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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
CHAPTER 24: The Cruise of the Coracle
Jim finds himself floating at the southwest end of the island when he wakes up. He is a quarter of a mile away from the shore and thinks about paddling in. He changes his mind when he sees huge waves, carrying large shiny sea lions. In the meantime, Jim decides to approach land with the help of the current that moves northward. The sea behaves in its natural way, but Jim couldn't control the coracle as Jim was new to all this. Unable to do anything against the huge waves Jim lies down in the coracle just watching them. The waves look like mountains, hills and valleys. Every now and then Jim musters up his courage and strokes the coracle when his hopes look up and he sees the trees swaying not far away from him, he knows he was approaching land. He expects to reach the shore with the next stroke when a current pulls Jim back to the open sea.
Here Jim witnesses the most unexpected scene. Half a mile away he sees the Hispaniola sailing. For a moment, he thinks about getting on board as he is dying of thirst. The ship is still uncontrolled by the men on board. Jim feels an urge to take control of the vessel and return it to the Captain. Jim rows his coracle towards the ship. A wind pulls the coracle closer. He decides to desert the coracle and grasps the jib-boom of the ship. The wave that helps Jim to get hold of the jib-boom makes the ship swagger and it hits the coracle. Jim is left hanging on the Hispaniola.
Jim wakes up to find himself in the southwest end of the island. He notices the land just quarter of a mile away and decides to paddle in. He drops the idea when he sees the heavy waves lashing to the rocks on shore. After sight of huge sea lions Jim plans to stay on water and starve rather than confront them. He remembers Silver talking about the northward current along the west coast of the island. Jim feels the influence of the current and decides to take its course to the cape of woods. Jim tries to control the coracle in the sea that behaved in the most unpredictable ways. He gives up when he is unable to control the coracle and lies down waiting for a miracle to happen. Every now and then he guides the coracle towards the shore. Just when his hopes of reaching ashore are firing up a strong wave takes him away from the land. Here we see Jim struggling because of his inexperience.
Jim is now thirsty and tired. He doesn't know what to do. He notices the Hispaniola barely half a mile away wobbling in the sea without anyone steering it. He curses the men on board for not controlling the ship. This attitude is similar to that of many adolescent boys who when they are in trouble seek to externalize the blame.
Jim slowly paddles towards the Hispaniola as he develops the urge to take control of the schooner. His behavior is typical of a young boy. Still one cannot deny his courage in the midst of crisis. This chapter develops the plot of the story through its protagonist. Jim's instinctive behavior, his presence of mind and his patience are all portrayed in this chapter. This chapter, like the previous one also adds more drama and excitement to the theme.