Billy Budd - Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 8 Summary

John Claggart, the master-at-arms, is introduced in this chapter. Originally, the title of master-at-arms had been given to the petty officer whose function is to instruct the men in the use of arms-sword or cutlass., Because of advances in gunnery and explosives, this particular officer is now a sort of chief of police who, among other things, maintains order on the lower gun decks where most of the crew live and work.

Claggart would not stand out in a crowd, in contrast to Billy Budd, who draws attention wherever he goes because of his appearance. Claggart is, in fact, described as being almost effeminate in appearance, paler than the other sailors, black curly hair and a beardless chin. His background is a mystery to the other crew members although there is a rumor that he is from a noble family and has volunteered for duty in the...

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This section contains 520 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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