The Unreliable Narrator in The Turn of the Screw and Billy Budd

Narrators of questionable credibility are common in American literature, forcing readers to think for themselves and make decisions about what to believe. Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw and Herman Melville’s Billy Budd: Sailor contain multiple examples of how the unreliable narrator can be used and interpreted. This analysis suggests that while the unreliable … Read moreThe Unreliable Narrator in The Turn of the Screw and Billy Budd

Natural Law vs. Man-Made Law

To read Herman Melville’s Billy Budd is to experience feelings of intense agony and helpless injustice. Billy Budd, a “Handsome Sailor,” adored by his shipmates for his intrinsic goodness, is condemned to death by a seemingly formalistic and unfeeling legal system (279). Falsely accused of mutiny, Billy strikes the incriminating Claggart, and his single blow … Read moreNatural Law vs. Man-Made Law

Consequence of Choice: Faith Versus Rationality in ‘Billy Budd’

In the novel Billy Budd, Sailor, Herman Melville attempts to convey underlying truths regarding human nature through the people, whom grow to represent a larger aspect of society. The story revolves around the titular character, a virtuous and naïvely incorruptible young seaman who finds himself in a regrettable situation due to a flaw that surfaces … Read moreConsequence of Choice: Faith Versus Rationality in ‘Billy Budd’