USING AT LEAST FIVE OF THE ATTACHED RESOURCES
Analysis of three symbols of your choice
Some symbols you may wish to consider:
The diverse ships and the meaning of their names as the meaning relates to narrative. Don’t just list the meanings; instead, demonstrate that you can see how the meanings of the symbols work.The diverse characters and their names — Ratcliff, Squeak, Captain Vere, Billy Budd, John Claggart, Seymour, the Dansker, and others. Do not attempt to analyze more than three.The collective of poor, white males vs white males of authority and rank.The African statue on a ship of educated, authoritative, relatively wealthy white men oppressing illiterate, powerless, voiceless white men falling into the waters — connect the plight of African slaves on the slave ship with poor white men on the other ships. You might also consider the nasty food, the lack of shoes, the illiteracy, the beatings, etc. and compare to the foul food, lack of shoes and clothing, beatings and lynchings of Africana peoples.Melville, unlike Poe, did not believe in such oppression; what do you think he was trying to teach the audience of the time? Do you see any parallels today with uneducated white males who have been “left behind” in the global economy and knowledge based societies and their feelings and actions towards people of color?The ships as diverse micro-cososms of the larger macrocosm.
The Puritans of Massachusetts were not Catholic.Do not rely on Catholicism to answer any of the threads. The particular brand of Puritanism was Calvinism.Moreover, unlike Poe who believed in slavery and Hawthorne who avoided discussing it, Melville was opposed to slavery and one of its parallels, the impressment of poor white men like Billy.