In "By the Waters of Babylon" name four places or objects that John sees in the Place of the Gods and explain what you think they actually are.

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mrs-campbell's profile pic

mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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1.  "There was also the shattered image of a man or a god. It had been made of white stone and he wore his hair tied back like a woman's. His name was ASHING, as I read on the cracked half of a stone. I thought it wise to pray to ASHING, though I do not know that god."

This is probably a statue of George Washington that was broken during the destruction.  It is interesting here that John calls it a "man or a god" because many Americans throughout history have looked up to George Washington as an extraordinary man, and revered him almost as a god.

2. "It is known that the gods did not hunt as we do -- they got their food from enchanted boxes and jars."

This refers to the fact that there were a lot of canned foods (fruits, vegetables, etc.) and prepackaged foods (Rice a Roni, Hamburger Helper) that the "gods" ate.  Later, he refers to a strong, clear liquid in a bottle--probably wine or liquor.

3.  "Let me tell one thing to show. In the washing-place, a thing said "Hot" but it was not hot to the touch -- another thing said "Cold" but it was not cold."

This is probably a bathtub or shower; John is confused about why they are not the temperatures that they indicate.  He probably doesn't realize that water comes out at that temperature, or at least it's supposed to.

4. "There was a cooking-place but no wood, and though there was a machine to cook food, there was no place to put fire in it."

This is most likely an oven, and it confuses John--they don't have any technology in his tribe, and are still using fires to cook their food.

I hope those examples help--good luck!

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jurpassic's profile pic

jurpassic | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

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 1. "It is known that the gods did not hunt as we do -- they got their food from enchanted boxes and jars."

This would probably be refering to the fact that we can our foods and put them in boxes.

2. "It was a bronze door that could not be opened, for it had no handle. Perhaps there was a magic word to open it but I did not have the magic word."

The door would most likely be an elevator. Elevators do not have a handle and they need a "magic word" (pushing a button).

3. "There was a cooking-place but no wood, and though there was a machine to cook food, there was no place to put fire in it."

I believe this would be an electric oven.

4. "There  was a carved stone with cut-letters broken in half--They said UBTREAS."

I believe he would be looking at the remains of the subtreasury building.

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