The Waters Of Babylon Analysis

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By The Waters of Babylon” written by Stephen Vincent Benet, explores the innate behaviors of human beings and describes the aftermath of a nuclear war. In the beginning of the story, the narrator, John, introduced a tribal taboo that is abided amongst “The Hill People.” This indigenous law states that it is forbidden to cross the great river and to look upon the Place of the Gods, for it was greatly populated with spirits and demons. As a manifestation of John’s step towards adulthood or priesthood, John embarked on his curiosity voyage to the Place of the Gods, defying the well established rule within their tribe. Upon his arrival, he stumbled on an elusive and isolated setting with advanced technologies, which he deemed as magic. Due to John’s expedition, he accumulated a plethora of knowledge and soon realize that the Place of the Gods was a superstition, in fact, it was a city of men. setting As the story progresses, it became evident that the setting was a post nuclear apocalypse in New York City. The author utilized descriptions such as “high towers of the gods” and “great caves and tunnels” to describe skyscrapers and subways respectively.The author’s selection of the location highlights the complete difference of the primitive and modern society. New York City is prominent for its beautifully illuminated complex buildings and its technological innovations. In contrary to the urban scene, the Hill people executes an active and outdated approach to certain tasks and
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