The novel is about Billy Budd as he is pressed into service on the HMS Bellipotent, part of the British Navy. Melville's Billy Budd is characterized by youthful innocence, openness, and natural charisma. He is adored by the crew. The plot reaches a turning point when a jealous crewmate falsely accuses Billy Bud of a conspiracy to mutiny. The novel is often interpreted as a classic battle between good and evil. It is often assigned for reading by high school language arts teachers. Read it before or after Melville's epic, Moby Dick?