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Billy Budd Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 1 Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 91 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Billy Budd.
This section contains 792 words
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Chapter 1 Summary

The nickname of "Handsome Sailor" is bestowed on one young man who is particularly adept at his job on a ship; possesses extraordinary strength, beauty, and superior moral character; and is in possession of rare leadership qualities. The narrator cites an example he once observed: a very black native African "of the unadulterated blood of Ham." Bigger than the average man, he was dressed in colorful garb and wore large gold hoops in his ears. He was the jovial center of a group of his admiring shipmates who were of various shades, hues, and cultures.

This story is about another sailor, Billy Budd, a 21-year-old fair-skinned, blue-eyed foretopman of the British fleet toward the end of the 1790s, who is also exemplary of the "Handsome Sailor" title. He has recently been impressed into the King's service from a homeward-bound English merchantman, Rights of Man, into an outward-bound...

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This section contains 792 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Billy Budd Study Guide
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Billy Budd from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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