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Herman Melville: Similarities in Claggart and Captain Ahab
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Herman Melville was a struggling writer in the mid-1800s, who spent a few years of his life as a sailor and crew member of whaling ships in the south seas. These experiences greatly influenced his writing, causing there to be many similarities among his novels. In two of his works, Moby-Dick, and Billy Budd, Melville seems to have created two characters, Captain Ahab from Moby-Dick, and John Claggart from Billy Budd, who both share some very comparable qualities and experiences. The most prevalent characteristic that links them together is that in their stories, they both possess an unrelenting and somewhat...
feel toward that individual. Their envy is rather complex, but can be simplified in that the reason for Ahab hating the whale Moby-Dick, and Claggart hating the sailor Billy Budd, is that Moby-Dick and Billy both exhibit qualities of magnificence and strength, that Ahab and Claggart do not. Then, in the end, the strength of the whale and Billy of which they both abhor, is ironically the cause of both of their deaths. It is with these connections of spirit, personality, and experience in Captain Ahab and John Claggart, that best display the similarities between these Herman Melville characters.
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1 Summary of Character Traits a...1 Summary of Character Traits a School smart Maya is smart. When she moves to San Francisco from Stamps, Arkansas, she is skipped a grade. b Caring sister she always talks of her devotion to Baily c Determined she wants to get a job with the streetcar company and she keeps bugging them until they finally give her a job d Proud she lives with the junkyard kids instead of going back to her father's; she slaps Dolores for calling her mother a whore 2 Appearance a African American, tall, skinny, small and squinty eyes, big feet, large gap between her front teeth, black hair 3 What The Character Wants a Maya wants, ultimately, for her family to be happy. She wants the segregation of blacks to end she is disgusted when young white girls call her grandmother by her first name. 4 How the Character Changes a After being raped, Maya stops talking as much b After spending time living in the junkyard, Maya learns tolerance, which will help her through out her life. She matures from a young girl to a mother, as well. c Becomes more mature once she gets her job with the street cars 5 Key Statements About the Character a "Ritie, don't worry 'cause you ain't pretty. Plenty of pretty women I seen digging ditches or worse. You smart. I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than a cute behind." p.56 b "In those moments I decided that although Baily loved me he couldn't help. "¦ I knew that because I loved him so much I could never hurt him" p. 73 6 Key Actions a Father comes to Stamps and takes them to their mother b Moves back to Stamps, then to SF c Drives home from Mexico d Slaps Dolores e Stays with the junkyard people f Gets pregnant 7 What Others Think Of the Character a When they are younger, Baily really looks out for Maya. As they grow up, and after she spends time with her father, they drift apart. b Her grandmother loves Maya very much, and knows that she is a very smart girl with a lot of potential. c Her mother seems to care much more about her than her father did. Thesis Statement: Maya Angelou faces many hardships, yet manages to overcome them all, in her autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." Maya Angelou faces many hardships, yet manages to overcome them all, in her autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." Maya is a strong willed, often stubborn, outgoing, somewhat outspoken, and rather intelligent girl. She becomes very tolerant due to some of her experiences. She also matures faster mentally than many other girls her age because of her situation and experiences. From the time she was young and through adolescence, Maya considered herself ugly. She was a tall, somewhat lanky African American. She was skinny, and felt that her eyes were too small and squinty. She was also ashamed of her large feet. Throughout the story, Maya is discouraged by the segregation of the blacks. For a long time she is denied the job that she wishes to have because of the color of her skin. Also, she wants her family to be together and to be happy. She is separated from her parents at a young age and lives with her grandmother and uncle for most of her childhood. When she is with her parents, she tends to feel secondary. There is always something a touch more important that she and her brother Baily. Maya Angelou faces many hardships, yet manages to overcome them all, in her autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." When the book begins, Angelou is a young child, a mere three years old. As she grows up, though somewhat sheltered by her grandmother's position as a general store owner, her eyes are opened to the current ways of the South. Blacks are lesser people that whites, and that was the way it was for her. On several occasions she watched in horror as young girls called her grandmother by her first name, when they should have been respectful and at lease used "Miss". Once breaking the segregation barrier for herself, she gets a job with the Streetcar Company. Having a job, and the responsibility that comes with it, she mentally matures faster than the other children her age. While living with her mother the first time, Maya is molested by her mother's boyfriend. After this, she becomes almost completely silent. She avoids talking as much as possible, which is a contrast to her previous behavior. Maya spends time living with other children in a junkyard after her father asks her to leave. He asks her to leave because she and his girlfriend, Dolores, get into a fight and Dolores hurts Maya. After spending time with those children, she learns tolerance and matures more. Also, after becoming pregnant and realizing that she is responsible for another human life, she matures even more and becomes more responsible. Maya and her brother Baily were very close during their childhood and most of their adolescence. Baily was always proud of Maya for her intelligence, even though at times she wished she could have forfeited it for good looks. Baily expresses his pride by saying, "[Maya], don't worry 'cause you ain"t pretty. Plenty of pretty women I seen digging ditches or worse. You smart. I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than cute behind." p. 56 After being raped, Maya wishes to protect her brother. She doesn't want anything to happen to him because, according to her, she isn't as good of a person as she should be. Through out her life, Maya looks out for Baily and does what she can to protect him. After spending time in the hospital after her abuse, Maya resolves not to reveal the entire truth of what happened between her and her mother's boyfriend. In those moments I decided that although Baily loved me he couldn't help. "¦I knew that because I loved him so much I could never hurt him." p. 73 Maya is reluctant to go when her father comes to Stamps to take her and Baily to their mother. After living with her mother for a short time, Maya returns to Stamps. Later after that, she moves back with her mother, in San Francisco this time. At one point, while visiting her father, she goes to Mexico with him. He gets drunk at a bar, and is out of commission, so Maya drives to the border, where she gets in a car accident, and her father is woken up. After the horrendous trip to Mexico, Maya and her father return home to find his girlfriend enraged. In an outburst, the girlfriend calls Maya's mother a whore. Maya slaps her, which provokes Dolores, the girlfriend, to attack her. After that situation, Maya goes and lives with children in a junkyard. After living in the junkyard, she returns home to her mother. Later on after that, she gets pregnant. Although Maya is younger than he is, Baily admires his sister for her academic abilities, among other things. Maya's grandmother loves her very much. She instills in her strong beliefs and good morals. She knows Maya is a very smart girl and does the best she can to work Maya to her full potential. Maya's mother spends more time with her than her father does. Although both parents love her, the love of her mother is more apparent. It is her hope that the segregation will end, and the black people will be equal to the white race. The way in which Angelou portrays her life makes the reader feel pity at times, for the way Maya and her family is treated, rage at other when Maya acts badly, and joy when good things happen for their family.   

1 Summary of Character Traits a School smart Maya is smart. When she moves to San Francisco from Stamps, Arkansas, she is skipped a grade. b Caring sister she always talks of her devotion to Baily c Determined she wants to get a job with the streetcar company and she...

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The works of George Gordon, Lord...The works of George Gordon, Lord Byron have long been controversial, nearly as controversial as his lifestyle. Gordon Byron was born with a clubfoot and his sensitivity to it haunted his life and his works. Despite being a very handsome child, a fragile self-esteem made Byron extremely sensitive to criticism, of himself or of his poetry and he tended to make enemies rather quickly. The young Byron was often unhappy and lonely any many of his works seem to be a sort of introspective therapy. Throughout his writings and life history there is much evidence to suggest that his poetry was greatly influenced by his mental instability. In many ways, Byron seems to use his work as an escape from a difficult reality. The lengthy poem Don Juan offers an especially intimate glimpse of Byron's psyche. In order to understand the depth of Byron's psychological troubles and their influence on his poetry, it is important to examine Byron's heritage and his upbringing. Young George Gordon inherited the title of Lord Byron at the age of six. This him a rank in society and a bit of wealth to go along with it. Byron's heritage is a colorful one. His paternal line includes the "Wicked Lord", "Mad Jack and "Foul Weather Jack Grosskurth 6." The family propensity for eccentric behavior was acerbated by young George Gordon's upbringing. When Byron was just three his financially irresponsible father died, leaving the family with a heavy burden of debt. Byron's mother then proudly moved from the meager lodging in Aberdeen, Scotland to England. Young Byron fell in love with the ghostly halls and spacious grounds of Newstead Abbey, which had been presented to the Byron's by Henry VIII, had received little care since. He and his mother lived in the run down estate for a while. While in England he was sent to a "public" school in Nottingham where he was doctored by a quack named Lavender who subjected the boy to a torturous and ineffective treatment for his clubfoot Bloom 45. During this time, young Byron was left in the care of his nurse May Grey. He was subjected to her drunken tantrums, beatings, neglect, and sexual liberties Grosskurth 28. This abuse was not stopped early enough to protect the boy from psychological injury. Byron confesses to his sister that "My passions were developed very early- so early that few would believe me Grosskurth 40." Byron also suffered from constant exposure to his mother's bad temper. Mrs. Byron alternately spoiled her son and abused him, often calling him a "lame brat Crompton 82." Eventually John Hanson, Mrs. Byron's attorney, rescued him from the unnatural affections of May Grey, the tortures of Lavender and uneven temper of his mother. The effects of his early experiences were to be felt by the poet for many years. "The consequences of these tortured episodes blend into his entire life in the anticipated melancholy that he always experience Eisler 41." At seventeen he entered Cambridge University. Determined to overcome his physical handicap, Byron became a good rider, swimmer, boxer, and marksman. He enjoyed literature but cared little for other subjects. After graduation he embarked on a grand tour that supplied inspiration for many of his later works. Of the many poems in which Byron reveals details from his own experiences, Don Juan offers the most intimate look into the life of the artist. Canto I of Don Juan describes Juan's mother, Donna Inez as being a woman who look'd a lecture, each eye a sermon Longman 577." Donna Inez watched carefully over every detail of her son's education and Catherine Byron did the same for her son, attempting in her clumsy way to provide Byron with preparation for life as a member of the gentry. "Mrs. Byron became obsessed with making her son perfect and he in turn submitted stoically to various forms of torture Grosskurth 29." Although the description of Donna Inez is often interpreted as being directed at Byron's ex-wife, much of Inez's personality is similar to Catherine's. It is possible that Byron's opinion of women was formed by his exposure to these two and many of his female characters would bear their mark. In stanza 61 of Canto I Donna Julia is described with a mixture of affection and sarcasm. Bright with intelligence, and fair and smooth"¦her stature tall-I hate a dumpy woman Longman 586." Byron begins with a fairly conventional description of a pretty girl but ends the stanza with what seems to be a truly backhanded compliment. Donna Julia follows the pattern of the idealized heroine. She is portrayed to be pretty, gentle, sweet, the perfect and passive wife. When she interacts with Don Juan, however Donna Julia breaks out of the traditional role by being the older woman who is eager to educate young Juan in the ways of love. Byron thus reverses gender roles and with a sexually mature woman who actively seducing a naive and innocent young man. "Don Juan at sixteen is a pious mamma's boy, dedicated to heaven by a mother from hell Eisler 612". This relates directly to Byron as a youth who had been reared by a suffocating mother and prematurely initiated into sexuality by someone the family trusted. His mother unknowingly entrusted her son with a viper when she brought Donna Inez into the family home. While Donna Julia is not as vicious as May Grey, she took equal advantage of the family's trust. Even more general attributes of this poem and it's characters reflect details from the author's own life. Juan is able to survive shipwreck because he could swim. Byron was also known as an exceptionally strong swimmer. Don Juan embarks on a grand adventure that includes travels very similar to Byron's own. He has a number of sexual conquests during his journey, as did the randy author. Even the naiveté of young Juan is strikingly similar to the shy young George Gordon. In Don Juan, Byron says "I want a hero" and he adopts a one from the past. He alters the legend of Don Juan to fit his own needs because he cannot find a modern hero that fits the bill. Don Juan's character a direct personification of the poet who has grown older and wiser that his young subject. The author is reflected instead in the many details of the epic drawn from the author's own experiences. Although Don Juan's narrator is not purely Byron's voice, it does seem to speak for him. The poet expresses himself through his interpretation of the story and by using the voice of the narrator to speak for him. Byron's narrator is always present in the poem, commenting and showing off, making quite certain that the he is not being ignored. His voice permeates Don Juan and he appears to be reflecting much of his own life in his creation. Perhaps Byron used this enormous poem as a catharsis for his trouble emotions; perhaps this is the reason that Don Juan was never finished. It was extended throughout the remainder of the poet's life. The poem, like Byron's psychological healing was never finished.   

The works of George Gordon, Lord Byron have long been controversial, nearly as controversial as his lifestyle. Gordon Byron was born with a clubfoot and his sensitivity to it haunted his life and his works. Despite being a very handsome child, a fragile self-esteem made Byron extremely sensitive to criticism,...

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