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law and morality winter exam - ROGER FISHER WITH QUOTATIONS.docx

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HUMA 1825
Roger Fisher

Billy Budd: Herman Melville Summary: ­ Billy is a large, but kind naïve character with a stutter who was born an orphan ­ Claggart is not fond of Billy ­ Claggart accuses Billy of being the ringleader of a mutiny ­ Captain Vere didn’t believe the accusation and wanted Billy to justify it ­ Because Billy has a speech impediment (stutter), he couldn’t deny the accusations against him. ­ Out of panic, Billy strikes and kills Claggart without meaning to ­ Vere wanted to acquit Billy but did not in the fear of mutiny ­ Billy was executed in order to maintain order and avoid a precedent that if Billy could hit a commander, others would be too. Comparison: ­ Morally, Billy would not be charged ­ According to full law (Dworkin), Billy would have been let go ­ Vere made a judgment of the law as it is (positivist) ­ He separated his moral views from duty and the law ­ Aristotle’s point of view: Billy was wrongfully convicted and Vere failed to apply justice Quotes: ­ Pg 75: “The first Lieutenant…” ­ Pg 75- “God will bless you for that…” ­ Pg 94- “Resonance… ­ Pg- “and goodbye to you oh rights of man…” ­ “Habitually living with the elements and knowing little more of the land than as a beach, or rather, that portion . . . set apart for dance-houses, doxies, and tapsters, in short what sailors call a “fiddler’s green,” his simple nature remained unsophisticated by those moral obliquities which are not in every case incompatible with that manufacturable thing known as respectability. But are sailors, frequenters of fiddlers’greens, without vices? No; but less often than with landsmen do their vices, so called, partake of crookedness of heart, seeming less to proceed from viciousness than exuberance of vitality after long constraint; frank manifestations in accordance with natural law. By his original constitution aided by the co-operating influences of his lot, Billy in many respects was little more than a sort of upright barbarian, much such perhaps as Adam presumably might have been ere the urbane Serpent wriggled himself into his company.” In this quotation from Chapter 2, the narrator suggests that sailors are less likely to be wicked than men on land, since they are not exposed to difficult moral situations. Although sailors may drink and consort with prostitutes when on shore, thus gaining a sullied reputation, supposedly respectable people actually encounter more serious moral problems. Unlike people who spend most of their time on land, sailors do not commit vice out of “crookedness of heart” or “viciousness”—in other words, evil. Rather, they act sinfully because they have been confined at sea for a long time and have “natural” inclinations and an abundance of energy. Thus, although Billy has spent most of his time either on a ship or in areas of towns devoted to vice, he has nevertheless preserved his near-total ignorance of evil. Billy, if not the full-fledged physical and moral Handsome Sailor ideal, is so innocent that he stands out as an “upright barbarian” nonetheless. The last line subtly foreshadows the arrival of Claggart, who does tempt Billy to evil like the serpent. Significantly, the narrator describes the serpent as “urbane”—urbanity signifying sophistication and being the opposite of innocence. Thus, Melville equates evil with experience in society. ­ “And now, Dansker, do tell me what you think of it.”The old man, shoving up the front of his tarpaulin and deliberately rubbing the long slant scar at the point where it entered the thin hair, laconically said, “Baby Budd, Jemmy Legs is down on you.””Jemmy Legs!” ejaculated Billy, his welkin eyes expanding. “What for? Why, he calls me ‘the sweet and pleasant young fellow,’they tell me.””Does he so?” grinned the grizzled one; then said, “Ay, Baby lad, a sweet voice has Jemmy Legs.””No, not always. But to me he has. I seldom pass him but there comes a pleasant word.””And that’s because he’s down upon you, Baby Budd.” This passage occurs in Chapter 9, when Billy, baffled about why he seems to be having so many problems on the ship, asks the Dansker for advice, and receives the old sailor’s warning that Claggart (called “Jemmy Legs” by the men) is his enemy. The quote is important because it represents Billy’s first hint that there could be a discrepancy between someone’s actions and intentions—in other words, that Claggart could treat him with “a sweet voice” and still hate him. Billy’s baffled reaction to the Dansker’s world-weary advice shows the depth of his innocence: whereas most people mistrust each other simply out of habit, it seems almost impossible for Billy not to trust Claggart. Billy also shows that even though he has the ability to perceive evil, he cannot conceive of the possibility that someone could treat him kindly and wish him harm at the same time. In fact, the narrator goes on to note that Billy becomes almost as troubled by the Dansker’s replies as he is by the unexplained mystery of his trouble on the ship, indicating further that Billy cannot delve beneath the surface to interpret meaning. ­ “For what can more partake of the mysterious than an antipathy spontaneous and profound such as is evoked in certain exceptional mortals by the mere aspect of some other mortal, however harmless he may be, if not called forth by this very harmlessness itself?” This somewhat convoluted question from Chapter 11 represents Melville’s diagnosis of Claggart’s evil, similar to his earlier description of the nature of Billy’s innocence. Melville essentially argues that Claggart’s hatred of Billy stems from Billy’s very “harmlessness.” In other words, Claggart’s “spontaneous and profound” hatred rises due to Billy’s “mere aspect”—something in Billy’s nature, or his innocent face, but nothing to do with any ill will on Billy’s part. The nature of evil is to destroy innocence, and, dimly perceiving Billy to be somehow above the world of subterfuge and cruelty that he himself inhabits, Claggart becomes consumed with the desire to corrupt and destroy Billy. ­ “With no power to annul the elemental evil in him, though readily enough he could hide it; apprehending the good, but powerless to be it; a nature like Claggart’s, surcharged with energy as such natures almost invariably are, what recourse is left to it but to recoil upon itself and, like the scorpion for which the Creator alone is responsible, act out to the end the part allotted it.” This quote, from Chapter 12, further describes the nature of Claggart’s evil. Here, Melville focuses on the innate quality of Claggart’s evil, a quality unusual among literary portrayals of villains. Most villains appear evil either because of events that have corrupted them or because of deliberate, avoidable choices they have made—evil resulting from a painful background or from a conscious decision to betray good. Claggart’s evil has no such antecedent. Claggart simply embodies evil. Melville makes this fact clear in this description when he writes that Claggart can understand goodness, but is “powerless” to embrace it, just as he has no power to overcome the “elemental evil” that lies inside of him. Claggart has one option in life: to “act out to the end” the part that he has been assigned, that of the devious villain. Yet, if Claggart is a prisoner of his own evil, and has no choice but to act according to his evil nature, then the question arises as to whether he bears responsibility for his actions. ­ “Struck dead by an angel of God! Yet the angel must hang!” Vere speaks these words in Chapter 20, as he commits himself to pursuing the letter of the law and seeking the death penalty for Billy despite his own feelings. Vere equates Billy with an “angel of God,” but at the same time says that even if a real angel of God had committed murder on his ship, the angel would have to hang. Vere’s duty is to oversee the application of the written law, and the law prescribes hanging as a punishment for murder, particularly when the murderous act could be attributed to a conspiratorial plot of mutiny. In choosing to obey law over conscience, Vere commits himself to society at the expense of own individuality. Before he dies, he appears to rue this decision—his last words, “Billy Budd,” apparently indicate that he dies haunted by his perceived betrayal of the young sailor whom he admired. Reminiscent of Kant’s famous claim that justice must happen though the heavens fall, the quote simultaneously connects Billy’s plight to the religious allegory of the novel and the question of justice. In this quote, Billy almost recalls the devil himself. The Bible asserts that Lucifer originated as an angel in heaven who fell from grace. Bleak House: Charles Dickens Important Chapter Summaries: Chapter 1 · In London, the Lord High Chancellor sits in Lincoln’s Inn Hall in the High Court of Chancery. · Several counsels and solicitors are looking through the paperwork of a court case called Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which has gone on for generations. · An old woman who appears to be crazy sits at the side of the room. She may be a party in the lawsuit. · The case is so old that no one really remembers what it is about anymore, and it has corrupted countless people. · Aman named Mr. Tangle knows more about the case than anyone else. The chancellor determines to send two young people, a girl and a boy, to live with their uncle. Chapter 2 · The narrator points out the triviality and evil in the world of fashion, although there are good people in it as well. · Lady Dedlock has come home with her husband, Sir Leicester Dedlock. He loves Lady Dedlock, but she is cold and distant. · The Dedlocks’lawyer and legal advisor, Mr. Tulkinghorn, visits them and updates them on the Jarndyce and Jarndyce case. · Lady Dedlock asks him who copied the documents, claiming that she likes the handwriting. Tulkinghorn says he’ll find out. Lady Dedlock feels ill and retreats to her room. Chapter 8 · Skimpole discusses the irrationality of considering the bee a model of virtue. He cheers everyone. · Esther returns to her work and then joins Mr. Jarndyce in a room he calls the Growlery, where he goes when he is in a bad mood or when the wind is blowing from the east. · He tells her the Chancery business with the Jarndyce case is about a will and costs. The money the will has now been spent on the lawsuit. He says that there is some property in London that is also part of the suit. · He says that Tom Jarndyce, the man who shot himself, was his uncle. Bleak House used to belong to Tom, who had called it the Peaks. · Mr. Jarndyce tells Esther that he trusts her discretion and says he believes she is clever. He then asks Esther’s advice for what Richard should do in the future. · Esther answers all of Mr. Jarndyce’s letters for him, many of which are from people asking him for money. · One day, she visits with her five sons and brags about how the boys donate great sums of their allowances to charity. The sullen boys say nothing. Mrs. Pardiggle praises Mrs. Jellyby’s work withAfrica and says her boys have contributed to the cause. She explains that her boys go everywhere with her. · Mrs. Pardiggle says she loves hard work and never gets tired. She commences to make her rounds, asking Esther andAda to go with her. Esther says she has housework but Mrs. Pardiggle insists. · On their way to a brickmaker’s house, the boys tell Esther how miserable they are and tell her that their mother forces them to give away their money. · When Mrs. Pardiggle finally leaves, Esther andAda stay behind to see if the baby is sick. The nursing woman cries uncontrollably.Another woman enters, calling for Jenny and approaches the crying woman. She too looks as though she has been beaten. · Esther and Ada leave. Later that night, they return with Richard with some provisions for the family. Jenny’s friend meets them at the door, terrified that her husband will catch her away from home.Ada cries over the baby, they leave their provisions, and then they depart. Chapter 10 · Mr. Snagsby is introduced—a Law-Stationer, who deals with legal documents at his firm, Peffer and Snagsbywith. Peffer is never seen in court anymore and may be insane. · The Snagsbys live with a young woman named Guster, a charity case prone to throwing hysterical fits. Mrs. Snagsby takes care of all aspects of the business, and many men consider her to be the model wife. · In Mr. Tulkinghorn’s home (Lincoln’s Inn), everything is locked up. He goes out and walks to the Snagsby’s house, where he meets with Mr. Snagsby. · He tells Snagsby that some of the Jarndyce and Jarndyce documents he copied lately had very nice writing. He asks Snagsby who wrote them, and Snagsby answers that they were written by a man named Nemo. He takes Mr. Tulkinghorn to Krook’s shop where Nemo lives. · Tulkinghorn, however, doubles back and goes into the shop. Krook gives him a candle and tells him where to find Nemo. Tulkinghorn knocks on the door, opens it, and his candle goes out. The room smells terrible and is a mess.Aman is lying on the bed. Tulkinghorn greets him loudly, but the man doesn’t wake up. He is dead. Chapter 11 · Krook joins Tulkinghorn in Nemo’s room, and they realize he is dead. Miss Flite, the mad old woman who is also one of Krook’s lodgers, calls for a doctor, who confirms that Nemo is dead of an overdose · Snagsby arrives, but he knows nothing about Nemo. He sends for a policeman. He says that Mrs. Snagsby had been the one to hire Nemo and that she had seen something in his manner that suggested she should help him. · In court the next day, the coroner asks questions of certain neighbors as part of the investigation into Nemo’s death, but no one knows anything useful.A homeless child named Jo takes the stand and says that Nemo had given him money and lodging in the past. · At home, Mr. Snagsby’s housekeeper, Guster, has several seizures from the upsets of the day. Chapter 12 · Lady Dedlock and Sir Leicester are returning from Paris. Lady Dedlock couldn’t wait to leave Paris because she was so bored, a common complaint. · Mrs. Rouncewell introduces Rosa to Lady Dedlock, who thinks Rosa is beautiful and strokes her cheek before going upstairs. Later, Lady Dedlock’s maid, a Frenchwoman named Hortense, is bitterly jealous of Rosa. · Lady Dedlock and Sir Leicester invite many people to Chesney Wold to spend a week or two. The narrator describes Tulkinghorn as looking as though he has secrets everywhere in his body. · Mr. Tulkinghorn discusses the lawsuit concerning Mr. Boythorn with Sir Leicester. Sir Leicester is unwilling to compromise in any way. Lady Dedlock asks Mr. Tulkinghorn what he wanted to tell her, and he says it has to do with some handwriting she had asked him about—when he went in search of the writer, he found him dead. · They discuss the man and the fact that no one knew anything about him. During this conversation, Lady Dedlock and Mr. Tulkinghorn never look away from each other but seem to take little note of each other in the days that follow. · QUOTE - “They appear to take as little note of one another, as any two people, enclosed within the same walls, could. But whether each evermore watches and suspects the other, evermore mistrustful of some great reservation; whether each is evermore prepared at all points for the other, and never to be taken unawares; what each would give to know how much the other knows—all this is hidden, for the time, in their own hearts.” · Describes the uneasy relationship between Lady Dedlock and Mr. Tulkinghorn. · The narrator lets us know that there is something going on when, in this quotation, he describes the watchful tension between Tulkinghorn and Lady Dedlock. · When the narrator refers to the questions that are “hidden . . . in their own hearts,” he reveals one of the most important motifs of the novel: secrets. · Characters go to great lengths to keep their secrets hidden.As this quotation reveals, Tulkinghorn and Lady Dedlock successfully disguise their watchfulness of each other as indifference; the only reason we know they are watchful is that the narrator tells us. · Simply observing their interactions doesn’t reveal much. This quotation is significant because it alerts us that there is a lot going on beneath the surface of this genteel, rigidly structured world. Chapter 16 · Jo lives in a place called Tom-all-Alone’s, where houses collapse. Tom Jarndyce may have once lived here, but Jo doesn’t know for sure. · The narrator tries to imagine what it’s like to be Jo, not really belonging anywhere and not knowing anything. Jo moves through the town, observing people and animals trying to get enough money to go back to Tom-all-Alone’s. · Mr. Tulkinghorn sits in his office doing work. On the street below, a woman walks by. The narrator implies she is on some secret errand. Determinedly, she seeks out Jo, who asks her for money. She ignores him and crosses the street, then beckons him over. She asks if she has read about the dead lodger in the newspaper because of the court case regarding him. She tries to get Jo to acknowledge that the dead man looks like him. Jo asks if she knew the dead man, and she grows defensive. · The woman asks Jo to show her all the places he knows of relating to the death, including where the man was buried. He is to walk far ahead of her and not speak to her. · Jo leads the woman to Cook’s Court, Krook’s shop, and the burial ground. She gives him some a gold coin and hurries away · The narrator tells us that Lady Dedlock goes to a dinner and several parties, while Sir Leicester stays home. Mrs. Rouncewell, the housekeeper, observes that the footsteps on the Ghost’s Walk are louder than they have ever been. Chapter 37 · Esther tells no one about Lady Dedlock. One day, Mr. Grubble, summons Esther. When she arrives, she finds Richard there. He is on leave and has come to check up on his interests in the Jarndyce and Jarndyce lawsuit. · The next day, Richard tells Esther more about his pursuit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. He says he and Mr. Jarndyce have parted ways and that the suit is his one goal now. · Ada writes Richard a letter trying to dissuade him, but to no avail. Esther tries to convince Mr. Skimpole not to support Richard’s goal, since it’s irresponsible, but Mr. Skimpole says he can’t possibly be responsible. · Later, when Richard goes off to meet someone, Mr. Skimpole says he is going to meet Mr. Vholes, his legal advisor. Skimpole admits that Vholes paid him to be introduced to Richard. · Richard returns with Vholes and introduces him to everyone. Vholes says he does everything for the sake of his three daughters and his aging father. · He and Richard depart so that Richard can attend to the Jarndyce and Jarndyce case the next day.Ada tells Esther that she’ll love Richard even if the lawsuit ruins him. Chapter 39 · Vholes wholeheartedly promotes the idea that the backbone of English law is that it must make business for itself. Yet he convinces Richard that they will make progress in the suit. Richard trusts him completely. · Guppy and Weevle see Richard on the street, and Guppy observes that Richard is now in debt because he wouldn’t stay away from the suit. He asks Weevle to tell him if there’s any chance the letters didn’t burn and might be hidden in Krook’s shop. · Grandfather Smallweed has been coming to the shop every day, searching through Krook’s belongings, but he never finds anything of value. · Guppy and Weevle go to the shop, chat briefly with Smallweed, then go upstairs to Weevle’s old lodging. Tulkinghorn congratulates Guppy on being able to meet with grand ladies. Guppy grows red and tells Tulkinghorn that he doesn’t have to explain himself. Tulkinghorn leaves. · Guppy admits to Weevle that he’s been in communication with a member of the aristocracy, but that this must end and be forgotten. Chapter 41 · Mr. Tulkinghorn goes up to his room happy that he told the story. Lady Dedlock appears. He tells her that he felt he had to let her know that he knew her secret, and that only he knows it so far. She tells him that he was right, and that she knows what will happen to Rosa if her secret is discovered. · She tells him that her jewels and other valuables are all in their places. Tulkinghorn doesn’t understand what she means, and Lady Dedlock declares that she is leaving Chesney Wold immediately. · He tells her that his only concern in all this is Sir Leicester and that her disappearance will destroy him and make her secret immediately known to all. · Tulkinghorn suggests that she stay and continue to hide her guilt. He says he will alert her when he must make the secret known. She leaves his room. Chapter 42 · Tulkinghorn goes to Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London. Snagsby arrives at his office with some information about Mademoiselle Hortense. He says his wife is very jealous because Hortense has been hovering around his shop, determined that someone should let her in to see Tulkinghorn. · He goes to his chambers. Tulkinghorn unlocks a series of small chests and retrieves a key, there is a knock at his door. It is Hortense. She angrily says that she has done what Tulkinghorn wanted—she showed him her dress that Lady Dedlock wore, she has met “that boy”—and Tulkinghorn says that he paid her. · She says she hasn’t spent the money because she is so angry, and she throws it into a corner. She says that she hates Lady Dedlock and asks Tulkinghorn to find her a new job. She says she will keep coming to him until he gives her what she wants. Tulkinghorn refuses. He says that if she harasses him, she will go to prison. She leaves, enraged. Chapter 46 ­ Tom-all-Alone’s is dark and menacing. In a sort of surreal meditation, he says that Tom is asleep, but that a lot of fuss has been made about him in Parliament, where people discuss how to get him off the street or what else to do with him. Tom gets revenge by contaminating everything around him. ­ Woodcourt walks around Tom-all-Alone’s and sees a woman sitting on a stoop. He sees a bruise on her forehead and bandages it, then asks if her husband is a brickmaker because he believes brickmakers are violent. She says her husband will be looking for her. ­ Woodcourt moves on and soon sees a wretched young boy running toward him, whom he thinks he recognizes. Woodcourt grabs him, thinking he has stolen the woman’s money. When the woman rushes up, she exclaims excitedly that she has finally found Jo. ­ Jo admits that he once saw Woodcourt when he spoke about the dead lodger in front of the coroner. Woodcourt asks the woman if Jo robbed her, and she says no; rather, he has been very kind to her. ­ She says that a woman took Jo home with her to care of him when he was sick, but that Jo ran away. She says that the woman then became sick herself and lost her beauty. ­ When he recovers, he asks Jo why he left the house. Jo says he never knew a woman had been caring for him and that he would never have done anything to hurt her. ­ He says someone took him away, but he won’t name the man, fearful that he’ll find out since he seems to be everywhere. Jo says this man gave him money and told him to “move on.” Important Concepts: ­ The case is about taking money from the people and ultimately destroying them which is the purpose of the law ­ Lady Deadlock – Her name creates irony because the meaning of deadlock is when the jury in the case cannot come to a decision, similar to the case she is involved in. ­ Snagsby- a law stationer; a decent person but is profit oriented ­ Dickens” is an old euphemism for “the devil.” (I’m not sure why this is important)  When we separate law from God, it simply becomes a social institution that can be changed.  The law is simply a system of rules, and can be used as a tool to change society.  Purpose of Bleak house is to give us a different perspective on the law.  The law is intricately connected to people’s lives and cannot be separated by the people affected by it. We must consider: ­ How law is depicted in bleak house ­ Legal characters ­ Way that ordinary people perceive the law Comparisons: To Bartleby: ­ Both involve courts of chancery ­ Both depict ordinary lives that are disrupted by the law ­ Both end in homelessness and death ­ Bartleby is a story of classification The Trial: ­ Both involve homelessness and death Quotes: Page 10: on such an afternoon if ever… where he can see nothing but fog: ­ working a legal case is for your own benefit ­ the fog comes from the lord chancellor (foreshadowing the rest of the story) ­ lantern: hope Page 11: “well may the court be dim…the attendant wigs are all stuck in a fog bank!” Page 11: “This is the court of chancery… suffer any wrong that can be done you rather then come here” - people who have money can outlast who are in the wrong ­ The honest people in the courts tell people not o seek help from the courts Page 558: “Richard” said I, “you paved great confidence in me, but I fear you will not take advice from me?” Bartleby: Herman Melville Summary: The narrator of "Bartleby the Scrivener" is the Lawyer, who runs a law practice on Wall Street in New York. The Lawyer begins by noting that he is an "elderly man," and that his profession has brought him "into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set of men the law-copyists, or scriveners." While the Lawyer knows many interesting stories of such scriveners, he bypasses them all in favor of telling the story of Bartleby, whom he finds to be the most interesting of all the scriveners. Bartleby is, according to the Lawyer, "one of those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable, except from the original sources, and, in his case, those were very small." Before introducing Bartleby, the Lawyer describes the other scriveners working in his office at this time. The first is Turkey, a man who is about the same age as the Lawyer (around sixty). Turkey has been causing problems lately. He is an excellent scrivener in the morning, but as the day wears on—particularly in the afternoon—he becomes more prone to making mistakes, dropping ink plots on the copies he writes. He also becomes more flushed, with an ill temper, in the afternoon. The Lawyer tries to help both himself and Turkey by asking Turkey only to work in the mornings, but Turkey argues with him, so the Lawyer simply gives him less important documents in the afternoon. The second worker is Nippers, who is much younger and more ambitious than Turkey. At twenty-five years old, he is a comical opposite to Turkey, because he has trouble working in the morning. Until lunchtime, he suffers from stomach trouble, and constantly adjusts the height of the legs on his desk, trying to get them perfectly balanced. In the afternoons, he is calmer and works steadily. The last employee—not a scrivener, but an errand-boy—is Ginger Nut. His nickname comes from the fact tha
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