In To Kill a Mockingbird allusions are used throughout the book. An allusion is a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication. In chapter 11 Scout uses the allusion, “this looks like you,” to try to cheer Jem up. It was referring to Dixie Hall. He was an American Football player. He played college football as a halfback at the University of Alabama from 1932 to 1934 and with the Washington Redskins of the NFL in 1937. Howell was also the head football coach at Arizona State Teachers College, from 1938 to 1941 and at the University of Idaho from 1947 to 1950, compiling a career coaching record of 36–35–5 in American college football. Dixie Howell was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1970.
Howell was one of the best punters. Howell also had an uncredited role in the movie, The Adventures of Frank Merriwell as a football player. Scout’s allusion to Dixie Howell is to comfort Jem since he loves football. By telling him that Dixie Howell looks like him, she is telling him that he comes first and takes precedence over Dixie Howell who was a famous NFL football player and coach. This also shows Scout’s deep understanding of Jem. although saying “This looks like you” may seem like a meaningless compliment, Scout knows that because of his love for football and how he is associated with it, this would be a major honor for him to have anything similar to one of the greatest football players at that time. That’s how the allusion is used in the book.
Howell, Dixie. “Dixie Howell – ENotes.com Reference.” Enotes.com. Enotes.com, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2012. .