Billy Budd - Study Guide Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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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. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Billy Budd Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Billy Budd from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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