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Treasure Island

Treasure Island

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Criminality

Obviously, this is a book about pirates, so it's also a book about crime. At the same time, it's an adventure novel, so there isn't much room for gritty realism here. Treasure Island is a fantasy o...

Duty

A lot of people talk about duty in Treasure Island, especially that upstanding representative of English order, Captain Smollett. Obviously, the pirates have a flexible notion of duty, what with th...

Appearances

Lots of characters in Treasure Island are exactly as they appear: Captain Smollett looks sharp and he is sharp. Ben Gunn looks shifty and strange and he is shifty and strange. We've also talked thr...

Exploration

This novel began with a map, so it certainly is concerned with charting new places and things. However, anyone looking for a gung-ho celebration of exploration will be disappointed with Treasure Is...

Language and Communication

Long John Silver is clearly a master wordsmith. He can make nearly anybody believe nearly anything, at least for a while. But the spoken word is only one form of communication in Treasure Island. T...

Youth

There are three largely inexperienced youths in Treasure Island. Abraham Gray is fresh off the farm and decides to stand by his captain rather than his new sailing buddies. His reward for loyalty i...

Friendship

We're using friendship a little loosely here. We don't just mean the ties that bind people together; we're also talking about the ambition and greed that tears them apart. The guilt that Jim feels...

Drugs and Alcohol

The word "rum" is used over 70 times in Treasure Island. The only fun thing the pirates ever do together is drink. This reliance on alcohol also proves to be their undoing. Because they are all sto...

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