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Billy Bud - College Essays

Billy Bud


Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were perfect. They were innocent and ignorant, yet perfect, so they were allowed to abide in the presence of God. Once they partook of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, however, they immediately became unclean as well as mortal. In d, the author, Herman Melville, presents a question that stems directly from this original sin of our first parents: Is it better to be innocent and ignorant, but good and righteous, or is it better to be experienced and knowledgeable? I believe that through this book, Melville is telling us that we need to strike some kind of balance between these two ideas; we need to have morality and virtue; we need to be in ...

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he [is] the champion, afloat the spokesman; on every suitable occasion always foremost”(9).
Despite his popularity among the crew and his hardworking attitude, Billy is transferred to another British ship, the Indomitable. And while he is accepted for his looks and happy personality, “…hardly here [is] he that cynosure he had previously been among those minor ship’s companies of the merchant marine”(14). It is here, on the Indomitable that Billy says good-bye to his rights. It is here, also, that Billy meets John Claggart, the master-at-arms. A man “in whom was the mania of an evil nature, not engendered by vicious training or corrupting books or licentious living but born with him and innate, in short ‘a depravity according to nature’”(38).
Here then, is presented a man with a personality and character to contrast and conflict with Billy’s. Sweet, innocent Billy immediately realizes that this man is someone he does not ...

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but Billy cannot believe it because he is so innocent and trusting. Through this situation Billy now finds himself in, Melville has us ask ourselves a question: Would it be right for Billy to heed the advice of experience and wisdom and tell the captain about Claggart’s conspiracy? Or should he instead keep his mouth shut and try to work things out himself? Being the good person that he is, Billy tries to forget about it and hopes that it will pass, but it does not. And that is where the fourth of these few characters comes in. Captain Vere, with his love for knowledge and books, and “… his settled convictions [which stood] as a dike against those invading waters of ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 12/9/2004 06:18:13 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1334
Pages: 5

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