FailureC.S. Forester’s Lieutenant Hornblower: Success and Failure
In the novel Lieutenant Hornblower there were a few scenes were
Hornblower was a success and a few were he was a failure.
In my opinion the first success of Hornblower was when he used all the
cannons on one side of the ship to free them from the mud holding the ship.
Another success was when Hornblower suggested a landing attack on Samana Bay.
The commanding officer agreed with his suggestion, and they put together a
landing party. Hornblower had the whole attack planed and the coordinates
marked. His surprise attack on the Spanish at Samana proved to be a success.
Once the fort was taken over he was successful in firing red hot shot at enemy
ships, even without ever using that technique before. Then when the negotiation
with the Spanish took place he had a brilliant idea to mount a nine pound cannon
at the upper end of the peninsula to prevent the Spanish from escaping. This
enabled them to turn down the terms of the proposal that the Spanish wanted and
get what they wanted without giving anything to the Spanish. These achievements
made by Hornblower is what later earned him the command of the Retribution,
although his command of the Retribution did not come until later when the war
Hornblower had also had a few failures that hindered his successes.
Among these was when Hornblower was using the red hot shot to sink enemy ships.
This was both a success and failure. It was a failure because after heating the
shot for a considerably long period of time the shot began to deform. This
deformity of the shot wouldn’t allow it to fit into the cannon. Hornblower
realized his mistake after one of the shots wouldn’t fit into the cannon. This
slowed their operation down but didn’t cause a defeat to them. The situation
with Hornblower gambling is mostly in my opinion a success but it could also be
a failure. The way I think it would be a failure is that he lost a lot of his
money and couldn’t afford some necessities. Hornblower also won a considerable
amount of money and his playing Whist with Parry led to the confirming of his
command of the Retribution.
I feel these examples show both the success and failure of Lieutenant
Hornblower throughout the novel. His success lead him to commander of
Retribution and his failures were small and didn’t have great effect on his