In the Novella Billy Budd, the main character, Billy, was forced into the Royal Navy as a young adult. Because of Billy's good looks and his nickname "the handsome soldier", many people adore him and look up to him. Billy has never witnessed evil so when Claggart, the master-at-arms on the ship, dislikes him, he has no words for it. Billy also has a speech impediment. When Billy is accused of being a part of a munity ( trying to take over the leadership of the ship) by Claggart and Billy's impediment was evident, he forces himself to make an impulsive act. It ruined his career as a shipmate forever. Billy Budd is a naive and innocent character who changed throughout the novella because the external and internal conflicts he faces.
During the beginning of the novella, each chapter was overflowing with innocent and naive descriptions of Billy Budd. The mates on the ship were looking for a man that would fit the description of a "Handsome Sailor" (Melville 5). Meaning, someone who is physically prepared for the occupation on the ship by being more muscular and attractive. The twenty- one year old Billy Budd was considered to be that "handsome sailor" by his shipmates because of his good looks and his innocent ways. In addition, Billy has a speech impediment which is evident when the afterguardsman asks Billy if he would ever join the munity. Billy responded with a stuttering "If you d-don't start I'll t-t-toss you back over the r-rail"(Melville 46). The sailors depict him as "A superb figure, tossed up as by the horns of Taurus against the thunderous sky, cheerily hallooing to the strenuous file along the spar" (Melville 6). What the other characters say about him adds more fuel to the fire and allows Billy to become additionally overconfident. The sailors state that "Ashore he was a champion; afloat the spokesman; on every suitable occasion always foremost"(Melville 6). Aboard the Bellipotent, Billy is a very...
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