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A study in the symbolic relationship of white jacket and captain Claret in Herman Melville's white jacket

Mulyono, Khristina (2001) A study in the symbolic relationship of white jacket and captain Claret in Herman Melville's white jacket. Bachelor thesis, Petra Christian University.

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Abstract

In this thesis the writer attempts to center the discussion in the relationship of the two opposing elements that exist in Neversink. a warship. that is sailing on her homeward bound journey. The crew and the officers form the two opposing elements in the frigate. To voice the element of individual, she singles out the narrator of the novel, White Jacket. He is able to represent the opinions and thought of his shipmates, the crew, thoroughly. The element of authority will be represented by the captain, Captain Claret, because he is the person who is responsible in making all the decisions in the frigate and rules over the crew, as well as the officers. The thesis writer wants to find out the ways the relationship of the two elements changes during the journey and what the relationship symbolizes. The writer intends to reveal the relationship between the two elements in the beginning and in the end of the journey, when they have almost reach home. With the help of the definition of important terms, literary criticisms, theory of politics, and literary devices, such as characterization, conflict and symbolism, she will try to analyse the problem. In her analysis, she finds out that at the beginning of the voyage, the arrangement of their mealtime and the depersonalization of the crew symbolizes the abuse of the crew. By arranging the mealtime in such a way, the officers have contributed in the degrading of the crew's health, therefore abusing their needs as individuals. Another form of the abuse of the individual can be found in the depersonalization of the crew. The officers also deny the expression of their individualism by calling them with nicknames and, even worse, numbers. However, at the end of the journey, the relationship between the elements changes. They reache a new level of relationship caused by their realization of the journey. This is marked by two important incidents. The first one is the captain cancels White Jacket's punishment. This symbolizes that the officers compromise to the individual by demonstrating lenience toward the crew who persists in his innocence. The other important incident happens when White Jacket falls from the yard-arm and almost kill himself as a result. Only when he rips off his jacket, a symbol of his individualism, is he able to be rescued by his shipmates. At this last and most important incident takes place, White Jacket comes to realise that actually both the individual and the authority are the same at the end of the voyage because they do not know what is waiting for them in their final destination. So, they merge into one and forming the body politic of the frigate.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor)
Uncontrolled Keywords: american, fiction, melville, herman, white, jacket
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Admin
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2011 18:48
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2011 09:06
URI: http://repository.petra.ac.id/id/eprint/7854

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