Breaking The Rules In Stephen Vincent Benét's By The Waters Of Babylon

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People break the rules every day. Breaking these rules could sometimes have a beneficial impact. Breaking the rules can even change what people do, think, or act. It could, in fact, change society as it stands. In “By the Waters of Babylon” by Stephen Vincent Benét, he demonstrates that one might have to break the rules for the betterment of society by the use of internal conflict, dramatic irony, and epiphany resolution. Benét writes about John being conflicted with decisions about breaking the rules, which is shown through the use of internal conflict. John is the son of a priest and has followed rules his entire life (Benét 315). He tells his father about dreams he has been having, and he decides to go on a quest with the permission of his father (Benét 316). He waits for signals to tell him where to go, and after getting these signals, which were an eagle and three deer with a white fawn going east, he decides to go east (Benét 316-7). John narrates about how “[his] heart [is] troubled about going east” (Benét 317). He sees “the Place of the Gods” and chooses to creep “back into the forest” (Benét 318). John later chooses to go to “the Place of the Gods,” even though he hears stories of how “the ground there burns forever,” how a god or demon…show more content…
John has an internal conflict within himself about breaking the rules he has always followed, but he accepts that disregarding them is necessary. Benét also shows how there are many ways John can improve society through dramatic irony by bringing up potentially helpful objects that John does not know. Additionally, the epiphany resolution shows how John is planning to break rules with the People of the Hill, gain knowledge, and use it to improve society. Rules are broken daily, but as Benét has shown, one might need to infringe upon the rules to transform
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