Billy Budd

Overview

This unique anthology series provides an accessible resource for students researching America's and the world's greatest literary lives and works. Every book contains an in-depth biography of the literary figure in question. Contributing writers' essays are taken from a wide variety of sources and are expertly edited to accommodate the reading and comprehension levels of young adults; each essay is introduced by a concise summation of the contributing author's themes and insights. Additional features of each book...
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Overview

This unique anthology series provides an accessible resource for students researching America's and the world's greatest literary lives and works. Every book contains an in-depth biography of the literary figure in question. Contributing writers' essays are taken from a wide variety of sources and are expertly edited to accommodate the reading and comprehension levels of young adults; each essay is introduced by a concise summation of the contributing author's themes and insights. Additional features of each book include an annotated table of contents to enhance comprehension and facilitate research, a chronology of the author's life and career as well as of concurrent historical events, and primary and secondary bibliographies offering a gateway to further research.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780737704303
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 11/19/2002
  • Series: Literary Companion
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 10
Introduction 12
Facts and Fictions: The Man Who Wrote Billy Budd 15
Characters and Plot 33
Chapter 1 The Plot and Characters of Billy Budd
1. Melville's Manuscript Reveals How the Plot and Characters Evolved 38
2. The Plot and Characters Are Allegorical 47
3. Snake Imagery Complicates Interpretations of Claggart 54
4. Vere Represents Aristocratic Virtue 62
5. Melville Condemns the Tyrannical Vere 70
6. Captain Vere: Nineteenth-Century Tragic Hero 77
Chapter 2 Competing Interpretations of Billy Budd
1. Melville's Testament of Acceptance 84
2. Billy Budd: Testament of Resistance 88
3. Ironic Social Commentary in Billy Budd 96
4. Billy Budd Follows the Form of Classical Tragedy 104
5. Ambiguity in Billy Budd 111
6. The Work Is a Testament to Melville's Own Spirit 120
Chapter 3 Themes in Billy Budd
1. Civilization Is at War with Human Nature in Billy Budd 131
2. Melville Probes the Mysterious Truths of the Human Heart in Billy Budd 136
3. Polar Views of the French Revolution as a Theme in Billy Budd 144
4. Billy Budd Is Anti-Homophobic 149
5. Billy Budd Condemns Capital Punishment 158
Appendix Nautical References in Billy Budd 167
Chronology 173
For Further Research 177
Index 182
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