StudentShare
Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Search
Go to advanced search...

Herman Melvilles Billy Budd and Ralph Waldo Emersons Self Reliance - Book Report/Review Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
Herman Melville, in his final work (and left unpublished until after his death), Billy Budd, is a novella that does much to exemplify the depravity of human nature and spiritual uncleanliness…
Download full paper File format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92.6% of users find it useful
Herman Melvilles Billy Budd and Ralph Waldo Emersons Self Reliance
Read Text Preview

Extract of sample "Herman Melvilles Billy Budd and Ralph Waldo Emersons Self Reliance"

Download file to see previous pages More, after reading Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self Reliance, there becomes a parallel between the two works that suggest similar ideologies about the human spirit and the functionality of self reliance. With that said, a close look will be taken into the character of Billy Budd to identify how he can be seen as the personification of Emerson’s theories, and more, to define the societal issues of the depravity of human nature.
To begin with, Billy Budd is a unique story in that has often been interpreted as an allegory because it intimates of the ultimate battle between good and evil: Billy is the innocent while Claggart is the dramatic representation of pure evil, the true depravity tainting human nature. Billy Budd is the epitome of perfection, a man “with no perceptible trace of the vainglorious about him, rather with the off-hand unaffectedness of natural regality” (Melville 2). And further, “the moral nature was seldom out of keeping with the physical make” (5). He is the perfect specimen of humanity, a man good both inside and out, a man that others look up to, a man that others want to become—and more, a man that evil wants to destroy because of the profound affect that someone of his nature can have on humankind.
Now, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self Reliance offers unique doctrine that wasn’t often seen in his time, and even now, people regard as new-age, unfathomable forays into the mysterious world of self-discovery where the person learns to trust their inner guide, become a strong and independent human being, and to stop relying (utterly and in every way possible) on others to create or manifest things that can be achieved by oneself. In many ways, he is calling out the educational system (and the way in which mankind is educated, in general) because he is relating education to the stifling of man’s inherent independence for intellectual thought and ability to think without being told to do so. The difficulty, here, is that Emerson’s words are so profound and spiritually transcendent, that most people gloss over the deeper meaning and read the essay as spiritual dogma that can’t be literally interpreted without offending one’s own religion. Emerson writes that “society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members…the virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion” (163-165). The world of Billy Budd is similar in that there is a distinct barrier between those who can think and do for themselves and those who only follow the societal mores and implied rules of conformity and sendentation. For this main reason, Billy is targeted by the evil nature of Claggart, who not only sees Billy as a threat, but notices his self-reliant nature and ability for moral righteousness without strain or conflict. And just as in Emerson’s essay, Billy is castigated for his moral and spiritual awareness. Because, “for nonconformity, the world whips you with its displeasure” (Emerson 179). He is targeted by Claggart and punished because he is different and refuses to conform to societal rules and mores that place the individual on the path of darkness and compliance. A world in which the high-road is the road never taken because the effort required is too high, and more, the world of Billy Budd is one in which people are unable to think for themselves because the rulings and thoughts of others is more than sufficient enough for the meagerness of their depraved lives. In looking at both works, a clearer parallel would be difficult to make. For all intents and purposes, Emerson could be using the character of Billy Budd as his model human being when defining how human should trust their inner feelings and stand up for their personal beliefs. For Emerson, Claggart is the ‘ ...Download file to see next pages Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Herman Melvilles Billy Budd and Ralph Waldo Emersons Self Reliance Book Report/Review”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/literature/1398894-herman-melvilles-billy-budd-and-ralph-waldo-emersons-self-reliance
(Herman Melvilles Billy Budd and Ralph Waldo Emersons Self Reliance Book Report/Review)
https://studentshare.org/literature/1398894-herman-melvilles-billy-budd-and-ralph-waldo-emersons-self-reliance.
“Herman Melvilles Billy Budd and Ralph Waldo Emersons Self Reliance Book Report/Review”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/literature/1398894-herman-melvilles-billy-budd-and-ralph-waldo-emersons-self-reliance.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Herman Melvilles Billy Budd and Ralph Waldo Emersons Self Reliance

Donald Davidsons Views of Self-Deception

The concept, Davidson contends, is that if parts of the mind are, to some degree or level, independent. This, I beg to disagree. If we take a cursory glimpse, Davidson’s account offers a fascinating depiction of self-deception. It seemed to naturally and readily settle the absurdity and the irony of the concept. Nonetheless, if we investigate seriously the sketch of this phenomenon on the “divided-mind” paradigm, grave doubts and opposing protestations will come to our mind.
However, before explicitly elucidating my disagreement, let me first discuss another angle that runs parallel to Davidson’s idea of the divided-mind occurrence – Freud’s embodiment of the human mind consisting of ego, s...
13 Pages (3250 words) Assignment

Self-awareness and Career Management

The practical implications are for more progressive career learning, in conditions that enable the due process to establish viable bases for both choice and change of mind. This thinking more sharply differentiates career education from guidance, setting out a strong rationale for the former. It does not replace DOTS but extends it into a new-DOTS re-conceptualization termed career-learning space. The effectiveness of career learning is determined by its transferable outcomes. New-DOTS thinking resonates with the conditions for transferable learning. There are possibilities here for building a strong consensus between practice, theory, and policy.
It helps us in exploring our strengths and can identify the areas we really wan...
9 Pages (2250 words) Assignment

The Problem of Deliberate Self Harm

One of the most serious public health concerns in our modern-day society is the problem of deliberate self-harm. An investigation carried out in a cross-section of the society of children in the age group of 10 – to 14 years (Office of statistics) sowed that cutting and piercing and poisoning were the primary causes of such injuries in children and gunshot and suffocation were key factors responsible for the suicide.
However, in the last decade, there has been an ever-escalating volume of research being carried out in this area due to the spurt of emergency cases that are recorded each year. There are many factors that contribute to this and some of the most common are poor psychological conditions, adverse family circu...
42 Pages (10500 words) Research Paper

Self-Defence against Non-State Actors

Prior to 1945, there was no unified international prohibition on a unilateral resort to force and the UN Charter sought to radicalize international politics through a general prohibition on the use of unilateral force by member states. The prohibition was officially enshrined in Article 2(4) of the Charter, which provides that:
“All member states shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations”(UN Charter Article 2(4) 1945).
Despite the purported ban on the unilateral use of force, the parameters of Article 2(4)’s applicabili...
15 Pages (3750 words) Assignment

The Effect of Mass Media on Latinos' Self Image

The willful perversion of facts relating to the representation of Latinos in the U.S. media is disgraceful, inconsiderate and extremely misleading and hence calls for immediate attention to prevent the degradation of a particular section of the society since their depiction and imagery in mass media plays a significant role in shaping their social identity and governs their self-esteem. Television and films both being dominant forms of media persistently depict racial stereotypes which are largely false representations of the
According to U.S. Census (2000), Latinos are the fastest-growing ethnic communities in the United States constituting almost 12.5% of the population of which merely 3 – 4% of the Latino population...
7 Pages (1750 words) Term Paper

Using Self Efficacy to Increase Staff Performance

The methodology section of the paper makes use of the qualitative narrative storytelling approach and two separate interview sessions (one among the managers and the other among the selected employees) are employed as the primary research designs for the purpose of the study. The major themes derived out of the interviews are elaborately discussed and analyzed in Chapter 4. The conclusions of the study show that there exists an interrelated relationship between the self-efficacy of the staff and the leadership approaches of the managers or employers. The better the effectiveness of the leadership, the greater is the productivity of the workforce in an organization. The factors that contribute to the growth and development of the w...
37 Pages (9250 words) Thesis

Weight Control as a Key to Self Improvement

To date, some 38 million Americans are “significantly heavier” than average, and because of this fact alone are targets for societal and institutional prejudice. People who are judged fat are discriminated against at work, school, in acquiring access to public accommodations, in applications for insurance, and access to adequate medical care. (Angier, 2005)

Many people take the words “obese” and “overweight” to mean the same thing. Actually, they are not. Overweight refers to an increased body weight (not necessarily increase in body fat) relative to height, above that which is generally accepted as a standard. (Capella University, 2004). Obesity, however, is “defined simply as...
16 Pages (4000 words) Thesis

Clean Intermittent Self-Catheterisation and the Quality of Life

...Topic: A Critical Analysis on “The Effects of Clean Intermittent Self-Catheterisation on the Quality of Life” Introduction Catheterisation Technique Described Catheterisation technique is the use of intermittent catheterisation, sometimes called IC, in which a thin tube, called catheter is put into the urethra of a male or female who needs to empty his or her bladder. It is done because some people have bladders that cannot hold all of their urine and some are not able to empty their bladders completely. Intermittent catheterisation is done to keep the person from infection and to keep his bladder and kidneys healthy. (Skelly, et.al.2005) Clean intermittent self-catheterisation is a recommended treatment for people suffering urinary...
6 Pages (1500 words) Assignment

The Lion King: The Journey of Simba towards Self-Awareness

...The Lion King: The Journey Of Simba Towards Self-Awareness And Forgiveness The film which was directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff and released last June 24, 1994 tells the story of how the young cub Simba was able to resolve his inner conflicts and lived to became a good leader of his pack. Simba, the young lion has to go through a series of transformation which enabled him to see life at different angles. He also went through a lot of emotional struggles and these emotional struggled made him realized the importance of responsibility and the sense of belongingness to the pack. The evolution of the character of Simba can be clearly seen as the story progresses. The movie started with the birth of Simba to King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi...
6 Pages (1500 words) Movie Review

Guide to Self-Mastery by The Fifth Agreement

... REFLECTION ESSAY ON THE FIFTH AGREEMENT: A GUIDE TO SELF-MASTERY The Fifth Agreement: a guide to self-mastery is a book written by Don .M. Ruiz and Don .J. Ruiz. It is an amazing book which is a treat for all those who are in search for something that will rejuvenate their soul and provide them help so that one can eventually master the department of self help. The theme behind this book if described in one word is “truth”. The definition of truth differs from person to person. One of the most general way to define truth is that something which is real and gives satisfaction to oneself. For many speaking up the truth or being honest not only to the society but oneself is a very difficult task. Usually it has been observed that people tend...
6 Pages (1500 words) Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Book Report/Review on topic Herman Melvilles Billy Budd and Ralph Waldo Emersons Self Reliance for FREE!

Contact Us