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“Waters of Babylon” and “Coyote Kills the Giant” Essay

The tale of two journeys may seem very similar but they are also very different. In both “By the Waters of Babylon” and “Coyote Kills the Giant,” the characters John and Coyote go on a dangerous journey to test their skills and wit. Though their journeys are different, at the end they overcome their obstacles and are able to achieve their goals.

The main differences in the journeys between “By the Waters of Babylon” and “Coyote Kills the Giant” are their settings and the main characters’ purpose in their journeys. In “By the Waters of Babylon,” the settings are the woods and the Place of Gods. The character, John, comes upon more conflicts than the Coyote in “Coyote Kills the Giant” because John is in the wilderness. While John faces two wild settings, Coyote deals with only one setting, the Giant’s belly. John interacts with the settings by himself, unlike Coyote, who has multiple people that talk to him and help him kill the giant.

Another difference between John and Coyote’s journeys is each character’s purpose. John’s purpose is to prove to his tribe that he is a man and a priest. As he continues on his journey, his purpose changes to satisfy his “hunger for knowledge” (68). He searches for the truth of his beliefs and is curious behind the “walls” of his home. On the other hand, Coyote’s purpose is to show the Old Woman she is wrong and say that he is able to kill the giant. John’s purpose seems more meaningful whereas the Coyote’s purpose is more about making himself look good. The differences between these characters and their journeys show that they have proved something of themselves.

While the settings and purposes are different, their results and some of their conflicts are similar.

Both complete and survive their journeys


Result is similar, but they learn different lessons (bridge)

John- Coming back home as a man with knowledge

Coyote- Hero and defeating the Giant


Man vs nature

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