The Nature of Leadership in Billy Budd The Scarlet Letter Essay

The Nature of Leadership in Billy Budd The Scarlet Letter Essay

Length: 979 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Nature of Leadership in Billy Budd The Scarlet Letter


While it would be logical for good character to be in accordance with good leadership ability, this is rarely true in application. History has proven that many effective leaders were cruel and corrupt, and even American literature has reflected the commonplace nature of corrupted politicians. Upright politicians have existed but do not stay in the brief spotlight of American attention as the ones consumed by scandal. Therefore, Americans labor under the misconception that it is acceptable for a politician to be dishonest. Politicians will ignore moral guidelines to suit the lackadaisical characters of the voters as well as for their own personal gain. Only when Americans decide that personal character is more important than charisma will quality of leadership be supplemented by the moral awareness that the job demands, but which ironically the voters often complain that American leaders do not have.


A primary implication in American literature is that behind every good leader lurks a few dark secrets. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the Reverend Dimmesdale is a devoted leader of the church who causes great inspiration to his congregation over the years. In fact, it seems that the greater his personal suffering grows, the more the public view of him appreciates. Arthur Dimmesdale is an adulterer and a hypocrite. While his lover Hester Prynne suffers publically for their combined sin, he is exalted as a moral icon. Through his own casuistry, he has convinced himself that he is serving the interests of the people this way. He is a very good minister, but a weak man. His dabbling in sin caused him to understand the peo...

... middle of paper ...

...d gone without notice because they have not been involved with a scandal. The fact that the job can be adequately performed without a moral conscience doesn't mean that immorality is a prerequisite. In fact, citizens should reconsider the motives of their leaders if they know that the person feels no moral obligation to do what is right . When Americans look at their government officials, they should be proud rather than ashamed. By examining the literary and historical past of America, it should be apparent that serious thought should be involved in the selection of leaders as well as scrutiny of those already in power. With the system of government that America has today, it is imperative that the intentions of the founding fathers be remembered: "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice."1


1 The Constitution of the United States, 1787

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Billy Graham 's Leadership Style Essay

- In today’s society, Effective leaders are essential to an organization and exceptional leadership techniques impact the success of reaching goals. Most important leaders often viewed and analyzed as a key component of an organization improperly trained leader can cause both moral and costly negative consequences. Even though unprepared leaders lead in our community today, Billy Graham’s leadership style and communication skills affected the United States because he exhibits characteristic of a leader....   [tags: Leadership, Billy Graham, Evangelicalism]

Better Essays
919 words (2.6 pages)

The Importance of Being Open To All Possibilities of Life, Depicted in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and Emerson's Nature

- Individuals are products of society and, yet, society can also be a product of individuals. In either relationship, the individual and society affect each other. In “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester becomes an individual through being open to being positively guided by her own values and morals even if those values and morals are not prescribed by society. Similarly, in “Nature” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson discusses how the individual has the capability to, if the individual is open, be positively inspired and changed by the natural world....   [tags: The scarlet letter, nature]

Better Essays
2270 words (6.5 pages)

Essay about The Scarlet Letter : Nature Vs. Nature

- Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter: Nature vs. Nature One of the central themes of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is the idea of how nature bridges a connection with human beings. In the novel, it can be thought that Hawthorne portrays nature as a human like entity. That is, in the novel, nature, much like a human, is capable of observing, responding to, reacting to, and interacting with the characters. That being said, in this case, nature goes by both definitions of the word: nature as the wild, untamed outdoors, as well as human nature....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Light]

Better Essays
1484 words (4.2 pages)

A Scarlet Child's Human Nature Essay

- “A babe in the house is a well-spring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love, a resting place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men”, is a truth verbally expressed by Martin Tupper that is known as well accepted around the world. Tupper raised the question, if children are born as the link between angels and man, then why do we have some many devils in the world. Hawthorne answered this question in his novel, The Scarlet Letter, by demonstrating that children are born innocent and are innocent in all things until taught a different nature in which to live their lives....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorn's The Scarlet Letter]

Better Essays
773 words (2.2 pages)

The Nature of the Heart in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Nature of the Heart in The Scarlet Letter          Sacrificing of the soul and dedication can lead to suffering for some, but meaning in life for others. This is the main theme of The Scarlet Letter,by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The story takes place in the seventeenth century in Puritan New England. The main character of the legend is Hester Prynne, who has an affair with Arthur Dimmesdale, the minister, and they produce Pearl. Hester's husband, Roger Chillingworth is the town physician. He is seen as the healer, collecting magical herbs to make medicine....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Better Essays
1343 words (3.8 pages)

Captian Vere's reactions to Billy Budd in Billy Budd Essay

- Captian Vere's reactions to Billy Budd in Billy Budd When Captain Vere says “Struck dead by an angel of God. Yet the angel must hang!” his attitude towards Billy Budd changes from one of paternal concern and personal respect to one in which he has set aside his personal thoughts and feelings for the sake of his nation. Each sentence represents this dichotomy by indicating his sentiment towards Billy. In the first, Billy is “an angel of God” who has “struck” Claggart dead, in a righteous manner....   [tags: Vere Billy Budd Essays]

Free Essays
414 words (1.2 pages)

Billy Budd Essay: Comparing Christ to Billy

- Comparing Christ to Billy of Billy Budd         "I stand for the heart. To the dogs with the head!" wrote Herman Melville in his June 1851 letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne (Davis and Gilman 3). Yet, by the time he began writing Billy Budd, Sailor in 1888, Melville must have tempered this view, for Billy Budd depicts the inevitable destruction of a man who is all heart but who utterly lacks insight. Melville no doubt intends for his reader to connect this tale with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Billy Budd endures a persecution similar to Christ's; he is executed for like reasons, and he eventually ascends, taking "the full rose of the dawn" (BB 376)....   [tags: Billy Budd Essays]

Better Essays
3199 words (9.1 pages)

Essay about Billy Budd - Thoreau and Melville

- Billy Budd - Thoreau and Melville The story of Billy Budd provides an excellent scenario in which to compare and contrast Thoreau and Melville. The topics of government-inspired injustice and man's own injustice to man can be explored through the story. Thoreau's position is one of lessened government and enhanced individualism, while Melville's is one of group unity and government's role to preserve order. The opinions of Melville and Thoreau outline the paradox of government: Government cannot exist without man, and man cannot exist without government....   [tags: Billy Budd Essays]

Better Essays
1083 words (3.1 pages)

Comparing Billy Budd and Christ Essay

- Comparing Billy and Christ in Billy Budd Herman Melville's Billy Budd provides us with a summation and conclusive commentary on the ambiguities of moral righteousness and social necessity. The conflict that arises pitting natural justice in opposition to military justice essentially deliberates over whether the sacrifice of the individual is required for the continuum and conservation of social order. The deep allegorical theme of the passion of Christ that resides in Billy Budd illustrates Melville's adjudication on this issue....   [tags: Billy Budd Essays]

Better Essays
3108 words (8.9 pages)

Irony in Billy Budd Essays

- Billy Budd is a story filled with irony. This literary aspect can be seen through the plot and characters of the work. As defined in The American Heritage Dictionary, irony is the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. After a casual reading of the story' the many ironic aspects may have been igonred, but after analyzing the story it becomes obvious that they are of great importance. "...The fate of each character is the direct reverse of what one is led to expect from his nature" (Johnson, 185)....   [tags: Billy Budd Essays]

Better Essays
609 words (1.7 pages)