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Free Study Guide-Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 10: The Voyage

Summary

After a busy night of getting ready for the voyage, they set sail. Jim finds all this very thrilling. When Long John Silver, at the request of his mates, sings the old sea song Jim was so familiar with. Jim momentarily travels back in his mind to Admiral Benbow and is reminded of the Captain. The anchor is drawn and they set sail.

The voyage to the island had begun. Jim says, the voyage was quite a pleasant one except for a couple of incidents. Mr. Arrow turns out to be a complete drunk who had no command on the people under him. Nobody had a clue as to where he got his rum from. With time, he also turned out to be a bad influence among others. One fine morning he disappears, never to be seen again, hardly surprising anybody.

Job Anderson, the boatswain takes Arrow's position and Mr. Trelawney watched the weather. Jim observes Silver on the deck. His activities make him a favorite amongst the sailors and they call him 'Barbecue'. Israel Hands, a friend of Silver, tell Jim that Silver is no ordinary man. He says that Silver was educated in the best institutions and he was also as brave as a lion. Jim takes a liking to him and the feeling is mutual. Silver often invites Jim to listen to his parrot Captain Flint. The Parrot, wherever asked any question, would reply 'Pieces of eight, Pieces of eight'. Silver often talked about the bird and the amount of wickedness it has seen in its 200 years old long lifetime.

The Squire and the Captain, like at the start of the journey, are always at odds. The Squire often loses control over himself. The weather changes drastically but the ship proves its worth when it withstands the test of nature. The crew is tired of the journey and are spoiled as the ration of booze doubles for any trifling reason. They also have a barrel of apples ready for anyone to help himself, though nobody cares for them.


Jim says some good did come of the apple barrel as the Hispaniola approached its destination. After sundown when Jim got into the barrel to pick up an apple for himself he finds the whole barrel empty. He fell asleep in the barrel with the calming motion and quiet of the ship. Jim wakes when a man sits down next to the barrel. He hears the voice of Silver. His words surprise and terrify him and Jim is convinced that the lives of men on board are at risk and depend upon him and him alone.

Notes

Jim is delighted at the preparations being made on the ship for the voyage. He too has a busy night of work. His involvement in the work shows his total dedication to the cause.

Their journey to the Treasure Island has begun. When Long John Silver breaks out with the old sea song, Jim is reminded of the first person whom he had heard sing it. He travels back to the Admiral Benbow and thinks about the Captain. This technique of Stevenson, of going back and forth forces the reader to see the plot develop through the eyes of the protagonist.

Mr. Arrow turns out to be worse than what the Captain has predicted. He turns out to be a complete drunkard, hardly attending to this duties. He doesn't voice a command over his junior sailors either. Over time, he also turns out to be bad influence amongst the men. Jim says that his disappearance hardly surprised anybody. He is neither missed, as he was more of liability than an asset.

Jim observes that the Squire's choice of Mr. Arrow as the officer, which was sternly objected to by the Captain, indeed turns out to be a mistake.

As the title of the section suggests, the whole section concentrates on the character introduction and development of the Sea Cook Long John Silver.

Jim observes that Long John is one of the most enthusiastic and lively characters aboard the schooner. He is the most likeable on board and the favorite amongst sailors. The character of Long John is made likeable by Stevenson when he portrays certain qualities by Long John. Long John is seen moving around the deck even while he is cooking. Even in the worst of weathers, he would move from one place to another despite his handicap and that his movement isn't any slower than a normal man.

Here the reader is introduced to the Sea Cook's personality. And when Stevenson writes that he walks as fast as any other man, Silver's personality as a man to reckon with is established. The intelligent side of his personality is depicted when the other hands tell Jim that the Sea Cook has had a good education and possessed a very refined language.

Silver's liking for Jim develops with the plot. He frequently invites Jim to listen to his parrot, Captain Flint talk. He often speaks to Jim at length about the parrot saying that it had seen more wickedness than the devil and that it was 200 years old. In the meanwhile, the Squire's attitude towards the Captain has not changed and he despises him more than ever. Inter-personal dislike is highlighted by Stevenson, especially as Jim is a child and children observe the oddities of their elders quickly.

The apple barrel, serves as the turning point of the story developed so far. Before this instance, Stevenson had built up the tension with the description of Seaman with one leg and the name of Captain Flint but it is for the first time he reveals the second side of the mission.

Jim's innocent trip to the apple barrel brings him to the knowledge of an impending mutiny. Again Stevenson points out that only a child can squirm into such places as an apple barrel. At this point, the reader is reminded of the Captain's comments about the atmosphere on the deck. And this is for the first time that Stevenson reveals the negative side of Silver as an untrustworthy seaman.

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