This is a Five page paper that discusses the usage of Contemporary Allusions in British Literature. It's a good one.

Essay by Scottish365High School, 12th gradeA+, December 2003

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The world's great literature is replete with examples of real people (or their caricatures) inserted into the masterworks. Although there is the disadvantage that the modern reader may not be familiar with these individuals, examples from the British literature will show that contemporary biographical references strengthen these works. When an author writes, he seeks to convey a message. Having chosen his message, he must choose a form (i.e. prose or poetry) and a style. He must also choose which literary devices he will use, including metaphors, symbolism, satire, or allusions, to name a few. Of the literary devices, the allusion is one which can powerfully convey in one or two words a message rich in complexity. The author can choose from several types of allusion: literary, religious, cultural, and historical. But, of these allusions, the one that, over time, became the preeminent form in British Literature was the historical allusion.

Contrary to popular belief, an historical allusion does not have to allude to the past, it simply alludes to a person, be it a person who lived before the author, or one of the author's contemporaries.

However, as with any true communication, there must be a sender and a receiver. If the receiver does not understand the message sent, the communication is a failure. The author must give at least some consideration as to whether the reader will understand the allusion. It is essential, then, in any communication, and particularly in an allusion, that an author considers his audience. If his aim is to be understood by a wide audience, his menu of allusions will be small. Only allusions of popular appeal will work. E.g., allusions to the Simpsons are likely to be understood by most English-speaking people in the world. However, the allusions would not be understood in Africa...