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Bonds of CitizenshipLaw and the Labors of Emancipation$
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Hoang Gia Phan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814738474

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814738474.001.0001

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The Labors of Emancipation

The Labors of Emancipation

Founded Law and Freedom Defined

(p.201) Conclusion. The Labors of Emancipation
Bonds of Citizenship

Hoang Gia Phan

NYU Press

This concluding chapter discusses Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Sailor which recounts the histories of slavery and servitude in the revolutionary reconstitution of citizenship. Throughout the novel, Melville shows the class of men whose story is “passion, and passion in its profoundest, is not a thing demanding a palatial stage whereon to play its part. Down among the groundlings, the beggars and rakers of the garbage, profound passion is enacted.” As the inside narrative of “how it fared with the Handsome Sailor during the year of the Great Mutiny,” the novel is a story of these bondsmen; and of the revolutionary threat posed by them as a class.

Keywords:   Herman Melville, revolutionary reconstitution, passion, bondsmen, revolutionary threat

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