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Free Study Guide-Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson-Free Book Notes
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OVERALL ANALYSES

CHARACTER ANALYSIS

Treasure Island is more a novel of plot and action rather than character. Hence there is not much analysis for the characters.

Jim Hawkins

The protagonist and the narrator of one of the widely appreciated works of Stevenson, he is a young country lad with a keen eye for observation and an urge for adventure. Stevenson has illustrated the character of Jim as a model boy for youngsters.

He is the fearless young hero of a treasure hunting trip to Treasure Island. The voyage turns out to be an educational voyage to adulthood. His inquisitiveness and adventurous spirit lands him in strange and interesting situations which helps him distinguish the good from the bad. This also develops his character, which earns him the status of an equal among the matured characters in the book.

Long John Silver

One of the most crooked and the shrewdest characters in the book, Long John Silver is a crafty character capable of enormous charm and unscrupulous cruelty. He walks around in the ship with his one wooden leg and his parrot Captain Flint. His power and enthusiasm even with his handicap, his gentlemanly manner, his shrewd intelligence that takes every body by surprise and his unusually calm and composed mindset makes him one of the most complex villainous characters to deal with. For most of the adult readers, Long John Silver is the main hero of the book, as the original title of the book was The Sea Cook he is a no doubt a hero. But a hero in negative terms.


Captain Billy Bones

The first character introduced by Jim Hawkins, he is a tall , strong , heavy nut-brown man uncouth with a saber cut his right cheek. He walks in at the Admiral Benbow dragging his old sea chest and introduces himself as the Captain. His arrival at the inn plants the seed for adventure. His actions, observations and reactions make him a very secretive personality. A short lived, but one of the most important characters of the book who not only makes life understanding for the dull and boring country folk of Black Hill Cove, but also builds the foundation for a gripping and exciting adventure stories.

Black Dog

A pale fellow with two fingers of his left hand missing. He is the first visitor for the Captain. He is also the first person in the Black cove Hill territory to call the Captain by the name - Billy. Through his actions, like when he stops Jim from stepping outside the inn shows that his negative intentions are scarcely revealed. The fight inside the inn with the Captain where he escapes from death only with mild injuries creates enough curiosity in the story.

Old Man Pew

The blind beggar, who visits the "Admiral Benbow" twice -- First time to pass some secret note and the second time in search of the map of the Treasure Island. One time mate of Captain Flint, he is described as a man who recklessly spent his money which has bought him to the state of begging. His change of tone while speaking to Jim initially suggests the ulterior motive behind his visit. When suddenly Billy Bones dies after his visit, he attains the image of a bad omen. He dies helplessly trampled under the horses of Superintendent Dance and his men, after being deserted by his mates.

Dr. Livesey

A clearheaded, duty-bound, and a very understanding human character, he plays an important role in implementing the right moves in the right places. For instance, when he butts in the heated conversation between Captain Smollet and the Squire and brings stability to the situation by acting sensibly on the Captain's suggestions. Stevenson portrays him as a duty bound medical practitioner when he visits even the enemy camp to treat the wounded. Dr. Livesey is also the first person to acknowledge and appreciate Jim's efforts and take him on as a cabin boy for the voyage. The reader may note the book is a result of the request made to Jim by Dr. Livesey together with Squire Trelawney.

Squire Trelawney

Stevenson introduces the Squire as a close associate of Dr. Livesey. A tall man with a rough face, he is portrayed as an enthusiastic character capable of undertaking major tasks. The agility with which he arranges for the ship and appoints his crew to the Treasure Island clearly portrays his high spirits. Though a mature character, his activities indicates that he is an unreliable man when it comes to keeping secrets. The admirable quality of the Squire to accept his own mistakes and rectify them makes him a likeable character.

Captain Smollet

The Captain of the ship Hispaniola, he plays an important role in the treasure hunting voyage. A brave man who has extreme respect for his country, his character as an experienced Captain comes through when he turns down the request of Long John Silver to enter the cabin of the stockade, treating him like a pirate, and not allowing any undue liberties. The Captainís quality as a keen strategist comes through when he decides to give command of the crew, excluding his six faithful men, to Long John to take him into confidence and avoid giving him any indication of their knowledge about the mutiny that was being planned against them. He suffers injuries during the attack and he retires after the voyage from the Treasure Island.

Ben Gunn

An English man who is the only resident of Treasure Island. Marooned by a group of pirates 3 years back, when first noticed, he is seen jumping like a monkey among the trees. His craving for a Christian diet and his longing to speak to a human shows the pathetic state of mind he is in after loosing contact with human beings. An old time mate of Captain Flint in his ship Walrus, he had accompanied the Captain during the voyage when the treasure was buried. He is the first man to find the treasure and shift it to a safe place. His craving for a piece of cheese despite possessing the enormous wealth of the Captain is portrayed in quite an ironical way. He plays an important role in helping the men to save themselves from Long John Silver.

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