How Many Miles to Babylon

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Describe Alecs journey and discuss the valuable insight or lessons that you gained through the study of the theme of the journey?

The novel how many miles to Babylon by Jennifer Johnson highlights Alec Moore’s tragic journey. We see his journey true childhood to adulthood. Interestingly, the novel begins at the end of Alec’s journey as he waits execution “because I am no officer & a gentlemen they have given me my notebook, ink, pen, paper” and comes full circle. Immediately we wonder how Alec someone so high up in the war is being executed, then as we read on we begin to realise how his journey through life has left him isolated and cold, returning to his prison cell at the close of the novel. Despite Alec’s privileged background or rather because of it, I now realise that the heart breaking ending was inevitable.

Having studied the protagonists journey I have gained many insights into how isolated children can be despite having a privileged background, isolation and control his mother had over him was a major obstacle, with the support of friendship obstacles can seem meaningless, psychology and Alec’s coping strategies, the impact the journey had on the protagonist and how people dealt with the trauma of war differently.

Alec led a very controlled and confined life due to his mothers control and rein over him. Throughout the novel we see how Alec’s mother has very little love for him which makes Alec the way he is, Alec has a dysfunctional family and a cruel cold hearted mother who shows no sense of motherly love towards him. He grew up as a lonely young boy “As a child I was alone... I was isolated from surrounding children of my own age”. Alec once said “if I were to be born again I would choose to be a rook. They lead such joyful, public lives” unlike him, from this we can note that Alec is very unhappy in his life. Despite Alecs privileged life with no shortage of material goods he was deprived love and compassion from his mother. His...
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