Wednesday took Netflix by storm as one of the most watched shows its first week premiering. Hopefully you have watched it, but if you haven’t– THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS! BEWARE!!! Literary figures dominated the new series and I can speak for all book lovers when I say we are still obsessing over it. Between Edgar Allan Poe references everywhere to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein themes, Tim Burton left nothing out. Did you manage to find them all as you watched the show?
I’m truly one of the worst people to watch shows with, because I am quite honestly the Leo meme when any bookish reference pops up on the screen. You know the one. Us book people just can’t help it!
The entire time I watched Wednesday this is exactly how I looked when all of these bookish references popped up. You’ll absolutely understand when you see them all! Here are the ones that really stood out to me.
Edgar Allan Poe everything everywhere!!
If you couldn’t tell by simply seeing Nevermore Academy, Edgar Allan Poe dominated the storyline in Wednesday. Rightfully so considering the pure gothic beauty that is Poe. Whether it was the secret statue to go into the underground secret society (where the famous Addams family snap is incorporated) or the episode names– You can bet on seeing something Poe related in just about any scene. I loved seeing the statue of Poe in the school as Wednesday read from the book he was holding to open the secret passage.
According to the storyline, Poe even attended the school helping to name the academy from his work The Raven. The Raven seems to be a very common theme that the show returns to time and time again. Whether referring to Wednesday’s abilities or when we see Xavier pairing one on the school in his mural, the show is rich with references to Poe’s work.
The student’s participated in the Poe Cup, which I definitely wish was a thing at my school. Each team took a name base don a Poe tale along with trickery and weapons to take down the other team inspired by these tales. Xavier and Ajax’s team is named after The Cask of Amontillado. Bianca’s team named The Gold Bug and Wednesday and Enid’s team The Black Cat are both named after Poe tales— Very sinister ones at that.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Did you notice all of the body parts being saved from each victim? Almost as if they are piecing together a monster very similar to Dr. Frankenstein’s.
Ms. Thornhill also offers Wednesday a copy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Wednesday even notes how much she envies Shelley as she completed her novel at only 19 and Wednesday is racing against the clock to finish her own novel.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The second I heard the monster known as a “Hyde” is the monster terrorizing the school and town, I had my Leo meme moment! I obviously couldn’t help, but try and link the Hyde to the Doctor and we saw how that ended up working out. Did anyone else feel the twist and turns trying to find out WHO was controlling the Hyde?
This was such a fun and exciting implement into the storyline. As a big fan of Robert Louis Stevenson, this gothic element made for the perfect literary easter egg. I thought an interesting piece of this story was the link they made between it and Faulkner. Wednesday, being the young mysterious detective she is, found Faulkner’s journal that outlined the entire story of the Hyde’s history.
Stephen King’s Carrie
This seemed like an opportunity that couldn’t be missed, especially by Tim Burton. An all white themed dance at a gothic-esque school? Someone cue the raining red. This Carrie moment is so iconic with a good twist.
Surely you recall Carrie being at the prom and having the pigs blood dumped on her on stage, because people wanted to embarrass her. Well, we see in Wednesday the “cool” jocks hook up their truck to the sprinkler system, so that fake blood could shoot from the ceiling. Sure, everyone starts running around frantic, but Wednesday definitely seems to relish in the horror moment. I think we all would… Or maybe just me.
Subtle Shakespeare hints
There are many dormitories within Nevermore Academy, but Wednesday gets placed in a very specific one. Principal Weems places Wednesday within Ophelia Hall, which could be a subtle hint to Shakespeare’s Ophelia from Hamlet. Principal Weems and Wednesday’s mother, Morticia, also stayed in this same dormitory.
Wednesday even says,
“Ophelia is the one who kills herself after being driven mad by her family.”
Wednesday does have an aunt name Ophelia Frump, who is loosely based on the Shakespeare character, as well. Ophelia is driven to madness and drowns herself over Hamlet and her parent’s actions.
We can all become detectives like Wednesday and keep an eye out for more when we inevitably rewatch this series a million times while waiting on season two.
Looking for more Wednesday updates? Click here to read everything we know about season two!