Treasure Island – Chapters 22-24

In general:

This section ends on a great cliffhanger! This is basically what Stevenson intended, since Treasure Island was originally serialized in a children’s’ magazine called Young Folks. Two chapters were published in each installment, and hopefully afterwards, readers were excited to read the next issue. Glance back at the end of the even-numbered chapters and note how good Stevenson was at ratcheting up the tension to keep readers’ interest.

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Discussion questions:

1. Both Dr. Livesey and Jim leave the stockade. Why do you think the doctor leaves? Though later Jim finds a reason for leaving – to cut the Hispaniola‘s anchor – what do you think his original purpose was?

2. Jim’s idea to take the coracle out to the ship seems risky. Do you think he knows enough of what a voyage entails to make it worth the risk? What would happen if he failed at his goal?

3. Jim’s confidence in himself and his skills certainly has increased. Compare this Jim with what the boy we saw at home, afraid of Bill and having nightmares of the one-legged man. How does Stevenson show he’s earned that newfound confidence since then?

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Notes and Quotes:

  • “I was a fool, if you like, going to do a foolish, overbold act.”

(Jim is absolutely right! He may have gained some confidence – possibly too much – but perhaps he hasn’t gained enough sense.)

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  • Though he probably learned much on the voyage to the island, I’m not certain Jim had that much sea knowledge. Stevenson, who had more experience with sailing (and canoeing!), shows his hand a little more here, but the descriptions definitely make it exciting.

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  • “Where I might batten them down, perhaps, and do what I chose with the ship.”

(Jim is taking his role as rescuer of the Hispaniola to heart! He’s going to take care of any mutineers aboard!)

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More:

Jim’s activities in these chapters rely on the force of the tides, on both the coracle and on the ship. Learn more about tides here.

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