By the Waters of Babylon and Planet of the Apes

By the Waters of Babylon and Planet of the Apes

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By the Waters of Babylon and Planet of the Apes Comparitive Essay


            The short story by the waters of Babylon and the movie planet of the apes were both futuristic stories.  They also both showed the evil sides of today’s man and the chaos and mass destruction that we are capable of accomplishing.  They portrayed today’s man as selfish, violent, and full of hate and rage.  By the waters of Babylon was written from the point of view of a boy close to becoming a man who knew nothing of his past civilization.  Whereas in the movie planet of the apes it was from the point of view of a man that had come nearly directly from that past civilization.  The main people in charge keep knowledge from the public so they do not know the evils that they are capable of as to protect them from making the same mistake.

            In both stories our present civilization had destroyed the earth, as we now know it and had killed most of the humans.  The cause of these catastrophes in both stories was suspected to be from nuclear war.  These places were the nuclear bombs had supposably hit could not grow food and had no signs of life and were called the forbidden zones.  The main people in charge did not allow people to go into these so-called forbidden places.  In the story by the waters of Babylon the people in charge were called the high priests.  In the movie the planet of the apes the main people in charge were the elder apes and Dr. Zayus.  In both stories their reasons for having the forbidden zones were similar they wanted to hide the past from them so they do not do it again.  One last strange similarity is that they both took place in New York City or in that area.

            In by the waters of Babylon the main character and narrator was a boy on the verge of manhood.  He was in a culture that resembled that of medieval times.  Their culture had many tales, stories, good spirits, evil spirits, and magic.  He was the son of a high priest, he called himself John.  High priests made up the rules, purified evil objects and knew everything about everything. 

 As the high priest’s son he himself wanted to become a good priest but to become one he had to look at the place of gods with his own eyes.

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  To do this he had to take a journey through the dead places that were forbidden.  After a long journey he reached the waters before the place of the gods.  John could not just look at the place of the gods from far.  He felt like if his soul would not rest unless he got a good look.  So he built a raft and went to the forbidden place of gods.  When he reached the place of gods he saw no gods.  Then he realizes the truth when he finds a dead body that turned out to be human.

  When he returns home to his father and tells his father what he saw his father tells him the truth.  He tells John about the civilization before theirs and their machines and how they destroyed themselves.  He tells his son that he can not go out and tell everyone about what he saw, because they would not be able to handle it.  They have to learn the truth piece by piece because the truth is hard to swallow.

            In the movie planet of the apes the main character is an astronaut named Taylor.  He left earth on a far journey with three others, around the same time as our present time.  The ship that he travels in goes faster than the speed of light.  In the movie because of the speed the ship is going time outside the ship goes faster than inside the ship.  Therefore inside the ship he made a six-month journey, but outside the ship and on earth two thousand years has passed. 

 At the end of their trip they crash landed on what he thought was a foreign, alien planet but eventually found out was actually earth.  The first animal life he saw was what seemed to be a primitive type of human that could not talk.  Upon approaching them they were ambushed and taken captive by apes with guns on horses.  These apes strangely could talk and reason.  These apes captured the humans and locked them in cages like violent, dumb, dirty animals. 

 At first Taylor could not talk because upon capture he had been shot in the neck.  Two ape doctors recognized that he was not like the other and was actually smart.  When the two apes told the elder apes and Dr. Zayus about the smart human they thought it was ridiculous and was going to charge the two doctors for the foolish idea.  So they helped Taylor escape and went into the forbidden zone for evidence and fossils.  Dr. Zayus went after them and they showed him the fossils and a talking baby doll.  Dr. Zayus had already known of this evidence but wanted to keep it secret form the other apes supposably for their own safety.  After all this Dr. Zayus still charged the two apes but let Taylor go to find his destiny.  After a long travel he finally finds something.  Taylor finds the half of the Statue of Liberty at that moment he realizes that he is home and he curses his people for ruining earth.

 In both of these stories knowledge of their past has been withheld from the people so that they would not do it again.  Personally I think that knowledge is the key to preventing the people from making the same mistake twice.  If they know what has been done wrong, they should not be dumb enough to do it again.
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