BY THE WATERS OF BABYLON by Stephen Vincent Benét. The north and the w est and the south are good hunting ground, but it is forbidden to go east. It. Dec 14, Need help with By the Waters of Babylon in Stephen Vincent Benét’s By the Waters of Babylon? Check out our revolutionary side-by-side. The By the Waters of Babylon Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, by Stephen Vincent Benet.

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Aside from the shortness of the story, it’s passable.

They are the only ones who can handle metal collected from the homes called the “Dead Places” of long-dead people whom they believe to be gods. Now, John decides that he will look for this kind of food rather than hunt since he has already done many things that were forbidden and come to no harm.

Nor had I ever slept in a Dead Place before—and yet, tonight, I must sleep there.

By the Waters of Babylon

My knowledge made me happy—it was like a fire in my heart. When gods war with gods, they use weapons we do not know. It was half-a-day’s journey after I had left the god-road—we do not use the god-roads now for they tsephen falling apart bebet great blocks of stone, and the forest is safer going.

No man of my tribe had seen it, not even my father, the priest. Looking out on the city, John realizes that through some kind of powerful magic, he is seeing the city as it was in the Time of the Gods. I knew that in another moment the gods would see me. John lists tribal taboos but he vicent not explain why it is forbidden to visit certain places, why only the priests can collect metal, or what the Dead Places, the Great Burning, or the Place of the Gods are.

I was just really impressed. I grew angry then—my heart felt strong.

Once again, the story is pushed vincen by his pursuit of knowledge. My hunger for knowledge burned in me—there was so much that I could not understand. John is terrified and overwhelmed by the brightness of the lights, and by a strange roaring sound.


But if the a-bombs were dormant, then why would they explode for some people and not explode for others? Also, if it is not in an anthology, Babglon would have to print it out or have students read it off their tablets…provided they have those. I could feel the spirits drawing my spirit out of my body as a fish vinent drawn on a line.

John knows that he od die if he enters the Place of the Gods, but he also knows that if he turns back without fully satisfying his desire for new knowledge about the gods, he will never be content or at peace with himself.

He feels cold and clammy, but his ambition and desire for knowledge burns like a fire within him. The sign was an eagle. As he says in the last page of this short story, “We must build again.

It was just kinda blah. I followed them, vinncent a distance, waiting for what would happen. It was there, the Place of the Gods. They were men who were here before us. He gave me the bow and the three arrows.

Though the body is surprisingly well-preserved, John believes that if he touches him, the body will crumble into dust.

By the Waters of Babylon

Apr 02, A B rated it it was amazing Shelves: John learns that people sometimes superstitiously mistake technology for magic, but he still believes in and is fascinated by magic. Everywhere in it there are god-roads, bablon most are cracked and broken. It is not true either, what some of our priests say, that it is an island covered with fogs and enchantments.

He slams the door behind him, shutting the dogs outside. I prayed and purified myself, waiting for a sign. These things are forbidden—they have been forbidden since the beginning of time. The great windows that looked over the city had not been broken at all though they were dusty and streaked with many years.


I went there and looked about beneh was a carved stone with cut—letters, broken in half. After John is ritually purified once again, his father recognizes him as a man and a priest. As it was, they were sure enough of me; they did not hurry. As he enters the Place of the Gods, John babyloh amazed to discover that many of the things he had been told about it are false: After such long years? It is better to lose one’s life than one’s spirit, if one is a priest and the son of a priest.

Aug 18, Maurita Kling rated it it was amazing. It is not easy to kill a panther with one arrow but the arrow went through his eye and into his brain.

I really liked this short story. At first I wasn’t wild about the overly simple narration, but after a few minutes I realized that it’s actually quite effective. But a dog cannot open a door and I knew, from the books, that the gods did not like to live on the ground but on high. This book always yb me wahers more because of all of the questions and cliff hangers it contained that I knew would be resolved later in the story. As I pushed the raft from the shore, I began my death song—I had the right.

I can read letters but I could not understand these. Then three deer passed in the valley going east—they did not mind me or see me. I read this as an interesting example of early post-apocalyptic literature. Nor were there candles or lamps—there were things that looked like lamps but they had neither oil nor wick. I knew, that, if I touched him, he would fall into dust—and yet, there was something unconquered in the face.

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