Frederick Douglass, Melville’s Billy Budd, and Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Ilyich

Paper instructions:
Frederick Douglass’s Narrative, Melville’s Billy Budd, & Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Ilyich – Paper 2

When completing your next paper, submit your responses to each of the three works of literature below as one (1) “WORD” document (one [1] file) through Turnitin under by 8:00 AM (Central Standard Time) on Wednesday, July 19, 2017.

To complete this assignment, read Frederick Douglass’ Narrative in your textbook. Then summarize the events in Douglass’s life that lead to his freedom and success. Include two {2} FULL pages [DOUBLE SPACING] of discussion.

Then read the following chapters of Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor (Click the link at the top of this page). Read Chapters 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, & 29. Provide approximately two (2) pages (DOUBLE SPACING) of discussion on Billy Budd, Sailor. Include responses to each of the following questions in your writing. 1. What position aboard the Rights of Man does Billy have? 2. How does he enter military service? 3. How does Captain Graveling describe Billy? 4. What position does Billy have aboard the Bellipotent? 5. What is revealed about Billy’s background? 6. What is Billy’s talent? 7. What is Billy’s defect? 8. Where is the Bellipotent bound? 9. What has occurred at Spithead and later at the Nore? 10. Describe Captain Vere. 11. What characteristic of the captain is noticeable at times? 12. Why is so much description of Captain Vere provided? 13. What characteristics other than those of a sea officer does Captain Vere have? 14. Provide a thorough description of John Claggart. 15. What position does he hold? 16. What added to unfavorable surmise about Claggart? 17. Is there plausibility for the gossip? 18. What causes Claggart to be promoted? 19. Provide a description of the Dansker. 20. What warning does the Dansker give to Billy? 21. Does Billy believe the Dansker? 22. What incident occurs that convinces Billy that the Dansker’s advice to him is inaccurate? 23. What is “Natural Depravity?” 24. What is “impressment?” 25. Provide a summary of Chapters 19-29.

Read Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilyich.” Then provide one (1) page (DOUBLE SPACING) of discussion on the literary work. Include responses to each of the following questions in your writing. 1. To what social class does Ivan Ilyich belong? What have been the major values in his life? Does each of his immediate family members share these same values? 2. What are the similarities between Gerasim and Ivan’s own remembered childhood? 3. What advantage is gained by presenting the funeral scene at the beginning of the story? 4. Describe the interview between the widow and Peter Ivanovich in section one (1). 5. What do the various doctors contribute to the story? Why does Ivan Ilyich compare them to himself and other lawyers? What is his wife’s attitude toward them? 6. What are Ivan Ilyich’s varying attitudes toward his pain? What is the relationship of his physical suffering to his mental states? Does his pain have any positive effects? 7. Is there any meaning to Ivan Ilyich’s screaming incessantly for three days? How does his son’s final visit cause him to stop? Does his feeling sorry and trying to ask forgiveness at the end reveal a new attitude? 8. What is the meaning of Ivan’s falling through the bottom of the “black sack” into the “light” and “joy” at the moment of dying? What had hindered him from falling through?

INCLUDE ONLY YOUR IDEAS! See the penalty for academic misconduct (cheating) in Coastal Alabama’s catalog.

(REMINDER) All three responses (total of five {5} pages) must be submitted back-to-back [as one (1) “WORD” document] through Turnitin.

The test on this assignment (Test 2) will be available from 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 until 11:00 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2017. Test 2 will be timed and will contain all multiple-choice items. More information concerning Test 2 has been included under “Important Course Information” in Modules.

LECTURE NOTES

Frederick Douglass’s Narrative

Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Frederick Douglass’ Narrative is a personal account of self-discovery, survival, and escape from slavery. He shares a story of the physical and emotional realities of oppression. In Chapter 1 Douglass emphasizes deprivation and what he does not know about himself and his background and explains how slaves are linked to the natural cycle (they estimate their birthdays by planting-time, for example). He discusses his capability of figuring things out such as estimating his own age. Douglass makes explicit references to unhappiness early in his life. For example, he is separated from his mother at an early age, and he describes witnessing his aunt’s whipping, which is the first of a long series of violent events. He notes the brutality of white masters and the degree to which sexual issues are intertwined with those of slavery. Chapter 2 is concerned with Colonel Lloyd and his household. Douglass discusses the songs that the slaves sing. He explains that he traces his “first glimmering conception of the dehumanizing character of slavery” to those songs. Douglass experiences mixed emotions, both joy and sadness, in the songs. The joy is connected to going to the Great House Farm. The author asserts that there is no joy without sadness in the slaves’ lives, but in spite of their oppression they are able to find reasons for some happiness. The dehumanization of slavery is demonstrated in Chapter 3. Douglass discusses the episode of the two Barneys and the arbitrary punishment they receive from a cruel master whose care and concern for his horses is far greater than for the slaves who take care of the horses. In Chapter 4 Douglass provides a steadily intensifying emphasis on slavery’s injustice. The author participates emotionally in the dilemma of the murdered slaves. In Chapter 5 Douglass attributes his departure from Colonel Lloyd’s plantation to the interposition of Providence. This places the narrative in a religious context, raising the issue of Christians who reconcile themselves to slavery. The key event of Chapter 6 is the unsuccessful reading lessons Douglass’ mistress provides him. Douglass stresses that even in the best possible conditions for slaves, injustice and oppression continue and remain impossible to endure. In Chapter 7 Douglass discusses learning to read and write with assistance from white children. These experiences intensify his awareness of the intolerable difference of situation between black slave children and white children. Douglass’ consciousness of his predicament fosters his interest in abolitionists and abolitionism. Reading The Columbian Orator and discussing slavery with the Irishmen increase his understanding of his situation and further augment his determination to learn to read and write. Douglass possesses the ability to make use of what lies outside himself, a capacity very helpful to him. Chapter 8 includes an account of Douglass’ imposed leaving of Baltimore along with discussion of his somewhat kind master. The chapter’s major episode involves the partially imagined story of his grandmother, who “lives to remember and mourn over the loss of children, the loss of grandchildren, and loss of great-grandchildren.” The author envisions her lonely death and insists that a righteous God will punish those accountable for such circumstances. The isolation of the author’s grandmother symbolizes another aspect of injustice. The sense of community among slaves is their most valuable resource; isolating Douglass’ grandmother in the woods deprives her of this community. In Chapter 9 Douglass finds himself at the mercy of a cruel master. Southern Christianity is the central issue in this chapter. In Chapter 10 Douglass shares events that foster an even greater desire for freedom. He discusses emotional forces that make escape a must and circumstances that contribute to making escape possible. This chapter summarizes Douglass’ experience with three different masters. He discusses the failed attempt to escape and the growing determination to escape from progressively more intense abuse. Douglass discusses other events such as the “magic root” to protect him from whippings, the Sabbath school he has founded, and his experience as a caulker in Baltimore. He depicts his sense of personal integrity and independence along with his strong sense of community. The escape takes place in Chapter 11, where Douglass stresses his emotions regarding this event. The author deliberately suppresses the details of his escape. He describes the sadness at breaking ties of affection with his friends who are still slaves, excitement at the prospect of freedom, suspicion of white and black men also, astonishment at the prosperity of the North, and exhilaration at earning his own money. In the Appendix, Douglass discusses religious hypocrisy or religious declarations that do not coincide with the slaveholders’ actions. Frederick Douglass met with President Lincoln to discuss the abolition of slavery. He was a leader of the women’s rights movement, and on the day that he died, he spoke at a women’s rights meeting with Susan B. Anthony. Douglass desegregated the trains in New England by refusing to leave the all-white section until he was physically carried off. He spoke out for world peace, temperance, Irish freedom, and the repeal of the Corn Laws that oppressed English farm laborers. In addition, he was against capital punishment and advocated prison reform.

Melville’s Billy Budd

Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor is a psychological narrative primarily about the title character. Melville stresses Biblical references, and Billy is associated with innocence or virtue. The author alludes to Billy as child, barbarian, dog, and singing bird. Billy is impressed from Rights of Man to serve on the Bellipotent during the French Revolution. When Lieutenant Ratcliffe boards the Rights of Man to impress men to serve on the Bellipotent, Captain Graveling tells the lieutenant that Billy has helped to make peace among the men on Rights of Man. Captain Graveling does not want to release Billy, but the lieutenant still takes his peacemaker away from him. Billy knows little about his family/background; he has heard that he was found in a silk-lined basket hanging from the knocker of a good man’s door in Bristol. He sings well, but stammers and is unable to speak when he becomes upset. Captain Vere is an educated man with extensive military experience. His dreaminess is noticeable at times, which is why he is described as “starry Vere.” Captain Vere believes that the law must not be broken, and he cares about the welfare of his men. He loves reading books treating of actual events (facts) and never goes to sea without a newly replenished library. Melville suggests that John Claggart, the officer in charge of discipline, has “something defective or abnormal” in his constitution and blood. The author provides hints of a criminal past; Claggart may have been arraigned at the King’s bench for some sort of mysterious swindle. A cruel person, Claggart actually enjoys administering floggings to the men. The Dansker is an older, experienced sailor who advises Billy to be careful of Claggart, for the latter desires to destroy Billy. Having no malice in his own nature, Billy is not convinced that this is true. Claggart’s reaction after Billy spills the soup convinces Billy that Claggart likes him. Billy easily earns the affection of the more experienced sailors of the Bellipotent He demonstrates his ability to be most productive and enthusiastic in his role as foretopman. After witnessing a violent flogging, Billy attempts to perform his duties flawlessly to avoid such treatment, but Claggart still dislikes Billy and eventually defeats him. Claggart reports to Captain Vere that Billy has attempted to incite mutiny. When Billy is directed to defend himself, he cannot speak; consequently, he delivers a fatal blow to Claggart. The drumhead court convenes to determine whether Billy is guilty or innocent of murdering Claggart. During deliberation, the court is unable to make a decision; as a result, Captain Vere strongly encourages the members of the court to make their choice based upon the facts (reason), not feelings (emotions). Captain Vere maintains that the rule of military law must be followed. The captain experiences a sense of urgency; a decision must be made promptly, because of the mutinies that have occurred at Spithead and the Nore. Although Billy maintains innocence of intention, he is found guilty and sentenced to hang from the yardarm. Before dying, Billy states, “God bless Captain Vere!” Billy dies calmly. Later a French ship attacks the Bellipotent, and Captain Vere is severely injured. Prior to his death, he is heard murmuring, “Billy Budd, Billy Budd.” In a newspaper report of the incident, Billy is described as the villain, while Claggart becomes the hero.

Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich

Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich The Death of Ivan Ilyich is the story of a Russian judge who contracts an illness from an accidental fall while climbing a ladder to fix a curtain. This illness results in a lingering, painful death. While dying, Ivan Ilyich realizes that he has led the wrong kind of life, yet he feels he defeats death at the end of his life. There is a light which symbolizes hope in the form of another life at the bottom of the black sack into which he is being forced. “Ivan Ilyich’s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.” What is so “simple and ordinary” about his life is that he has lived it according to unquestioned principles of amiability and decorum, conforming to the values of his father and the whole middle-class social world in which he has been identical to all the others in his desire for professional and social status, materialism, sense of power, proper appearance, and self-effacing pleasures. Peter Ivanovich emulates Ivan’s social and professional life. Ivan’s wife Praskovya Fedorovna defines the values of Ivan Ilyich’s home life. She combines her self-interest with observance of all correctness and politeness: weeping at the right time, grieving and accepting sympathy, while she is really concerned with the cost of the grave site and the possibility of obtaining from the government more than her widow’s pension. The house itself, an extension of Ivan Ilyich at one point in his live, is so stuffed with his treasured possessions that the private scene between the widow and Peter Ivanovich amusingly sets the two of them in opposition to the furniture; for example, the springs in the pouffe force Peter into motion while the elaborate carving of the tabletop tugs at Praskovya’s shawl as if the lifeless material things are taking revenge against those who cherish them. The two of them discuss the three days of Ivan Ilyich’s suffering and screaming. There is a vast difference between what these hypocrites seem to be and what they really are. Peter admits this to himself. Although Praskovya narrates Ivan’s suffering, her interest is really in herself. Ivan’s death actually brings him “joy” and “light,” an insight of which the others are not capable because they continue to lead the wrong kind of life. Like Praskovya, Ivan’s daughter is concerned only for herself. Ivan’s suffering leads him to consider his previously unexamined life and to reach a spiritual truth that his obsession with his own modest pleasures, his approval of the values of his society, and especially his resultant inability or reluctance to feel love or pity for others have all been part of the cause of an existence that is really death-in-life. Ivan’s physical suffering leads to his mental suffering; he then reaches a redeeming truth. Ivan desires to reconcile himself to his family and to God, but he cannot speak; his plea to his wife and son for forgiveness sounds like “forgo.” Too late, Ivan realizes the value of the pleasure and self-satisfaction of his childhood, symbolized for him by the truly simple life of Gerasim

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