Horitio Hornblower

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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Horitio Hornblower is a hero of a series of books written by C.S.Forester.

This series of books follows a navel carrier of Hornblower, from its early stages as a midshipman up to its end when Hornblower is admiral (the highest navel rank).

Hornblower's tale is a tale of the English navy from the second half of the eighteenth century till the beginning of the nineteenth century. Horitios' navy is the English navy of Nelson, of the war against Napolean and of world wide commerce.

In comparison with the above details our first encounter with Hornblower is a disappointing one: "˜He looked at the approaching figure. It was that of a skinny young man only just leaving boyhood behind... his gawkiness. The newcomer was dressed in a badly fitting uniform soaked right through... but his face was not nearly white in the hollow chicks there was a faint shade of green "“ clearly the newcomer had experienced seasickness.'

Hornblower is described as seasick and wet. This is one of the sailors most humiliating situations for in this situation the sailor is totally defeated and controlled by the sea.

Throughout the series Hornblower is portrayed (mainly by himself) as an anti-hero.

He is shy, awkward, seasick and self conscience. He lacks self confidence and some seaman's skills.

Yet, it is over this background that Hornblower's real character and abilities appear.

Along with being a talented navel strategic (when he escapes from a French frigate in Hornblower and the Hotspur) and an excellent enterprising ship commander (when he commands enemy sailors along with his own sailors at the end of Flying Colors), Hornblower has a noble personality.

It is his personality which makes Hornblower a hero he is well aware of his short comes yet he gives credit to people who exceed him in different abilities, he is a true comrade (when he takes care of his legless officer in Flying Colors), he is brave and is very humble.

It is the last which helps us identify with Hornblower and see him as a "˜Hero of Nelson's stamp and tradition'.