Benito Cereno is a short novel written by Melville, with a surprise ending. At least it was quite a surprise that Babo, the negro servant of Cereno, ends up being the one in charge of the ship. Babo fought for his freedom, which is good, but Babo went above and beyond the means necessary to get his freedom. Along with that he has much more serious problems with himself. Here are some ways to see it. There are two ways to look at what Babo did. When he was fighting for his freedom he was either fighting for his life or for his quality of life. Babo was fighting for a cause that is unjustifiable after the actions that he committed. Babo was fighting for his quality of life and what Babo did to improve his quality of life was terrible and with malicious intent. Yet, there is always another side to an argument so first I will show the way Babo could be seen as a symbol of good. These concepts, life versus quality of life and how Babo is seen as both good and evil, I will clarify in the paragraphs that follow.
Babo could be considered a good leader
Babo could also be considered a genius
Another good quality of Babo is his will to live
Fighting for your life is when you are in danger of losing your life. Babo was never in danger of losing his life before he took over Cerenos' ship. Babo didn't like the situation that he was in. So yes, do something about being a slave but there is no need to kill anyone. Babo could have remained on the ship, been sold into slavery and then reposes his freedom much like how Fredrick Douglass attained his. Fredrick Douglass got out of slavery without a single life lost. If Babo had done what he was told to do, Babos' head wouldn't be on a stick right now. Babo would be at his destination escaping slavery. He's obviously smart enough to do it. If he can take over a ship he can escape slavery.
Fighting for your quality of life, which is exactly what Babo did, is when you fight to improve your life. This is a worthy cause but not when you take it as far as Babo did. Working towards a better quality of life can be a challenging and rewarding process. While you improve your quality of life you must remain ethical. In Babos' case he started killing people, which is unethical. When you start killing people just to get a nicer ship that's a little too far. Also, when you gruesomely murder people just because you can, that is also taking it a little to far. Babo had total control of the ship yet he made the choice of killing Don Alexadro Aranda. The moment Babo killed Aranda is when he crossed over to fighting for his quality of life....