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Analysis

Literary Devices in Kidnapped

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Initially, Alan's clothes indicate to Captain Hoseason that he is a Jacobite. He has a Scottish accent, but he's dressed like a Frenchman. Bonnie Prince Charlie's 1745 uprising against the English...

Setting

Hoo boy, is there a lot to the setting in this novel. It takes place in Scotland (Robert Louis Stevenson's home country) in the year 1751, six years after the last major Jacobite uprising of the Hi...

Narrator Point of View

Davie Balfour is both the narrator and the central character. The great thing about the story being in first person (using "I") is that you feel caught up in Davie's experiences, like you're really...

Genre

Identifying Kidnapped as an adventure novel is the easy part: there are daring escapes, chases, shipwrecks, violence, suspense – all the elements of a good yarn. As for coming-of-age, Davie s...

Tone

Suspense is generated when someone in a story – whether it's the main character or the narrator or both – knows something that we, the readers, do not. Usually this information is fed t...

Writing Style

We often use the word "ironic" in casual conversation to mean either sarcastic or coincidental. Now we're not saying that Davie's narration is never funny, but in this case, we're using "ironic" in...

What's Up With the Title?

The most obvious explanation for the title, Kidnapped, is that the main character, David Balfour, gets kidnapped. (Surprising, we know.) So the title tells it like it is. But beyond that, the title...

What's Up With the Ending?

We have to admit, this novel's ending doesn't feel very conclusive: the final line of Kidnapped is, "The hand of Providence brought me in my drifting to the very doors of the British Linen Company'...

Tough-o-Meter

This book may have been intended for young people when it was first published, but that was a hundred years ago. There are a lot of relatively unexplained references to Scottish history – the...

Plot Analysis

Davie sets out on his trip to the house of Shaws.The initial situation is the set-up, the part of the story where we learn the basic background that sets the plot in motion. In the first chapter, w...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Rags to Riches

Davie has to do something about the fact that he's broke and apparently homeless. He has no choice but to go out into the world, so he takes his friend Mr. Campbell's advice and heads to the house...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Davie leaves his hometown of Essendean to seek out financial help at the Shaws household now that he has been left an orphan. He arrives at the house only to find that his uncle is a miserable mise...

Trivia

According to 2001 testimony from an 89-year-old descendant of the Stewart family, the actual Appin murder was planned and carried out by four Jacobite Stewarts working in cahoots. The fatal shot wa...

Steaminess Rating

So very G. There is really, really nothing steamy in this novel. The closest thing Alan or Davie comes to a date is when they trick a local waitress into rowing them across the mouth of the Forth R...

Allusions

Patrick Walker, author of Covenanter tracts (4.2)Psalm 121 (20.35) Horace (27.13; 27.38)Homer, The Odyssey (27.47)Virgil, the Aeneid (27.47)Martial, Epigrams (28.4) Michel de Cervantes, Don Quixote...
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