Billy Budd Good Vs Evil

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Billy Budd by Herman Melville In Billy Budd, Herman Melville discusses the timeless allegories of good vs. evil and conscience vs. law. Some motifs that he uses to inform the reader of these themes are Christian allusions, suggestive names, and the various ships that are brought up in the story. The story is narrated in the third person, and before reaching the second half of this novel, I was certain that the narrator had Attention Deficit Disorder. The narrator constantly switches from topic to topic and idea to idea, making the book very hard to read and follow. However, the story picks up and keeps the reader on the edge of his seat until the bitter end. The protagonist of this novel is Billy Budd, an innocent, young sailor who has just …show more content…

evil. The main evil character, the master-at-arms, is envious of the main good character, Billy Budd. Life on the warship is governed by a strict list of rules, so many sailors tend to distrust other individuals. Evil men seem to be plentiful on the ship, and they constantly disguise their intentions. This makes it hard to know whether or not a sailor on Billy's ship is good or evil. The veteran sailor that Billy seeks advice from has had so many experiences with these dishonest people, and as a result, he has acquired a suspicion in his dealings with others. In Billy Budd, men who confront the law and evil suffer dreadful, sometimes fatal consequences, signifying that evil and the law are closely related. The second conflict in this novel is the allegory of conscience vs. the law. This conflict is manifested in the captain of the ship. His extremely difficult decision on whether or not to hang Billy pits his conscience and the law against each other. The captain loves Billy and views him as his own son, but he ultimately hangs Billy due to his fear that there will be a mutiny on the ship if he doesn't. Laws, not the commands of the individual conscience, seem to rule the warship community, and this forces the captain to act against his own

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