Treasure Island – Chapters 10-12

In general:

Mutiny is an open rebellion against authorities, and it’s easy to see why it so typically happened on the sea: people in a confined space with little healthy food and harsh working conditions, then add the terror of crossing an open ocean – it’s perhaps a wonder why it didn’t happen more often. However, in our case, the mutiny is less about the men’s complaints than about their greed.

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Discussion questions:

1. We get to know the parrot, Cap’n Flint, a little more in this section. What do you think of it and the tales Silver tells? Do you think Cap’n Flint is a true character of the novel?

2. What do you think about Silver’s plan to escape with the treasure using patience? Could he keep to this plan, do you think? Why or why not?

3. The theme of loyalty is evident in this section. Jim does a complete turnabout in his feeling of loyalty to Silver. Is this maturity, jealousy, or shame? What is going through Jim’s head as he listens inside that apple barrel?

4. Doctor Livesey, Squire Trelawney, and Captain Smollett accept Jim’s story at face value. What does this tell us about them, and what does it tell us about Jim?

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Notes and Quotes:

  • “…the lives of all the honest men aboard depended on me alone…” and “‘Jim here… can help us more than anyone.'”

(This section turns Jim into the main character as he never has been. His role until now has been fairly passive; it’s about to get very active.)

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  • “‘… this is the spot to be sure; and very prettily drawn. Who might have done that I wonder?'”

(Long John Silver must have seen the original map – and now is even more suspicious…)

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  • “‘ Now Captain,” said the Squire, “you were right, and I was wrong.'”

(The Squire is pretty quick to own up to his mistake. Is this just a shortcut for Stevenson to move the plot along, or is this a characteristic of the Squire?)

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More:

A couple of good movies on the idea of mutiny are Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) and Crimson Tide (1995). Check your streaming service or cable listings to find an airing.

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