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Critical Essay | Critical Essay by Lyon Evans, Jr.

This literature criticism consists of approximately 37 pages of analysis & critique of Critical Essay by Lyon Evans, Jr..
This section contains 10,943 words
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Critical Essay by Lyon Evans, Jr.

SOURCE: “‘Too Good to Be True’: Subverting Christian Hope in Billy Budd,” in New England Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 3, September, 1982, pp. 323–53.

In the following essay, Evans places Billy Budd within the context of Melville's own spiritual crisis, as well as nineteenth-century religious beliefs.

I

When Herman Melville's large collection of theological books was sold for scrap paper following his death, a fruitful source of research was lost to future generations of scholars.1 Yet even without these books, the evidence of his own works clearly shows that Melville was familiar with the advanced theological thought of his day and that he largely accepted its skeptical, freethinking conclusions. Thus in The Confidence-Man (1857), when the cosmopolitan refers to the Bible as “the very best of good news,” a voice calls out...

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This section contains 10,943 words
(approx. 37 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Critical Essay by Lyon Evans, Jr. - Critical Essay by Lyon Evans, Jr.
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