Symbols are used to represent something else. They can range from a red octagon representing a stop

700 WordsApr 23, 20193 Pages
Symbols are used to represent something else. They can range from a red octagon representing a stop sign to a fish representing Jesus. They give depth and entice imagination and expressive thinking. They are often overlooked but can give new meaning to the work when discovered. Symbols and symbolism can be found all around in language, in art, and in literature [PAR]. Language, in and of itself, is a bunch of symbols combined in a way to represent ideas and physical objects. In art, an artist can use symbolism to portray an underlying message behind his or her painting. Symbolism, within irony, plot, characters, etc., is used in literature [SAS]. In the novella, Billy Budd, Herman Melville effectively uses symbolism throughout the…show more content…
Throughout the novella, Melville gives characteristics to Billy that symbolize Jesus. In the beginning of the story Melville relates Billy to a Saint Bernard dog, "self-consciousness he seemed to have little or none, or about as much as we may reasonably impute to a dog of Saint Bernard’s breed" (11). Ironically, the Saint Bernard breed, not only by protecting people, is very apt to save people which correlates to Jesus being sent to save all people from their sins[COMBO]. With Billy's innocence and being enclosed in his "bud" form, he is negligent to the evil in the world until he meets Claggart. "One to whom not yet has been proffered the questionable apple of knowledge" parallels the story of Adam and Eve and how they were unaware of the evil around them until they ate the apple from the tree God forbade them to (11). Claggart represents the evil and is the ultimate downfall and cause of Billy's own death. Billy, because he killed Claggart, is hanged [PER]. Captain Vere, the captain of the ship Billy is aboard, is symbolic to Pilate who condemned Jesus even though he did not personally believe in the accusations. Captain Vere sentenced Billy to be hanged and Billy's last words were "God bless Captain Vere!" (80). This is symbolic to how Jesus was able to forgive the even the people who falsely condemned him just as Billy did. Although Billy shows multiple symbolic qualities to Jesus,

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