T his paper moves between two focal points, character and allusion. We wishto explore the character of Naomi, an exploration which will inevitablycenter on her relationship to Ruth. We also wish to suggest that attention to literary allusion in the text can help us considerably in our understanding of her character. Indeed, it is our conviction generally concerning the book ofRuth that it owes significant depth and complexity to the author's use of literary allusions. Literary allusions help to construct the worldview of the narrative. They provide clues to understanding ambiguous events and situations. They illuminate the attitudes and motivations of characters when the surface of the narrative is reticent.