Considered by many to be Conrad's masterpiece, it is a story of revolution, deception, and self-betrayal. Running throughout is the theme of man's struggle against his greatest enemy--himself. The agent of destruction is stolen silver. When revolution breaks out, Nostromo is told to remove the silver treasure, and he hides it on a desert island. Later he lets it be known that the ship carrying the silver had sunk to the bottom of the sea. From that day, he grows discreetly richer. Conrad shows how the fates of Gould, the empire builder, Nostromo, the incorruptable and vain man of the people, Decoud, the voice of skeptical intelligence, and Dr. Monygham, the outcast, are mirrored in the shining treasure that haunts them and challenges their honor.