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I feel, given the fact that the Fates are an important influence in literature, a much-trimmed down version could suffice in place of the potentially OR interpretation of Walden. The video game references should probably go. I'm going to move the literary stuff here and get rid of the rest. As an aside, atropine gets its name from the plant it was derived from (Atropa belladonna). The genus Atropa was named before the isolation of the ingredient (atropine) responsible for the plant's toxicity, and thus the plant - not the chemical - was named because of its potential lethality. Sepia officinalis (talk) 02:08, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
In the "Sounds" chapter of "Walden," Henry David Thoreau says that in building railroads and locomotives, "We have constructed a fate, an Atropos that never turns aside." By this he means to refer to the literal fact that trains are bound to their tracks, but also to suggest that America's destiny is determined in part by its having taken the path of technological innovation represented by the development of the railroad.
Atropos is referenced in an Emily Dickinson poem (#11 in "The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson" ed. Thomas H. Johnson, Little Brown and Co. 1960 Twelfth Printing). Atropos, along with Clotho and Lachesis, is the name of one of the "Doctors" (playing a similar role to the Moirae) in the Stephen King novel, Insomnia.
The anticholinergic drug atropine is named after Atropos, due in part to its potentially fatal nature.
Used as a book title "Hornblower and the Atropos" by C. S. Forester , one of a series of novels about naval war during the Napoleonic era , Atropos is a fictional sloop of war , a three masted warship with a single gun deck carrying about 20 guns . The Royal (British) Navy has a long tradition of giving warships classical + mythological names , as do several other navies . In Forester's book the ship's figurehead has been carved brandishing her shears . C._S._Forester