney Poitier (15.9)
  • Sean Connery (15.24)
  • Peter Pan (15.59) (17.45)
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice (16.9)
  • Don Rickles (16.22)
  • Lassie (16.34)
  • Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society (16.123)
  • Poltergeist (17.10)
  • Sherlock Holmes (17.69)
  • John McEnroe (17.87)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (18.101)
  • Spider-man (18.101)
  • Charlie Brown (19.20)
  • The Partridge Family (19.28)
  • Leave it to Beaver (19.30)
  • Brad Pitt (20.39)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (20. 44)
  • Quentin Tarantino (20.111)
  • Robert DeNiro (20.111)
  • West Side Story (20.111)
  • The Rolling Stones (20.129)
  • Credence Clearwater Revival (20.129)
  • The Who (20.129)
  • Jimi Hendrix (20.129)
  • Janis Joplin (20.129)
  • The Band (20.129)
  • Pink Floyd (20.129)
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young (20.129)
  • The Grateful Dead (20.129)
  • The Beatles (20.129)
  • Led Zeppelin, "Stairway to Heaven" (20.129)
  • Jefferson Airplane, "White Rabbit" (20.137)
  • The Spice Girls (21.8) (24.133)
  • Titanic (21.8) (24.83)
  • Dawson's Creek (21.94)
  • Three Dog Night (22.12)
  • The Brady Bunch (22.14)
  • The Flintstones (22.14)
  • Jim Lehrer (23.3)
  • Karen Carpenter (23.141)
  • Shirley Temple, Good Ship Lollipop (23.158)
  • Jerry Springer (23.165)
  • Omar Sharif (24.4)
  • Ron Howard, Happy Days (24.5)
  • Batman and Robin (24.55)
  • Teletubbies (24.79)
  • Star Wars (24.79)
  • The Lion King (24.79)
  • Marilyn Manson (24.84) (24.133)
  • Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" (24.83)
  • Dungeons and Dragons (24.133)
  • Oasis (24.133)
  • Playboy magazine (24.134)
  • Silence of the Lambs (24.149)
  • Frasier (26.1)
  • Harvey Keitel, Pulp Fiction (26.42)
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (26.44)
  • Larry King Live (27.104)
  • Doom (27.106)
  • Quake (27.106)
  • The Basketball Diaries (27.106)