Billy Budd by Herman Melville Examine the theme of institutional conscience versus private conscience in Billy Budd.

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Institutional Conscience v. Private Conscience "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was...desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband...then the eyes of both of them were opened." This well-known Bible verse from Genesis 3:6 was known as The Fall of Man. Symbolically, when the first humans ate from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil, civilization was conceived. …

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…uphold the latter and proved that institutional conscience prevailed over private conscience. The institutional conscience was implemented by the established law and order, whereas the private conscience originated within the individual. When the two clash, the private conscience would yield to the institutional conscience because the latter is as omnipresent as civilization itself. Based on this concept, Herman Melville masterfully pinpointed the conflict brought by civilization through the creation of the timeless novella, Billy Budd.