Victory Analysis

Places Discussed (Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

Samburan

Samburan (sahm-BEWR-ahn). Also known as Round Island, one of the thousands of small islands in the Malaysian archipelago, on which Baron Axel Heyst establishes the center of his Tropical Belt Coal Company. At its height, his company has offices in London and Amsterdam. After the death of Heyst’s partner, the only person remaining in Heyst’s house is his Chinese servant, Wang. On the side of the island opposite the house is a native village.

Although Heyst finds island life fascinating, he is generally disenchanted with it, even though he rarely feels lonely. He often sits in the main room of his house, under a picture of his father—a misanthrope and famous writer—and reflects.

Into this deserted wilderness Heyst brings Alma (whom he renames Lena), a women he has rescued from an obsessive-compulsive hotel owner at the nearest civilized island, three days journey by boat. In his sitting room, Heyst assures Lena that nothing can break in on them there.

Schomberg’s Hotel

Schomberg’s Hotel. Hotel in Sourabaya owned by Wilhelm Schomberg, who is obsessed with controlling Lena, one of the eighteen women in his hotel concert hall. Desperate to escape the hotel, Lena persuades Heyst to take her with him after a concert.

Other residents of the hotel include two very suspicious characters, Mr. Jones and Martin Ricardo, who gamble in the hotel’s shabby gaming room. These...

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Victory Literary Techniques

Critics have debated over whether Victory is too schematized or allegorical in its conception. Although the story is credible as...

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Victory Ideas for Group Discussions

Much of the interest in the novel concerns the philosophical attitudes of Axel Heyst and his desire to withdraw from human involvement....

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Victory Social Concerns

Although at one time Victory was less highly regarded than some of Joseph Conrad's more famous novels, its stature as a work of art...

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Victory Literary Precedents

As has been noted, many literary precedents besides sea fiction and French realism have been suggested for Victory. Among works which...

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Victory Related Titles

Although the novel comes late in Conrad's career, Victory shows many affinities with the earlier Malaysian novels, including...

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Victory Adaptations

Rather surprisingly, Victory was almost immediately viewed as worthy material for a stage adaptation. Although Conrad gave some...

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Victory Bibliography (Great Characters in Literature)

Gillon, Adam. The Eternal Solitary: A Study of Joseph Conrad. New York: Bookman Associates, 1960. Explores the key role that isolation played in Conrad’s life and work. Presents Victory as a melodrama that effectively discusses, in symbolic terms, the nature of solitude and its consequences.

Johnson, Bruce. Conrad’s Models of Mind. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1971. Explores Conrad’s continual readjustment of his fictions to fit changing philosophical models of human behavior and motivation. Discusses the way Victory reassesses the individual’s need for human solidarity and community....

(The entire section is 219 words.)