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Man's Tendency Towards Self Destruction Comparison Essay Between By The Waters Of Babylon, Written By Stephen Vincent Benet, And Planet Of The Apes, Directed By Franklin Schaffner

2021 words - 9 pages

The Inherent Nature of Man and Evidence of His Own Self - Destruction:For thousands of years, man has been on a quest for knowledge, and this knowledge has been subsequent in their attempts to act as God themselves, therefore resulting in their self - destruction. There is evidence of man's thirst for knowledge and consequences of that knowledge in both By the Waters of Babylon written by Stephen Vincent Benet and "Planet of the Apes", directed by Franklin J Schaffner. These two works share many common characteristics throughout their storylines, primarily because the genre for this type of writing is apocalyptic. The world of humans is ruled by chaos: laws of coincidence; individually, ...view middle of the document...

In By the Waters of Babylon, there is a young priest named John who sets off on a journey in hopes of finding "the Place of the Gods", where they used to live so that he may have his need for knowledge fulfilled, by simply being in this sacred place. The entire story is based on John's journey, his discovery of what actually happened so many years ago, and then final his realisation that the Gods were only men, destroyed by their dangerous and extensive knowledge in trying to be Gods themselves. In "Planet of the Apes", the plot follows much the same criteria. Taylor, an astronaut who finds himself stranded on a strange, "dead" island inhabited by Apes who have the knowledge that humans had back in his world, and the humans themselves that did live there were primitive, is also searching for the truth. It ends allied in characteristics to By the Waters of Babylon as well. Taylor, after weeks of extensive searching and enquiring, discovered that it was in fact the planet Earth that he was on, and furthermore, New York City, and that it was man that had, similar to the story, destroyed themselves in their feverish need to acquire knowledge. These two pieces of work, as a whole, reveal the post - apocalyptic society in which man lives, following their self - destruction. These plots, nearly identical in character, clearly define man's tendency towards his self - destruction. If not for their ever - persistent need to try and act themselves as God, through gaining knowledge that exceeds their capabilities, then they would not have destroyed their entire society.The setting in By the Waters of Babylon and "Planet of the Apes" are exacting in every detail to the described characteristics of dead places, or places with no vegetation and natural habitats with any form of life. In By the Waters of Babylon, the story actually takes place in a futuristic world. It is the present civilisation that destroyed the planet, as it is known today and killed most humans in this story, the catastrophe suspected to be caused by a nuclear war. The places that nuclear bombs hit were not self - sufficient for growing food or supporting any forms of life. These were the so - called forbidden places. However, as John goes on his quest for the truth and comes to this "Place of the Gods", he soon realised that they were not the homes of Gods at all, but merely a place where man used to walk the earth. In using New York as ground zero, the story makes one realise that great cities, once rich with money, happiness, and knowledge, can just as easily be transported back to oblivion where time has no face and man is naught but a small piece of nature in which they are responsible for starting life anew. In "Planet of the Apes", the setting is much the same. Taylor, suspecting that he has landed on an alien planet, sees it as a dry, deserted, and dead place, inhabited by a group of "intelligent" apes. The surroundings are most primitive, with absolutely no indications of a...

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