Billy Budd | Critical Essay by Ray B. West, Jr.

This literature criticism consists of approximately 13 pages of analysis & critique of Billy Budd.
This section contains 3,895 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ray B. West, Jr.

Critical Essay by Ray B. West, Jr.

SOURCE: “The Unity of Billy Budd,” in Hudson Review, Vol. V, No. 1, Spring, 1952, pp. 120–27.

In the following essay, West provides a reading of the final, generic version of Billy Budd, maintaining that it “established a text which we can be reasonably certain represents Melville's final and deliberate intention.”

Melville's last complete work, Billy Budd, was not finished until 1891, the year of Melville's death, and it did not appear in print until 1924. Even then, the first printed version, prepared by Raymond Weaver, was not completely authentic because of the chaotic condition of the manuscript. A final, scholarly transcription was made by F. Barron Freeman in 1948. Freeman's verified version, however, revealed nothing startling in itself. What it did do was indicate the tremendous seriousness with which Melville took the...

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This section contains 3,895 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ray B. West, Jr.
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