Perhaps you’ve heard “Hurricane” by Bob Dylan.

The song begins with these lyrics:

Image of singer Bob Dylan

Source: Bob Dylan at Massey Hall 1980, Jean-Luc Ourlin,
Wikimedia Commons

Here comes the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin’ that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

If you’re familiar with the story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a former middle-weight boxer, you immediately recognize to whom Dylan is referring in his song. Also, maybe you have seen the movie The Hurricane starring Denzel Washington. Knowing this background information can add to the meaning and power of Bob Dylan’s song for you. Dylan alludes to Rubin Carter by using his nickname “Hurricane” in the title and in the beginning lines of the song. He eventually lets us know the story is about Rubin Carter.

You can write the answers to questions in your notes.

Allusion Defined

To “allude to” means “to refer to.” Writers often incorporate references or allusions in their texts, and sometimes allusions can be difficult to identify and understand. On your graphic organizer, write the allusion you spot in each sentence below and explain why it’s an allusion. Graphic Organizer Instructions

Image of a heart-shaped diamond
  1. Christy didn’t like to spend money. She was no Scrooge, but she seldom purchased anything except the bare necessities.
  2. The girl’s love of diamonds was her Achilles’ heel.

Check Your Understanding

Sentence 1: Scrooge - Scrooge is the famous character who ‘pinches pennies’ in Charles Dickens’ classic story, A Christmas Carol. In this sentence Christy is being compared to Scrooge, although she is not quite as miserly.

Image of Scrooge

Source: The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, illustration by John Leech

Sentence 2: Achilles - In Greek mythology, Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character and greatest warrior of Homer’s Iliad. Legends say that Achilles was invulnerable throughout his body, except for his heel. Since he died due to a poisonous arrow shot into his heel, the term “Achilles’ heel” has come to mean a person’s principal weakness. In this sentence the girl’s love of diamonds was her principal weakness.

Engraving showing Achilles and Hector

Death of Hector