A literary analysis of treasure island

Table of Contents Dr. Livesey first appears to be an ideal authority figure for the young Jim.

A literary analysis of treasure island

Treasure Island remains the supreme achievement among the three works. Although critics may debate its seriousness, few question its status as the purest of adventure stories. According to Stevenson, the book was born out of his fascination with a watercolor map he himself drew of an imaginary island.

Although many exciting scenes will ensue and the heroes will face great danger on a number of occasions, readers know that they will overcome all such obstacles.

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Thus, the suspense centers on how they escape, not on their personal survival as such. At the same time, by denying details of either the precise time of the adventure or the exact location, Stevenson sets readers imaginatively free to enjoy the story unencumbered by the specifics of when or where.

By introducing the mysterious, threatening Bill Bones into the serene atmosphere of the Admiral Benbow Inn, Stevenson immerses readers directly into the story. In the classic adventure story pattern, an ordinary individual, Jim Hawkins, living a normal, routine life, is suddenly thrust into an extraordinary and dangerous situation, which soon gets beyond the control of the individual and his cohorts.

Although the hero is involuntarily pressed into danger, he nevertheless can extricate himself and return the situation to normality only through his efforts.

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The adventure story is, therefore, usually to some extent a coming-of-age novel, whether the hero be fourteen or sixty-four years old. Without a father of his own, Jim can look to other father figures. Livesey, who represents stability, maturity, and moral responsibility; and John Silver, who suggests imagination, daring, bravado, and energy.

Between these two and, more important, through his own actions, Jim finds his own adulthood along with the treasure. Once the Hispaniola sets sail, however, he is on his own. The next stage in his growth occurs when, crouching in the apple barrel, he overhears Silver reveal his plans to his coconspirators.

Jim keeps calm, coolly informs his friends, and, with them, devises survival tactics. His initial positive, independent action takes place when they first reach the island and he goes off on his own; he has no specific plan, but he is sure that he can further the cause in some undetermined way.

He wanders in the woods and meets Ben Gunn, rejoins his party at the stockade, and engages in his first combat. When Jim makes his second solo trip, he has a definite course of action in mind; he plans to board the Hispaniola and cut it loose to drift with the tide, thus depriving the pirates of a refuge and an escape route.


His final test in action comes when he encounters the evil first mate, Israel Hands. When Hands tries to manipulate him, Jim sees through the deception and, acting with considerable courage and dexterity, manages to outmaneuver the experienced pirate.

Finally, faced with an enraged adversary, Jim remains calm and, with a knife sticking in his shoulder, still manages to shoot the villain. His final test of adulthood is not physical, however, but moral. Returning to the stockade, which he still believes to be occupied by his friends, Jim is captured by the pirates.

Given the opportunity a short time later to talk privately with Dr. Livesey, Jim refuses to escape: Silver trusted me, I passed my word, and back I go. All critics have noted that he is both bad and good, cruel and generous, despicable and admirable.

Such an effort is probably wrong. Silver is both good and bad, and his role in the novel demands both kinds of actions. In any pirate story, the author faces a moral and artistic dilemma.

On one hand, pirates can hardly be presented as moral exemplars or heroes; they must be criminals and cutthroats.

On the other hand, pirates are romantically attractive and interesting characters. Enhance their attractiveness, and the book becomes morally distorted; mute it, and the book becomes dull. Stevenson uses this technique in Treasure Island.

Silver is separated from his purely villainous cronies and set against the truly evil figures, Israel Hands and George Merry, with less developed pirate characters remaining in the background.Get ready to write your paper on Treasure Island with our suggested essay topics, sample essays, and more.

How to Write Literary Analysis Suggested Essay Topics. Treasure Island: An Analysis. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, is a tale of adventure filled with exciting characters and set in exotic locales.

This paper will present background information on both the novel and its author and analyze and discuss the major characters, themes and motifs. Such a view is undoubtedly unfair and slights the author’s many valuable literary accomplishments, but the fact that these three works have endured not only as citations in literary histories but also as readable, exciting books is a tribute to Stevenson’s genius.

Treasure Island remains the supreme achievement among the three works. Although critics may debate its seriousness, few question its status as the . The Story of My Life. Helen Keller. Part III. A Supplementary Account of Helen Keller's Life and Education, Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, by John Albert Macy CHAPTER V.

LITERARY STYLE. Literary Devices in Treasure Island Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory The whole idea for Treasure Island started with Robert Louis Stevenson and his girlfriend's son designing an imaginary island together, so it should be no surprise that a map of Treasure Island pla.

A literary analysis of treasure island

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