What were the challenges that John faced to find the truth in "By the waters of Babylon"?

Expert Answers
ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

John faced several challenges in his journey to find the truth. The first was the superstitions of his own people. They had made the "Place of the Gods" a forbidden land and John must face down their superstitions. Secondly, the journey itself is long and arduous. He is afraid the forest people might attack him and the god-roads are overgrown and is disrepair. He knows about the "Great Burning" so he knows he may be risking his life if he crosses the river and goes into the city. But he is willing to risk his life to discover the truth. When he does enter the city, he must face the truth that the "Place of the Gods" was actually a city of human beings just like himself. He must even look at the remains of one of the "gods". John then must decide whether to share this knowledge with his tribe. However, by this time his dream has "eaten him" and he considers himself superior to these people "who ate knowledge too fast". He says he will be able to control the knowledge-- a great boast indeed if history is an example of what happens when great civilizations believe they are all powerful.