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Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Individual Versus Society Melville is deeply interested in the ways in which society forces people to curtail or limit their individuality.
When the warship Bellipotent extracts the unassuming Billy from his former ship, the Rights-of-Man, the symbolism is relatively explicit: In prosecuting Billy, Vere decides to follow the letter of the law, despite his own sense that Billy personifies goodness and innocence.
Being a good captain requires him to be a bad friend to Billy, just as being a good friend to Billy would require him to be a bad captain. The narrator shows that most of the participants in the mutiny ultimately redeem themselves in the momentous victory at Trafalgar, where they display true patriotism.
Although the British war machine greatly benefits from the individual enthusiasm and patriotism of its sailors, the more powerful the navy becomes, the more it is able to squelch individualism. In fact, the harsh legislation of the Mutiny Act is passed to suppress any further murmurings of dissent.
Conscience Versus Law Although a number of the characters in Billy Budd possess strong individual consciences; fundamentally, the people on the ship are unable to trust one another.
Consequently, life aboard the ship is governed by a strict set of rules, and everybody trusts the rules—not the honor or conscience of individuals—to maintain order. The mistrust that the characters feel, and that is likely also to affect us as we read, stems from the sense that evil is pervasive.
Evil men like Claggart seem to be lurking everywhere. The Dansker understands this sort of dishonesty all too well, and as a result, he has acquired a cynicism in his dealings with other people.
He may represent people who play roles in order to fit into society, never fully acting on their own impulses and distancing themselves from the rest of society. The Dansker likes Billy and tries to help him, but he ultimately sacrifices Billy to the claustrophobic, paranoid world of the ship, in which men are disconnected from their own consciences.
In Billy Budd, men who confront the law and men who confront evil suffer similar consequences, suggesting the dark view that evil and the law are closely connected. The Vulnerability of Innocence Billy Budd does not represent goodness so much as he does innocence, and the conflict between innocence and evil in this novel is different from the conflict between good and evil.
The narrator makes clear that Billy is not a hero in the traditional sense. Billy does not have a sufficient awareness of good and evil to choose goodness consciously, let alone champion it. Because he is unable to recognize evil when confronted by it, he ultimately allows Claggart to draw him away from virtue and into violence.Billy Budd, Herman Melville - Essay and its ethical complexity has been compared with classical tragedy and the later dramas of William Shakespeare.
The ideals embodied in the novel Billy. Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two. Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs..
For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll get . a tragedy in which Billy Budd, flawed by a single blemish, serves as a victim caught in the finer points of law an ironic sea tale set in a milieu of wartime violence the author's personal protest against repression in society.
Billy Budd - Good And Evil Essay; Billy Budd - Good And Evil Essay Perhaps one of the most widely recognized themes in Billy Budd is the corruption of innocence by society (Gilmore 18). BILLY BUDD There are many ways you can argue if the novel Billy Budd was a good novel or a bad one. You can determine this by looking at such things as.
A Description of Billy Budd a Classical Tragedy Novel on the Corruption of the Innocence By Society PAGES 3. WORDS 2, View Full Essay. More essays like this: herman melville, billy budd. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University.
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