American Classics II
Thursday, March 2 Main Library 7:00 pm
Billy Budd by Herman Melville
A dense and poetic account of the human cost of realpolitik, Billy Budd asks how far we should go to protect the status quo. John Claggart, master-at-arms of a British warship, alleges a sailor is talking mutiny. The sailor, Billy, isn’t just innocent of the charge; he’s a true innocent. Yet when confronted by his accuser, Billy reacts impulsively, striking Claggart. The resulting trial shows the horrors that can arise from a civilized society following its own laws.