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Points to Ponder

At first glance, it seems clear who the good and bad guys are in Treasure Island. But do Jim and his friends really have any more right to the treasure than Silver and the mutineers? After all, as a member of the pirate crew that originally stole the treasure, Silver has more of a claim to it than do Jim, Dr. Livesey, or Squire Trelawney. Jim steals the treasure map from Billy Bones, who in turn stole it from the rest of Flint's crew. Dr. Livesey and Trelawney mount the expedition to Skeleton Island in the hope of making a huge profit from someone else's property - is their motivation any different from Silver's? When the treasure is recovered, Ben Gunn, who was like Silver a member of Flint's crew, is given a much smaller share of the treasure than the others, even though it was he who found it. Why is this? Is it fair? Are Jim and his friends "pirates"?

Why might Stevenson have chosen to have Dr. Livesey narrate three chapters (16-18) in the middle of the book? Jim is separated from his friends at this point, so having Livesey narrate lets the story include things Jim can't see, but Jim goes off on his own again a few chapters later and the story simply follows him. How does Dr. Livesey's "voice" differ from Jim's? Do any of the characters seem different when described by one narrator as opposed to the other? Does Livesey reveal anything about his feelings about Jim in his writing?

Treasure Island is often considered a "coming of age" story, in which the hero makes the transition from boy to man. How does Jim Hawkins change over the course of the story? Is Jim considered "a man" at the end of Treasure Island, and if so, what does this suggest about Stevenson's idea, or Victorian ideas, of manhood? Does killing the pirate Israel Hands have an effect on Jim, and, if so, what? There are many father figures for Jim in Treasure Island - first Billy Bones, later Long John Silver and Dr. Livesey. How do these men influence Jim? What does Jim learn from Silver?

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1, 2, and 3
Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Chapters 7, 8, and 9
Chapters 10, 11, and 12
Chapters 13, 14, and 15
Chapters 16, 17, and 18
Chapters 19, 20, and 21
Chapters 22, 23, and 24
Chapters 25, 26, and 27
Chapters 28, 29, and 30
Chapters 31, 32, 33, and 34



 






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