Cover Worksheets


Posted by NewStandpoints -

Miles To Babylon

How Many Miles to Babylon? focuses on two characters: two friends whose backgrounds are poles apart. Alec, the narrator, is the only child of a wealthy Protestant Anglo-Irish couple, while Jerry is part of Ireland’s Catholic working class.
The novel, a first-person narrative, is divided into two parts: the Irish part, set in the countryside near Dublin, about the boys’ childhood friendship and the circumstances that led each of them to join the army and go to the war; and the French part, set in the trenches of Flanders, in which we are told about the two friends’ experience of World War I and the events that will lead them to the final, tragic outcome. As in many of Jennifer Johnston’s novels, the characters are defined against their cultural, social and historical background.
The present project primarily addresses the historical background so as to help students grasp its implicit meaning in the story. Before working on the project, students should have read the novel, as activities are based on some minimum initial knowledge of the story.