How does Benét use setting to create a mood of suspense and hold our interest in "By the Waters of Babylon"? 

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Benet's setting in "By the Water's of Babylon" is able to create a suspenseful mood, because the setting is vaguely familiar while at the same time being unsettling.  Normally, familiarity brings calm feelings, but that isn't the case with this story.  It's unclear at the beginning if this story is...

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Benet's setting in "By the Water's of Babylon" is able to create a suspenseful mood, because the setting is vaguely familiar while at the same time being unsettling.  Normally, familiarity brings calm feelings, but that isn't the case with this story.  It's unclear at the beginning if this story is in the past or in the future, and not being able to pin it down is unsettling.  Then the narrator drops hints about "The Great Burning" and metal that can kill.  That sounds immediately ominous and suspenseful.  Then, as the story progresses, the reader begins figuring out that John's society is a future society that has been completely wiped out.  The people have reverted to practically cavemen status, and everything about the nature and the Place of the Gods seems ready to kill John.  It's an interesting thing that Benet was able to do with the setting.  He was able to give more and more detail to his reader while at the same time ramping up the suspense by causing the reader to always have more questions than answers.  

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