FailureC. S. Forester’s Lieutenant Hornblower: Success and FailureIn the novel Lieutenant Hornblower there were a few scenes wereHornblower was a success and a few were he was a failure. In my opinion the first success of Hornblower was when he used all thecannons 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 alanding party. Hornblower had the whole attack planed and the coordinatesmarked. 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 enemyships, even without ever using that technique before. Then when the negotiationwith the Spanish took place he had a brilliant idea to mount a nine pound cannonat the upper end of the peninsula to prevent the Spanish from escaping. Thisenabled them to turn down the terms of the proposal that the Spanish wanted andget what they wanted without giving anything to the Spanish. These achievementsmade 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 warstarted again. 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 theshot for a considerably long period of time the shot began to deform. Thisdeformity of the shot wouldn’t allow it to fit into the cannon. Hornblowerrealized his mistake after one of the shots wouldn’t fit into the cannon.
Thisslowed their operation down but didn’t cause a defeat to them. The situationwith Hornblower gambling is mostly in my opinion a success but it could also bea failure. The way I think it would be a failure is that he lost a lot of hismoney and couldn’t afford some necessities. Hornblower also won a considerableamount of money and his playing Whist with Parry led to the confirming of hiscommand of the Retribution. I feel these examples show both the success and failure of LieutenantHornblower throughout the novel. His success lead him to commander ofRetribution and his failures were small and didn’t have great effect on hisoutcome.