In any literary analysis intention is a primary concern. The purposes for which the work was written are the source of the author's choice of words, events to be depicted, and literary structures.
Thus, in analyzing the similarities and variations between the Gilgamesh and Genesis 6-8, it is important to begin with the immense difference in the apparent purpose of the Gilgamesh flood account and the Bible's story of Noah. As Ryan and Pitman have said, the flood accounts from the Mesopotamian regions seem to be primarily recountings of a great natural disaster that was, however, "clearly perceived as a traumatic divide in human history" (246). Yet while all these versions are "colored somewhat by local tradition" the deluge "seems to be a natural event caused by godly caprice" with only a "rather feeble" rationale given for the infliction of all this damage on the world (Ryan and Pitman 246). The Biblical version, while it "possesses the same basic framework as it Mesopotamian counterparts" has a clearer message and casts the entire episode as a demonstration of the fact that "there is only one God, who is almighty, purposeful, and good" (Ryan and Pitman 246). Through h