Dear Herman Melville,
You win. You have convinced me, contrary to everything that I've been told by my parents, monotheistic religions and the Lifetime Channel, that innocence is the root of all evil.
The character of Billy Budd, sailor is compared to Adam"before the fall" several times throughout the novel. "Billy in many respects was little more than a sort of upright barbarian, much such perhaps as Adam presumably mighthave been ere the urbane Serpent wriggled himself into his company (pg. 52)."
Adam's fall from grace was a result of the serpent's ability to manipulate Adam and Eve's innocence. Billy Budd's execution was a direct result of his innocence as well. If Billy Budd had been a cynic, hardened to world he wouldn't have had the same flustered, violent reaction to Claggart's reaction. Yes, his innocence makes him something of a martyr for all goodness, but it also makes him dead.
Herman Mellville, I appreciate this lesson. It has taught me to continue to expand my cynical outlook on life. Thank you.