Why does the Chaplain give up trying to make Billy understand his religious tenets? Based on what we know of the narrator’s feelings about current-day society, what does this suggest?
Leading up to Billy Budd’s death, the narrator already begins to give a Christian sense of relating religion to the story. Throughout the book, Melville consistently referred to Billy as the, “Peacekeeper,” alluding to Christ’s distinction as the, “Prince of Peace.” In addition to this, some more obvious then others, there are numerous biblical references for the whole of Billy Budd. A key example would include Claggart’s character, as he referenced the serpent, which persuaded Eve into the Garden of Eden. Similarly he also tempted Billy to “Sin,” by means of his mutiny accusations. Furthermore, subsequent to Billy’s death, his shipmates honored the remnants of wood on which Billy was executed on to the extent that it drew reference to the cross of Jesus Christ. The gesture of Billy Budd’s death, alone, arguably signifies the expiring of someone deemed to be innocent, which also draws connections with the “Son of God.” Nevertheless, prior to his death, the chaplain conceivably put an end to his attempts in bringing Billy closer to the state of sanctity. The chaplain sensed Billy’s internal belief of innocence, presumed that this state of mind was equally as beneficial in allowing Billy to die a peaceful death. Therefore the chaplain chose to leave him be as he bid him a tranquil final night with a kiss to his forehead. These chain of events display Herman Melville’s feelings of present-day society, as he, in all likelihood, may not be the most pious person, but rather someone who fiddles with alternative philosophical approaches.
This image represents Jesus Christ from a different perspective.. Similar to how Billy Budd is portrayed.
Awesome Signing Out.