Study Guide

Nostromo Part 2, Chapter 1

By Joseph Conrad

Part 2, Chapter 1

  • "Part Second" is called "The Isabels" and begins with a description of how life went on for folks affiliated with the mine during the war alluded to in the previous section/chapter.
  • Because the war had brought back some of the retro symbols of Costaguana's Federalist period (like provincial flags), the narration then veers into memories of another war that brought the tyrant Guzmán Bento to power.
  • We learn about how Avellanos, who was targeted by Bento, suffered during that conflict. This country isn't big on peacetime, we guess.
  • Then, the narrator describes how Avellanos gained power and influence after Bento's death, and how he helped bring Don Vincente to power and revived the Blanco party.
  • Hey—we feel you, Shmooper. There are enough characters in this novel to fill a megacity. Hold tight and we promise they'll all sort themselves out.
  • Avellanos's relationship with the Goulds is also mentioned. So are Charles Gould's private views regarding the ethics behind his political power and influence.
  • Finally, the end of the chapter describes the means by which Gould got Holroyd interested in helping Ribiera in his rise to power (by helping, of course, we mean $$$).