Billy Budd Keywords

25Mar09

Each group should post 2 of its keywords/passages/explanations in the comments. In your comment, please note your group number and please cite the page number for your chosen passage.

Group 1: George, Aysha, Alex, Margarita, Amber

Group 2: Paul, Lewis, Yvonne, Minerva, Lovinia

Group 3: Ben, Kemar, Ros, Helen

Group 4: Denise, Marie, Andy, Olivia, Ayanna

Group 5: Ameer, Henry, Thelma, Jessica

You can copy passages from Billy Budd from this online version of the text. Please mark of the quotation from your own writing by using quotation marks or some other mark.

Example:

Billy Budd
Keyword: Innocence
====
Billy Budd passage
====
Explanation of relation of keyword to passage.

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7 Responses to “Billy Budd Keywords”

  1. 1 Jessica N

    GROUP 5

    Claggart

    1.Deceiving
    2.Demonic

    Passage:
    “With no power to annul the elemental evil in him, tho’ readily enough he could hide it; apprehending the good, but powerless to be it; a nature like Claggart’s surcharged with energy as such natures almost invariably are, what recourse is left to it but to recoil upon itself and like the scorpion for which the Creator alone is responsible, act out to the end the part allotted it.” (Ch. 13; end)

    Explanation
    This paragraph is a very straight forward description of how Melville describes Claggart. This one quote/paragraph within the passage explains the extent of Claggart’s evil and how it is something that embodies him. Claggart although does know “good” but is powerless/weak to embrace it. Evil is Claggart’s nature and it is up to him at the end if he is willing to take responsibilities to his devilish actions.

  2. 2 Alex

    The elements chosen by group 1 for this blog are Billy Budd and Impressment.
    A s to Billy Budd, as a group, we chose the keyword Irony. We did so in relationship to the name of the ship Billy Budd was first in – “Rights of Man”. Upon Lieutenant Ratcliffe making his “spontaneous” decision and elected Billy Budd – Billy Budd was left with no choice (right) in the matter. When chosen Billy Budd “made no demur. But, indeed, any demur would have been as idle as the protest of a goldfinch popped into a cage.” (page 7)

    As for Impressment, as a group, we chose the keyword – Force (to compel). Complimentary to what was previously stated on Irony the impressment of Billy Budd was forced. He was compelled to join the Indomitable. The beginning of chapter 3 commences reinforcing the forced enlisting: “At the time of Billy Budd’s arbitrary enlistment into the Indomitable that ship was on her way to join the Mediterranean fleet.” (page 15) Arbitrary as it was definitely not done via what is considered proper protocol. Not only was his enlistment forced but he was compelled be on his way to join a fleet in the Mediterranean.

  3. 3 Helen B

    Group 3

    Billy Budd

    Keyword: Subjugation

    Passage pg.7

    “To the surprise of the ship’s company, though much to the Lieutenant’s satisfaction, Billy made no demur. But, indeed, any demur would have been as idle as the protest of a goldfinch popped into a cage.”

    Explanation-

    This passage describes Billy Budd state of being/mind. He allowed himself to be enslaved to the point of thinking that any type of protest would be useless.

    Impressment

    Keyword: requisition

    passage pg.6-7

    “H.M.S. Indomitable; which ship, as was not unusual in those hurried days, having been obliged to put to sea short of her proper complement of men. Plump upon Billy at first sight in the gangway the boarding officer Lieutenant Ratcliff pounced, even before the merchantman’s crew was formally mustered on the quarter-deck for his deliberate inspection. And him only he elected. For whether it was because the other men when ranged before him showed to ill advantage after Billy, or whether he had some scruples in view of the merchantman being rather short-handed, however it might be, the officer contented himself with his first spontaneous choice.”

    Explaination:

    This passage desribes impressment. H.M.S. Indomitable ship was short of man power and the Lieutenant went upon the Rights of Men ship and demand and took Billy Budd to increase his man power.

  4. 4 Jessica N

    Group 5

    Billy Budd

    1. Imperfect

    Passage:
    “For the rest, with little or no sharpness of faculty or any trace of the wisdom of the serpent, nor yet quite a dove, he possessed that kind and degree of intelligence going along with the unconventional rectitude of a sound human creature, one to whom not yet has been proffered the questionable apple of knowledge . He was illiterate; he could not read, but he could sing, and like the illiterate nightingale was sometimes the composer of his own song.
    Of self-consciousness he seemed to have little or none, or about as much as we may reasonably impute to a dog of Saint Bernard’s breed.” (Ch 2; middle)

    Explanation:
    A description of the extent of Billy Budd’s intelligence, which is not much. Although he may look perfect and god like he is also imperfect. He is illiterate and his self consciousness is compared with a dog.

  5. 5 Paul

    Group 2

    Billy Budd
    Keyword: Obedience
    pg 10, first paragraph

    Passage:
    “…stepping out to him, “you can’t take that big box aboard a warship. The boxes there are mostly short-boxes. Put your duds in a bag, lad. Boot and saddle for the cavalrymen, bag and hammock for the man-of-war’s man.” The transfer from chest to bag was made.” (Ch 1; pg 10; top paragraph;)

    Explanation:
    This passage describes how Billy is told to take only a small number of his possessions aboard the warship (which he is forcefully impressed onto), and he obeys this without question.

    Captain Vere
    Keyword: Intellectual/Well read
    pg 23, first paragraph of ch 4

    Passage:
    “He loved books, never going out to sea without a newly replenished library, compact but of the best.” (pg 23; ch 7; middle of first paragraph)

    “In this love of reading he found confirmation of his own more reasoned thoughts-confirmation which he had vainly sought in social converse-so that, as touching most fundamental topics, there had got to be established in him essentially unmodified so long as his intelligent part remained unimpaired.(pg 23; ch 7; last paragraph)

  6. 6 Paul

    Captain Vere
    Keyword: Intellectual/Intelligent
    pg 23, first paragraph of ch 4

    Passage:
    “He loved books, never going out to sea without a newly replenished library, compact but of the best.” (pg 23; ch 7; middle of first paragraph)

    “In this love of reading he found confirmation of his own more reasoned thoughts-confirmation which he had vainly sought in social converse-so that, as touching most fundamental topics, there had got to be established in him essentially unmodified so long as his intelligent part remained unimpaired.(pg 23; ch 7; last paragraph)

    Explanation:
    These two passages depict captain Vere as a man who enjoys reading and ponders on his own thoughts. He never sets out to sea without having his library replenished with new books to read. Books allow him to expand on his intellect as well as, closely analyze his own thoughts which he later discusses with others.

  7. 7 Andy

    Group 4

    Captain Vere
    distinguished and alienation

    Passage pg 23 – 24 (last paragraph)
    “In this love of reading he found confirmation of his own more reasoned thoughts- confirmation which he had vainly sought in social converse, so that as touching most fundamental topics, there had got to be established in him some positive convictions, which he forefelt would abide in him essentially unmodified so long as his intelligent part remained unimpaired.”

    “His settled convictions were as a dyke against those invading waters of novel opinion, social, political and otherwise, which carried away as in a torrent no few minds in those days, minds by nature not inferior to his own. While other members of that aristocracy to which by birth he belonged were incensed at the innovators mainly because their theories were inimical to the privileged classes, not alone Captain Vere disinterestedly opposed them because they seemed to him incapable of embodiment in lasting institutions, but at war with the peace of the world and the true welfare of mankind. ”

    explanation:
    This passage shows that Captain Vere is always setting himself apart from others. For example with his experience and knowledges of these things at often times he does not agree with anyone instead its like he is alienating himself from others. He would follow his own thoughs and opinions and oppose to others.


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