Ramsey Williams HRD 5384 Reaction Paper: By The Waters of Babylon “By The Waters of Babylon” is a very interesting

short story that deals with many aspects of change. The story is told form the perspective of a young man who is the son of a priest in his tribe, he describes his peoples way of life, there laws and customs, and details his journey of discovery and his revelation of truths about his world. In the story, the world has undergone a monumental environmental change, “the great burning” as it is referred to, marks this change when the gods left the world and left there great cities that are now uninhabited. The story later describes this as some kind of apocalyptic event where cities are bombed and poisoned. This environmental change has had the greatest impact on the people, it has taken away there technology, there homes and even there history and knowledge of the past, what remains is rumor and superstition. In the great burnings aftermath, man has had to adapt and make some situational changes, the cities are no longer safe, infrastructure lost, survival becomes the mandate so customs and superstition are created to help this. Due to contamination the cities are abandoned and are marked as forbidden, tales of “gods” that once lived there are devised to keep people from venturing into danger. Man returns to a simpler lifestyle in order to survive in this new environment. Not all knowledge is lost, some is passed down though the generations, these are the priests, they are keepers of the past and explorers of the dead places, they teach future priests to read the old language and the rituals to keep them safe. John, the narrator, is to be one of these priests, he wishes to learn more than has been told to him, he seeks knowledge of the gods. His quest represents consumer change, he wishes to improve his understanding and represents a changing view in his society. John goes to the great city, explores it and learns the truth, that the so called “gods” we're just men with great knowledge and power, and that they were undone by there own power.

John agrees and they will expose people gradually to the truth and slowly work to reclaim what was lost and rebuild.Upon John's revelation he returns and shares this knowledge with his father. stating that the men before the great burn let there power consume then and warns that the same can happen to them if they are not careful. but rebuild mindful of the mistakes of the past. expressing a desire to tell everyone of what he has discovered and to begin rebuilding. His father shows John the wisdom of planed change. .

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