Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1)
Melville begins his story with a description of the "Handsome Sailor", the epitome of a maritime soldier. The objective of this lesson is to examine the qualities that a "Handsome Sailor" possesses and see how well Billy Budd lives up to his nickname.
1. Class Discussion: As a class, discuss Melville's description of a "Handsome Sailor". In modern society, handsome means attractive. What are some other meanings (archaic) for the word "handsome"? How does a sailor earn the title of "Handsome Sailor"? How does that title affect his social status on the ship? Are there titles, both written an unwritten, in student society that parallel the "Handsome Sailor" title? What are some examples of similar titles that exist on campus? How do they affect a student's social life?
2. Groups: Break the class into groups. Have each group write a description of the ideal "Handsome...
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