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Before Reading;ADG>96SUNSHINE STATE STANDARDSReading Process & Literary AnalysisBenchmarkLA.910.1.7.3 Determine the main idea or essential message in grade-level or higher texts. . . .BenchmarkLA.910.2.1.5 Analyze and develop an interpretation of a literary work by describing an author’s use of literary elements. . . .288By the Waters of BabylonShort Story by Stephen Vincent BenétDoes knowledgecome at a price?KEY IDEAHow much knowledgeshould a person or society have? When, if ever, should our pursuit of knowledge be limited? In “By the Waters of Babylon,” you will meet John, a character who learns through a difficult journey that knowledge can come at a price.DISCUSSThink about a time when your desire for knowledge got you into a tough situation. Then create a cause-effect chart like the one shown to represent this experience. Share your chart with your classmates, and then discuss if pursuing knowledge is ever worth risking trouble.Who my older sister likedI found out we both liked the same guy.Read her electronic journalWhat I Wanted to Know (Cause)What I DidWhat Happened(Effect)
;ADG>96by the waters of babylon 289literary analysis: first–person point of view“By the Waters of Babylon” is a short story told from the first-person point of view.The narrator is John, a character who speaks directly to the reader, using the pronoun I. He introduces himself in the following way: My father is a priest; I am the son of a priest. I have been in the Dead Places near us, with my father—at first, I was afraid.Everything in the story is presented through John’s eyes. At times, he does not fully understand what he sees or experiences. Such a narrator is called a naive narrator.As you read “By the Waters of Babylon,” notice how the author’s choice of point of view and narrator affects what you learn about the story’s characters, events, and setting.Review:Foreshadowingreading skill: make inferencesWhen a character narrates a story, you know only as muchas the character knows. By makinginferences,or educated guesses, you can figure out information that the narrator does not tell you. Use the following strategies to make inferences about the setting of “By the Waters of Babylon”:• Notice the names of places.• Notice how places may resemble those you know.As you read the story, jot down important details that help you understand the different sites John visits on his journey. Use a chart like the one shown.Review: Draw ConclusionsA Literary FamilyStephen Vincent Benét (bG-nAP)grew up in a home where literature was valued and enjoyed. When he was young, Benét and his two siblings, William and Laura, spent many evenings listening to their father, a colonel in the U.S. Army, read poetry and historical stories.