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By William Faulkner

A sale of fiery wild ponies, which have the ability to break out their corral once they are offered, introduce Flem Snopes, the guy at the back of the sale, to the city of Frenchman's Bend.

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Finally the Neversink enters balmy seas and arrives at Rio de Janeiro. While the ship is in harbor, Bland, the sergeant-at-arms, smuggles liquor onboard and sells it to the crew at outrageous prices and then flogs them when the sailors are caught inebriated by the officers. Eventually the captain learns of Bland’s scheme and temporarily demotes him; however, because he behaves courageously, he is not harmed by the crew and is eventually reinstated as sergeant-at-arms. Various other incidents are recounted, including an account of Dr.

He kisses Jack Chase’s hand at Norfolk, and the crew soon disburses ashore. Characters Because “Melville reserves his most vivid personifications for [the] inanimate features” of the ship and the jacket, most of the “characters appear and disappear according to their use in clarifying the dynamics of shipboard life” (Otter 52). “White-Jacket has neither a strong central hero around whom a continuous and developing action is built, nor consequently any similar sort of villain. It has, rather, a set of people known from a voyage, not from a plot” (Vincent, Tailoring 33).

Frustrated by the concerns that his first two books raised on the issue of their factual basis, Melville declares in the preface of his third book that he has determined this time to write “a romance of Polynesian adventure … to see whether, the fiction might not, possibly, be received for a verity: in some degree the reverse of my previous experience” (Mardi 661). Although the narrative begins in the realistic mode of Typee and Omoo, its eventual focus becomes the metaphysical rather than the physical.

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