Treasure Island – Chapters 16-18

In general:

There is much discussion of the various weaponry on hand in this section. The Squire, Captain, and Doctor forget about the long nine cannon on the ship, which causes havoc as they attempt to reach shore. Here’s some additional information about the guns and ammunition that may have been used by the men aboard the Hispaniola.

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Discussion questions:

1. This section offers a change in the narrator. Instead of Jim, we hear from the point of view of Doctor Livesey. What do you think about this change? Does it make a difference in terms of tone or voice?

2. Why do the Doctor, Squire, and Captain abandon the ship and attempt to move to the stockade? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

3. Compare the tactics of the two different groups of men – the mutineers and those loyal to the Captain. They are both looking for treasure, but how are they going about it? What are the differences in attitude or character?

4. What is the significance of the flag that the Captain insists on flying even in the face of danger? What is the meaning behind a flag (now and then)? Do you think the pirates who fly the Jolly Roger would say the same about their flag?

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Notes and Quotes:

  • “It never occurred to us to doubt Jim.”

(The men have put not only their trust in this young man, but their lives. What do they see in him that reinforces their trust?)

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  • “‘ If it’s the only course we can lie, sir, we must even lie it.'” – says the Captain of the Jolly Boat’s situation

(Another nice metaphor. Sometime you have to continue on even when things are risky or unfavorable.)

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  • The Doctor mentions that Blandly has been tasked to come after them if they don’t arrive back in England on time. But Blandly was also the one who initially hired Long John Silver!

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More:

Need a break or need to use up some energy? Try this pirate cannon game and see if you can take some frustrations out on a ship or two! Or, if you’re really ambitious, you might build this backyard “stockade” fort. If you do, show us photos!

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