Over half a century of battle between brothers, conditioned by their bitter, harsh mother to roles they cannot escape. This contrasts Maine's virtues with Maine's vices, and scores heavily on the morals involved. Ulysses has to find fame and some measure of happiness at home. Vergil, going beyond his mother's precepts to let nothing stand in the way of success, finds fortune in New York, in South America, but never happiness. With fewer melodramatic touches than Tide-Rode, this continues the interlocking plotting and popular reading.