1. Thoreau (5): Henry David Thoreau, 19th century American philosopher and writer of "Walden" and "Civil Disobedience"
2. "Back in Brooklyn, a poet-nurse to the Union dying writes . . . " (8): This is Walt Whitman
3. Trajan's Column (9): a 2nd century AD column in Rome commemorating Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars
4. Wang Wei, a Chinese poet from the Tang Dynasty; known for his humanistic expression; worked in the capital
5. "It has to be destroyed, like the ring that must be thrown into the volcano's caldera" (46): Lord of the Rings
6. Dorothy plays Lady Macbeth and Ray plays Macduff, characters from Shakespeare's play "Macbeth;" Ray also marvels at the scene when Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane
7. Douglas mentions "Charlie," an allusion to the term used to describe the Viet Cong (83)
8. Gilgamesh and Enkidu, characters from the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of humankind's first texts (88)
9. Moore's Law is, according to mooreslaw.org, "a computing term which originated around 1970; the simplified version of this law states that processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers will double every two years" (96)
10. "Every man should be capable of all ideas, / and I believe in the future he shall be" (98) is a Jorge Luis Borges quote
11. Auguste Rodin's sculpture "The Burghers of Calais"(1884-95) is commonly seen as a representation of freedom from oppression and standing up against tyranny (109)
12. "Her public reputation, like Demeter's daughter, crawls back up from the underworld" (140): Demeter's daughter is Persephone, who lives with Hades and only emerges during the spring
13. "It seems most of nature isn't red in tooth and claw, after all" (142): a reference to the famous description of nature, especially used in Tennyson's "In Memoriam"
14. "Surreal Cornell boxes" (174) is an allusion to the artist Joseph Cornell, who made intricate and intimate boxes filled with objects
15. Methuselah (196): a figure who lived hundreds of years in the Bible
16. Patricia thinks, "The woods are calling, and she must go" (217): an allusion to John Muir's famous quote
17. "All around them spreads a phantasmagoric, Ordovician fairy tale" (260): The Ordovician Period is a period of geologic time that followed the Cambrian Period. It spans 485.4 mya to 443.8 mya.
18. Mimi compares the man "helping" her pack up her things when she is fired to the angel in front of the gates of Eden after Adam and Eve have been kicked out (314)