Nostromo notes

There’s a neat use of telling (not showing) in part one, The Silver of the Mine. The character Nostromo is considered by Mitchell and Sir John (a visiting Brit dignitary) and all of the native citizens as a great man, a “one man in a thousand” who is to be trusted and relied upon without question. But he isn’t shown doing anything noble or enlightened in part one, other than escorting Sir John across the mountain into Sulaco. It’s a strange choice Conrad makes, to make Nostromo in the eyes and words of others. When we do learn of him it is from his intimate friends, the Viola family and a woman he fancies. Old Viola thinks of him as his dead son reincarnated, Mrs Viola sees him as a selfish braggart yet not without qualities. The two Viola daughters are too young to have opinions of their fellow Italian.