A quick post today on the difference between allusion and illusion.
In truth, few people are confused by the terms, it’s just that many people don’t understand the word allusion at all and assume it has something to do with illusion because it sounds so similar.
Let’s start with illusion. An illusion is a false idea or appearance. Specifically, most people use it to mean something that you think you see or know but really don’t.
“He car contributed to the illusion he was wealthy,” says the he appears wealthy, but is not. (If he really was wealthy, it would not be an illusion.)
Allusion, has nothing to do with appearances or how real something is. Rather, it is another form of the word allude, which means to indirectly refer to something. For example, if I allude to how rude she is, I do not come out and say she is rude, but the way I speak of her conveys my feelings.
An allusion, then, is is the noun version of allude. Thus, if I were so say that she wouldn’t stop talking during her own funeral, that is an allusion to how rude she is.
Allusion is most frequently used in a literary context. A portion of a book, story or film that alludes to another work of art is an allusion.
“Two young lovers separated by a balcony,” would be an allusion to the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet.
Keep in mind that this needs to be indirect to be an actual allusion. Something that is direct, is a reference. A direct comparison is usually a simile or metaphor.
Have a good day, and happy writing.