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Herman Melville Essay (Essay Sample)

Writer, write an essay where you make sure you answer the following questions: 36. Explain Melville's use of contrasts in Billy Budd. 37. Explain how Melville's private experiences influenced his work. 38. Summarize the human weaknesses that Melville portrayed in several of his shorter works. To help you out, keep this into consideration. (this was a prior essay done by one of your coworkers) Use the reference as one of your 6. In Herman Melville's novel, Billy Budd, the contrast between good and evil is apparent throughout the book. In this book, Billy is depicted as holy and pure character as sharply contrasted with his antagonist-Claggort. Just before his death, Billy's purity is symbolized by his white garb, and natural growing of good. Incidentally, the symbolic death that was met by both Billy and Claggort portrays a sharp contrast. Billy death is portrayed as good as it happened in the dawn where" Billy ascended and ascending took the full rose of the dawn.” on the other hand, Claggort death is portrayed as bad as it is very short and appropriate. Also to denote evil, Claggort is described as having" silken jet curls and pallor tinged with a faint shade of amber skin'' as opposed to Billy's “welkin-ayes”, blonde hair, and tan complexion which denotes a good character (Herman 16). Ironically, Billy though portrayed as having a good character did the unexpected and kills Claggort with a blow. This sharply brings a contrast as he is expected to commit such an evil act. Finally, Billy is portrayed as the evil doer when captain Vere orders for his execution and Claggort brought out as a martyr. Even the newspapers portrayed Billy death as a price he paid for his crime. Contrary to the expectations, Billy shouts “god bless captain” when the captain ordered for his persecution, a very ironic scenario (Herman 26) In the product of his imagination, Melvilles sexual inclination has played a central role. During his child hood Melville was isolated from his peers which perhaps inspired his interest with men more than women. As a result, Melville had to bring out such persona in his work. For example, in ‘Fragments', he depicts the relation ship between a young orphan man who engages in a friendship with another male. Incidentally, his need for a relationship with another leads to creation of tragic incidences of sexual repression as portrayed in ‘Billy Budd' (Herman 31). Not considered as very good looking, being treated as inferior, not being appreciated and leading an isolated live has resulted to traits of orphan, outcast and the Apollo featured in many of his writing. In fragment he featured a young man without a family and an older father perhaps reflecting his regrettable background. The orphan engages in a friendship with another male. In several of his work, humans are portrayed as evil beings and can do any harm to each other for some evil reason. In essence Melville depicts evil as the nature of mankind and that man is born evil. In many of Melville's novels, cannibalism and homosexuality is very evident and seems to be tangled up with each other. Men are portrayed as interested with men more than women and humans as lovers of human fresh, which forces them to result to murderous acts. Melville portrays characters in most of his work as repressive and discriminating, a fact that is brought out very clearly in “Billy Budd” where Billy's intellectual power was not appreciated and he was discriminated against his siblings (Herman 52). Melville clearly portrays human as obsessed characters. In his work, Melville portrays Ahab as just human, barely governed by human way of life and principles and almost totally subject to his own obsession with Moby Dick. Works Cited Herman, Melville. Billy Budd. London: Wordsworth Editions, 2000. source..
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For a long time there has always been a significant endeavor to identify between good and evil as well as commitment of one against these two sides.  This struggle is noted and continued in various famous books including the Bible. Nonetheless, the clash to establish between good and evil is evident throughout the work of Herman Melville. In this novel, the renowned writer uses Billy Budd in symbolism and irony to dramatically characterize and develop contrast between good and evil (Hayes, 8). He figuratively applies an undeviating contrast of good and evil on the eve of Billy`s hanging. In his contrasts, he provides the main character to depict a pure Christ-like image before he passed away. The audience is presented with Billy in white garb that also portends glowing light that is natural, therefore making his demise to symbolize good. On the other hand the writer portrays Claggort with a brow that is corded with more than standard mental power. Figuratively, this is to provide manipulative tendencies on Billy as Satan had earlier on done on Adam. Since evil has always been known to antagonize that which good, nonetheless, Claggort serves as Billy`s adversary throughout the narration (Carl, 394). Besides, the story depicts the actual deaths of both the antagonist and his victim. These two deaths have varying similarities since that of Claggort is extremely short and suitable to his navel grade. On the other hand, Billy`s demise comes in the early hours of a new day and ascended taking complete rose of the dawn. The death of Claggort is a complete contrast of the unadulterated death of Billy that depicts good and victorious that indicated contrasts of foils in Claggort`s (Hershel, 338). Another extensively used symbol is that of characterization that the author applies so well throughout the book. This is spread in the concepts of good and evil. For instance, Billy Budd is presented as a young new horse coming from grazing field but unexpectedly draws in polluted industrial whiff. This foreign inhaled substance contaminates Billy`s innocence and purity and therefore sets him in the hands of his enemy, John Claggort. This is quite figurative of what Adam encountered in the Garden of Eden when he erred; it was an opportune time that the sophisticated Serpent wriggled in as part of his company (Andrew, 13). I showing Claggort`s silken jet curls and paleness shade with a faint tinge of amber in skin squarely denote evil. It is also evident that dark traits have been applied to express wickedness while light and beauty denote good. In contrast to the antagonist, Billy Budds`s welkin-eyes, light colored hair, and auburn complexion are drawn to portray good. Besides, Melville`s use of symbolism and characterization, he applies irony to indicate the struggle between and evil.
Irony has vastly been used throughout the book to contrast between the concepts of good and evil. For example, the person wit...
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