Great Short Works of Herman Melville - Chapter 22 - Billy Budd Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 22 - Billy Budd Summary

The year is 1797 and England is at war with France. The British Empire's primary force is the Royal Navy. These are the days of sailing ships with a certain poetic, if violent, flair to combat. However, a pair of widespread and serious mutinies has occurred that threatens the efficacy of the Royal Navy as a fighting force. The mutinies have been put down but the command structure of the Royal Navy remains very sensitive to mutinous sentiment. Billy Budd, a sailor, is impressed (essentially, he is drafted) from the merchant ship Rights of Man and enters involuntary service aboard HMS Bellipotent, Captain Vere, a seventy-four gun ship-of-war. Budd, twenty-one years old, is exceptionally handsome and physically perfect, except for a grievous stutter when under stress. He is innocent, trusting, and in many ways naïve, but everyone instinctively likes him. Budd...

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This section contains 1,368 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Great Short Works of Herman Melville Study Guide
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