Mr. Midshipman Hornblower Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 55 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Mr. Midshipman Hornblower.
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Growing Up

The novel is an abbreviated but typical coming of age story and presents Hornblower first as a confused and seasick adolescent without a dominant drive or even a defining character. By the end of the novel he is a commissioned lieutenant, trilingual, confident, and a leader of men. He has killed other men in combat, led combat squads on desperate missions, and made adaptive decisions contrary to established usages but appropriate in the instance. The novel begins with Hornblower as a timid seventeen-year-old and ends with him as a resolute and self-confident twenty-three-year-old.

Much of the initial chapter of the novel is devoted to a consideration of growing up in the Royal Navy, though the theme is subtle. When Hornblower enters his first warship cabin he is greeted by a group of other midshipmen and warrant officers who look him over and ridicule him for commencing a...

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This section contains 1,042 words
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Buy the Mr. Midshipman Hornblower Study Guide
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