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Literature Allusions

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Babbitt
a self-satisfied person concerned chiefly with business and middle-class ideals like material success; a member of the American working class whose unthinking attachment to its business and social ideals is such to make him a model of narrow-mindedness and self-satisfaction ; after George F. Babbitt, the main character in the novel _____ by Sinclair Lewis
Brobdingnagian
gigantic, enormous, on a large scale, enlarged; the land of giants visited by Gullivar in Gullivar's Travels, by Jonathan Swift
Bumble
to speak or behave clumsily or faltering, to make a humming or droning sound; Middle English bomblem; a clumsy religious figure (a beadle) in a work of literature
Cinderella
one who gains affluence or recognition after obscurity and neglect, a person or thing whose beauty or worth remains unrecognized; after the fairy-tale heroine who escapes form a life of drudgery through the intervention of a fairy godmother and marries a handsome prince
Don Juan
a libertine, profligate, a man obsessed with seducing women ; the legendary 14th century Spanish nobleman and libertine
Don Quixote
someone overly idealistic to the point of having impossible dreams; from the crazed and impoverished Spanish noble who sets out to revive the glory of knighthood, romanticized in the musical The Man of La Mancha based on the story by Cervantes
Panglossian
blindly or misleadingly optimistic; ______ in Candide by Voltaire, a pedantic old tutor
Falstaffian
of wit and bawdy humor; a fat, sensual, boastful, and mendacious knight who was the companion of Henry, Prince of Wales
Frankenstein
Anything that threatens or destroys its creator; from.the young scientist in Mary Shelley's novel of this name, who creates a monster that eventually destroys him
Friday
A faithful and willing attendant, ready to turn his hand to anything; from the young savage found by Robinson Crusoe on a ____, and kept as his servant and companion on the desert island
Galahad
A pure and noble man with limited ambition; in the legends of King Arthur, the purest and most virtuous knight of the Round Table, the only knight to find the Holy Grail
Jekyll and Hyde
A capricious person with two sides to his/her personality; who had more than one personality, a split personality (one good and one evil)
Lilliputian
descriptive of a very small person or of something diminutive, trivial or petty; tiny people in Gullivar's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Little Lord Fauntleroy
refers either to a certain type of children's clothing or to a beautiful, but pampered and effeminate small boy; from a work by Frances H. Burnett, the main character, seven-year-old Cedric Errol, was a striking figure, dressed in black velvet with a lace collar and yellow curls
Lothario
used to describe a man whose chief interest is seducing a woman; from the play The Fair Penitent by Nicholas Rowe, the main character and the seducer
Malapropism
The usually unintentional humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase, especially the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended, but ludicrously wrong in context - Example: polo bears. _______ was a character noted for her misuse of words in R. B. Sheridan's comedy The Rivals
Milquetoast
a timid, weak, or unassertive person; who was a comic strip character created by H.T. Webster
Pickwickian
humorous, sometimes derogatory; a character in Charles Dickens' Pickwickian Papers
Pollyanna
a person characterized by impermissible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything, a foolishly or blindly optimistic person; from Eleanor Porter's heroine,
Pooh-bah
a pompous, ostentatious official, especially one who, holding many offices, fulfills none of them, a person who holds high office; character in The Mikado, a musical by Gilbert and Sullivan
Quixotic
having foolish and impractical ideas of honor, or schemes for the general good; a half-crazy reformer and knight of the supposed distressed, in a novel by the same name
Robot
a machine that looks like a human being and performs various acts of a human being, a similar but functional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized by an efficient, insensitive person who functions automatically, a mechanism guided by controls from Karel Capek's Rossum's Universal Robots (1920), taken from the Czech "____," meaning drudgery
Rodomontade
bluster and boasting, to boast (rodomontading or rodomontaded); a brave, but braggart knight in Bojardo's Orlando Inamorato; King of Sarza or Algiers, son of Ulteus, and commander of both horse and foot n the Saracen Army
Scrooge
a bitter and/or greedy person; from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, an elderly stingy miser who is given a reality check by 3 visiting ghosts
Simon Legree
a harsh, cruel, or demanding person in authority, such as an employer or officer that acts in this manner ; from Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, the brutal slave overseer
Svengali
a person with an irresistible hypnotic power ; from a person in a novel written in 1894 by George Mauriers; a musician who hypnotizes and gains control over the heroine
Tartuffe
hypocrite or someone who is hypocritical; central character in a comedy by Moliere produced in 1667; Moliere was famous for his hypocritical piety
Uncle Tom
someone thought to have the timid service attitude like that of a slave to his owner; from the humble, pious, long-suffering Negro slave in ______ by abolitionist writer Stowe
Uriah Heep
a fawning toadie, an obsequious person; from a character in Charles Dickens' David Copperfield (1849-50)
Walter Mitty
a commonplace non-adventuresome person who seeks escape from reality through Daydreaming, a henpecked husband or dreamer; after a daydreaming henpecked "hero;" in a story by James Thurber
Yahoo
a boorish, crass, or stupid person; from a member of a race of brutes in Swift's Gulliver's Travels who have the form and all the vices of humans