Treasure Island

When you think of the sea, perhaps you think of pirates, sword-fights, or hidden treasure. In Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, you read about all those things. Every page of this classic is filled with adventure and danger.

Jim Hawkins and his family run a peaceful inn by the sea called the Admiral Benbow. As a boy, Jim’s life is quite tranquil until an old seaman comes to stay at the inn. Although the buccaneer spends most of his time drinking rum, Billy Bones does tell Jim to watch out for a dangerous man with one leg.

The first stranger to come is a blind man named Pew. On his second visit he brings Billy Bones “the black spot,” a summons to a meeting of pirates. However, before the meeting, the buccaneer dies of a heart attack. Jim Hawkins and his mother now find themselves in a dangerous situation. Searching through Billy’s old sea chest, they find a map. After they escape to a near village, the pirates come and ransack the inn, hunting for the map. Unable to find it, they leave, but not before Pew, the blind man, is killed.

Later Jim shows the map to Dr. Livesey, a respected doctor and magistrate in the town. The map is of Treasure Island, and shows the location of the gold. With help from rich Squire Trelawney, a voyage is planned to reach the island. Unfortunately, the secret of treasure slips from someone’s mouth, and before long everyone knows about it. But still the voyage commences.

One of the friendships Jim forms on board the ship is that of the sea cook, Long John Silver. Though he has just one leg, Silver has a sprightly manner and jovial character. But one fateful day, Jim discovers that Silver is the ringleader of a mutinous group who wishes to steal the treasure. Outnumbered greatly, the loyal crew lands on shore, doubting whether they will return alive.

Many adventures await them on the island. Jim discovers a sailor who was marooned on the island years before, who soon becomes the means of saving them. After a fight at the stockade, Jim sets off alone to save his friends. Will he be able to outwit Long John Silver and the pirates?

The reader learns lessons through the experiences of Jim Hawkins, as he matures from boyhood to manhood. Jim learns that money can corrupt men to the point that they will kill for it. From the example of Long John Silver, he learns firsthand that men must stand for what they believe in, rather than give up their beliefs for their own personal gain.

Treasure Island has remained popular for over a century. Its timeless theme of courage and honesty keep it on today’s bookshelf. If you haven’t read it, you are missing out on one of the finest books in English literature.

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