’s Ark Essay, Research Paper
Certain legends have fascinated people through history, being passed down generations through oral tradition and hearsay. ?Noah?s Ark? is a prime example of a story many people should be well acquainted with perhaps as sleepy-eyed children on a bright Sunday morning or through gazing at a cheerful illustration featuring a bearded man on a large boat with giraffes, hippos, and lions. It surprises many that the tale is strikingly similar to a story featuring a mythical Sumerian king named Gilgamesh. Many believe that the ?Story of the Flood? is an adaptation of ?Noah?s Ark? but in actuality it is one of the oldest pieces of literature known to man. These two stories because of the timelines it takes place in have many differences yet they share a lot in likeness.
Both stories although they take place in two different ?worlds? their plots resemble each other. One of which is that both Utnapishtim and Noah are both acting for a higher power. In ?The Story of the Flood?, Ea the leader of the gods chooses Utnapishtim to create a boat with specific qualifications so a select amount of humans can survive therefore saving humanity from extinction. In ?Noah?s Ark?, Noah is on God?s good side so God spares him and his family by telling him to create a boat with detailed instructions so his loved ones and a pair of every animals can survive and reproduce on the earth.
Another comparison is that the gods in both stories were livid at mankind. With the gods in ?The Story of the Flood? they were angry because the humans were overpopulating the world thus making too much noise. So the gods decided to rid the world of the humans making the world a quiet place once again. With Noah?s god, he was irate because the humans became corrupt and were becoming evil. For that reason he decided to would purify the world by wiping away all the evil with the flood. So in general both the gods decision was to annihilate the humans.
The final similarity is that the duo of Utnapishtim and Noah both used boats to survive the outpour of water. Noah had built an ark that consisted of three stories big enough to fit in all the animals and his family. Utnapishtim had constructed a boat that was more like a house because it had a square shape (at least in the picture). Both these boats had to cater to the size of their passengers. The means by which Noah and Utnapishtim survive the flood are identical.
Although these two stories had a lot in common, they do have their distinct differences. The first and most obvious is that they took place in different ?worlds? so to speak. Utnapishtim lived in a world of epic heroes and gods. He lived in a world full of mythical proportions. Noah on the other hand lived in a world of misery and chaos. People were going around committing sins and slowly becoming evil. So basically people in Utnapishtim?s time period were more happy go lucky then they were in Noah?s time period.
Another distinction was the immortality factor. At the end of ?The Story of the Flood? Enlil after seeing the wrong he committed, came before Utnapishtim and his wife and bestowed immortality to them thus making them live forever. Noah on the other hand after surviving the whole ordeal was granted a prolonged life instead of an immortal life. He lived over 950 years before he died.
The last difference is that they had different gods with different personalities. In ?The Story of the Flood? not only did they have many different gods but also their purposes are different. Utnapishtim?s gods acted like they were more important then the humans compared to Noah?s god who treated them like his children. They also dictated the humans unlike Noah?s god. Noah?s god was more considerate to his people?s needs and he treated them more like his equal. Those are the main distinctions between the two.
So generally, although these two tales have much in common both are original in their own ways. Their situations were the same but the way it all came into effect was different. They both worked for their gods but both gods had a different agenda from one another. They both built their boats although they constructed it differently. So in conclusion they are both historical in many ways and will continue to be passed down for many generations.