Treasure Island – Chapters 25-27

In general:

Jim relies on his memory of the map, and on his confidence in his abilities, to sail the ship toward the North Point. It’s too bad he didn’t have GPS to help! Luckily, he wasn’t far enough out at sea to need celestial navigation, or to use the instruments on board. Jim “piloted” the vessel, using visual references for position. And, we’ll have to suspend our disbelief that he knew enough about the channels around the island and the tides to avoid crashing or worse.

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Discussion questions:

1. What was your reaction to Jim claiming he was now Captain of the Hispaniola? Is this a bold statement or unwise?

2. What do you think about Israel Hands? When do you think Jim realized that in order to save himself and get off the ship, he might have to take a life? Does this cause him grief?

3. The last time Jim was separated from Squire Trelawney, Doctor Livesey, and Captain Smollett, readers got a perspective on what the officers were doing from the doctor. We won’t get such a perspective this time. Why do you think Stevenson chose not to change the point of view?

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Notes and Quotes:

  • ” ‘God Save the King… and there’s an end to Captain Silver.’ ” Jim says as he strikes the Jolly Roger

(Again the symbolism with the flag, but also a way for Jim to establish that he’s now an active member of the team.)

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  • ” ‘Him as strikes first is my fancy.’ ” Israel Hands “philosophy” of life

(Here’s a great clue to what might happen with Jim, if he only pays attention…)

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  • “I had nothing nearer my fancy than to get home to the stockade and boast…”

(To contrast with Hands’ fancy, Jim is getting a little cocky. Pride goes before the fall, they say.)

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More:

Jim’s adventure aboard the Hispaniola reminds me of another young man’s adventures at sea. If you haven’t seen the Horatio Hornblower series starring Ioan Gruffudd, you should give it a chance.

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