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Billy Budd

Billy Budd

by Herman Melville

Foreignness and 'Other' Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #10

"The deed and the implement employed sufficiently suggest that though mustered into the service under an English name the assassin was no Englishman, but one of those aliens adopting English cognomens whom the present extraordinary necessities of the service have caused to be admitted into it in considerable numbers." (29.3)

These lines come from the newspaper article that appeared shortly after the events on the H.M.S. Bellipotent. They get everything wrong and claim that Billy was a traitor and that Claggart was an honorable man. To what extent are heroes and villains determined simply by how we relate events? How does narration determine what gets to seem familiar and what gets to seem foreign?

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