Billy Budd English 11 AP Short Form Book Report

6 at the same moment it chanced that the vapory

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6. “At the same moment it chanced that the vapory fleece hanging low in the East was shot through with a soft glory as of the Lamb of God seen in mystical vision, and simultaneously therewith, watched by the wedged mass of upturned faces, Billy ascended; and, ascending, took the full rose of the dawn.” Here, Melville implies and uses allusions to the Christian religion. With the words, “Billy ascended[…]took the full rose of dawn,” he creates an image that makes Billy seem Christ-like. Melville’s syntax when used to describe important events incorporates the use of imagery and diction that imply a dramatic tone, one of which that is well suited for the situation. Apart from his Christian allegories, Melville uses many metaphors and similes to exemplify his use of the technique “pathos.” 7. Melville uses a general theme of good versus evil—innocence versus corruption. The two main characters, Billy Budd and Claggart, are the epitome of good and evil. Billy, also known as baby Budd represents the purest, most innocent form of a person. On the other hand, Claggart represents evil and sin. Melville often uses a serpent to allude and symbolize the corruption in Claggart. In a sense, Melville’s writing implies that even the most innocent people can be corrupted when dealing with malice and negativity. He also implies that too much of a certain personality trait can lead to tragic downfalls: Billy’s angelic innocence that led him to his execution. In general, Melville’s dominant philosophy can be described as realistic. He has a general understanding of peoples’ personalities.
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3 Chang 8. Billy Budd is put together in slightly rigid form. Melville uses occasional historical chapters but mainly goes in order of situations to responses to results. He uses each situation almost as a foundation for the development of the characters and the intensifying of their emotions. The climax of the story is built upon slowly and with an imminent conflict. 9. “It was like handling a dead snake” This is an example of Melville’s use of imagery. Throughout the story, Claggart was described as serpent like. This is symbolic and it also alludes between Claggart and the snake from the Garden of Eden. “Pale ire, envy, and despair” Melville uses these words to describe Claggart’s mood and state of mind in chapter 13.
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