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Biblical Allusion: The Tower of Babel

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sydney gamer

on 3 September 2014

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Transcript of Biblical Allusion: The Tower of Babel

References to the Tower of Babel can be found in the Book of Genesis, chapter 11, verses 1-9.
In the Book of Genesis,
everyone speaks the same language
and these people start to learn and eventually master the art of construction. They decide to build a city with a tower that "reaches for the heavens" to make a name for themselves as well as prevent their city from becoming scattered across the earth.
God, however, intercepted the people by creating multiple languages and scattering the people before their tower was completed.
By creating separate languages and scattering the people, God made it impossible for them to complete their city and tower.
God decides to do this because he realizes that the people would lose sight of God and focus only on man.

Genesis 11:1-9

Reference to the Allusion
Enhance Your Understanding
Sydney Gamer
Period 5
Biblical Allusion: The Tower of Babel
God says in Genesis 11:6, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." (NIV) God realizes that when people are unified in purpose they can accomplish impossible feats, both noble and ignoble. This is why unity in the body of Christ is so important.

To build, the people used brick instead of stone and tar instead of mortar. They used "man-made" materials, instead of more durable "God-made" materials. The people were building a monument to themselves, to call attention to their own abilities and achievements, instead of giving glory to God.

In Fahrenheit 451, Beatty alludes to the Tower of Babel when he says the following:
"You know the law…Where's your common sense? None of these books agree with each other. You've been locked up here for years with a regular damned Tower of Babel. Snap out of it! The people in these books never lived. Come on now!"

In this line Beatty is literally referring to the many books that have been piled up to resemble a tower and by referencing the differences in opinion expressed in the books.
This allusion is important to the book because like the people in the Bible trying to build the Tower of Babel to reach God, the protagonist in Fahrenheit 451 is hiding the books that the government is trying to burn in order to reach
his version of God; enlightenment through free thinking and expression.
Quotes from the Book of Genesis
The knowledge of the Tower of Babel enhances my understanding of the novel in many ways. For example, the reader may never know that the protagonist of Fahrenheit 451 is trying to reach his version of God, which is knowledge. Also the allusion makes more sense when you know the story of God scattering the people and the break up of different languages. Then the reader can compare that story to in Fahrenheit 451 when the books are alluded to as the different languages mentioned in the story of the Tower of Babel.
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