By the Waters of Babylon (Paragraph)
In the short story, “By the Waters of Babylon,” the human quest for knowledge is sometimes dangerous but cannot be extinguished. John understands that the only way to gain more knowledge is to explore the world around him even though such expedition involves great risks. During the conversation between John and his father, he expresses his true thoughts about himself. He feels the need to finally go on a journey to fulfill his burning desire for more insight. John states, “My knowledge and my lack of knowledge burned in me… It is time for me to go on my journey. Give me your leave.” The decision to travel alone on this quest for knowledge emphasizes his bravery and his dedication towards his persistent passion. Furthermore, John seeks to explore the Place of the Gods where he believes more knowledge can be discovered although the trek may result in his own demise. He is more concerned in discovery than he is about his safety. As he begins to close in on the Place of the Gods, he declares, “My heart was cold as a frog and my knees like water, but the burning in my mind would not let me have peace. As I pushed the raft from the shore, I began my death song…” John’s thoughts suggest that he is very afraid but the need to fulfill his destiny overpowers his fear and foreboding. Despite the vastness and the speed of the river, his motivation spurs him to put to rest the stories and myths about the Place of the Gods. Upon his return to his village, John discusses his exploits with his father, promising to be completely truthful. After hearing his stories about his journey to the Place of the Gods, John’s father says, “Truth is a hard deer to hunt. If you eat too much truth at once, you may die of the truth.” His words of wisdom imply that sometimes, the truth can do more harm than good. It can be enlightening, but at the same time, it can be totally devastating, if the mind cannot comprehend the information. In conclusion, the...
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