Victory Summary
Joseph Conrad

Everything you need to understand or teach Victory by Joseph Conrad.

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Victory Summary

A central theme of the novel is the tragic nature of Axel Heyst's philosophical detachment from human life, and Conrad's own vision of the need for some kind of involvement in the human community. Although Conrad was in many ways a skeptic about human ideals, like Axel Heyst's father, the philosopher who published a number of books expressing a philosophy similar to Schopenhauer's intellectual pessimism, Conrad the artist and thinker recognized the importance of involvement and commitment to the human community. Hence the novel may be viewed from one perspective as the tragic consequence of Heyst's inadequate involvement with humanity.

Ironically, however, it is not until Heyst becomes involved first with Morrison and then with Lena that the fatal momentum of the final events in his life begins.

Thus another theme of the novel is the grim recognition that involvement with humanity, even relatively innocent people like Morrison and...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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