Day 1

Billy Budd Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    What do you think about the frame story? What is the effect of an older sailor speaking to younger sailors? At this point in the story, do we trust the narrator?

    The question should draw attention to the fact that the narrator is trying to educate younger sailors about a mythical figure in the English navy. It's clear that the narrator is already a believer in Billy Budd as a symbol of innocence, but he doesn't tell us why he wants the younger sailor to know the story.

    In the first sections, Melville emphasizes the limitations of the narrator. We know that he's another character in the story, and therefore has his own perspective and beliefs. But as the story progresses,...

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