What characteristics of mankind are present in the narrator that were present in the men who once inhabited the "Place of the Gods"?Text support.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Given the story as a whole, we are provided with a number of rather worrying characteristics of the narrator when compared the "Gods" later in the story. The unavoidable characteristic that is provided about the narrator is his thirst and craving for knowledge and in particular his obsession about the Old Days and the gods and his desire to know more:

My knowledge made me happy - it was like a fire in my heart. Most of all, I liked to hear of the Old Days and the stories of the gods. I asked myself many questions that I could not answer, but it was good to ask them. At night, I would lie awake and listen to the wind - it seemed to me that it was the voice of the gods as they flew through the air.

Here, then, we are presented with the insatiable curiosity of the narrator and his desire to know more. It is clear that these are descriptions that are repeated throughout the tale, and the very fact that the narrator feels driven to face and conquer so many fears to discover his knowledge establishes this quality in him.

However, although this is an obvious comparison to the "gods", we see by the end of the tale a rare example of man learning from his mistakes. The vision of the narrator of the modern world causes him to ask:

Were they happy? What is happiness to the gods? They were great, they were mighty, they were wonderful and terrible. As I looked upon them and their magic, I felt like a child - but a little more, it seemd to me, and they would pull down the moon from the sky. I saw them with wisdom beyond wisdom and knowlege beyond knowledge. And yet not all they did was well done - even I could see that - and yet their wisdom could not but grow until all was peace.

With this vision, therefore, the narrator understands that knowledge does not necessarily bring only good benefits - it also has profound dangers with resulted in the downfall of the "gods" - as he soberingly remarks at the end of the story, "Perhaps, in the old days, they ate knowledge too fast."

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