A magician who performed an allusion would be quite boring indeed. Likewise, a movie that contained an illusion to literature would be quite odd.
An allusion is a reference to something else. Allusion is the noun form of the verb “to allude”. To allude to something is to reference something indirectly. An illusion is a false impression or an incorrect perception. Both words share the same root – the Latin ludere which means “to play” – but they have different prefixes.
- Both Family Guy and The Simpsons contain allusions to famous movies.
- A literary snob often makes allusions to obscure books that no one’s ever heard of.
- Many classic novels contain allusions to classic Greek mythology.
- Magicians perform illusions that deceive the audience.
- As he wandered the desert in search of water, the waves of heat rising from the sand formed the illusion of a far off oasis.
- Many students operate under the illusion that studying is completely unnecessary.
The difference between allusion and illusion may seem small, but your college professor won’t agree when you write about illusions to literature!