The allusion is a linguistic device ( rhetorical figure ) that refers to something without mentioning it directly. For example: The merchandise sold like hot cakes. (It is sold as easily as fresh bread is sold)
The allusion uses an example that serves as a reference. For the allusion to be understood, the sender must turn to the receiver’s previous knowledge: the more knowledge and lexical wealth a person has, the greater their ability to understand the allusions.
The allusions serve to illustrate the idea that the issuer wants to communicate, as with metaphor . In addition, they have an aesthetic objective: they are a tool to embellish the speech.
In an allusion, people, circumstances, things, animals, myths, works of art, etc. can be represented. For example: His love was so deep that even Romeo and Juliet would have been surprised .
The verb “allude” is also used in formal language, as a synonym for “make reference”, “name” or “point out”. For example: In relation to economic problems, the foreign minister made reference to the international context.
- See also: Rhetorical figures
- Literary or rhetorical allusion. It alludes to an artistic reference, counting on the knowledge of the recipient. For example: Rodolfo has always been a bit like Peter Pan . (Peter Pan is compared to the eternal child)
- Direct allusion. The sender tries to say in other words a phrase understood by the general public. For example: Manuel was preparing for eternal sleep. (“Eternal sleep” refers to death)
Examples of direct allusion
- These women shopped and looked like vicious vultures when they bought those Christmas deals. (They were voracious buyers)
- They look like wild beasts for lack of manners. (They are rude)
- Juan was a Tiger in sales. (He was the best seller)
- It was a radiant lamp of ideas! (Had an idea)
- I know a girl with golden hair. (I know a blonde girl)
- And finally José put on the wooden suit. (José passed away)
- His devotion was such that he seemed like man’s best friend. (It looked like a dog)
- His serpentine attitude . (Crawled to get something)
- They hang out at the salon like parrots . (They talk too much)
- It had turned into an amoeba. (He did not react)
Examples of literary or rhetorical allusion
- He was fast like Superman .
- Romina was meaner than Cinderella’s stepmother .
- The children looked like Hansel and Gretel.
- Julio reminded me of the hunchback of Notre Dame.
- She was a Goddess of Olympus.
- When angry, the Hulk appears .
- Sleeping Beauty woke up !
- She is the wonder woman , she cleans her room in record time.
- He is older than Tutankamon .
- Pavarotti , they told Juanita.