Treasure Island – Chapters 28-30

In general:

Jim and Long John Silver come to an agreement regarding their circumstances – they will basically protect each other’s life – and both give their “parole.” Parole is a French word that means “word of honor” and its current meaning still derives from that sense. When a prisoner is offered parole, he gives his word he’ll be bound by certain behaviors or face a return to jail. It’s a mark of Jim’s maturity that he feels bound to this even when the Doctor offers him an escape.


Discussion questions:

1. Why does Jim confess his betrayal to Silver? Do you think he hopes to gain by his admission?

2. Jim and Silver bargain with each other to save their lives. What does each believe the other can do for him? Which one do you think has the upper hand?

3. Is it right for Jim to trust that Silver will hold up to his bargain? Is there anything Jim can do to guarantee the outcome?

4. How well does Silver dispute the points his crew has laid against him? Do you think any of them are as clever as Silver or could get the crew what they actually want?


Notes and Quotes:

  • “The sea cook instantly removed his pipe.”

(We haven’t seen Stevenson refer to Silver as the sea cook for awhile. It’s a small but interesting way to change the focus away from Silver’s villainous behavior.)


  • There’s a whole lot of ceremony by the crew to create a black spot. It’s a symbol, yes, but for some reason, they all need a literal artifact. What do you make of this?


  • ” ‘I make it a point of honour not to lose a man for King George… and the gallows.’ “

(More of the Doctor’s dark humor here. Though he’s a physician dedicated to saving lives, he won’t make it easy for these men to escape justice.


  • “I will own that here I began to weep.”

(I don’t think we’ve seen Jim crying so far, even with all the stress he’s faced. But talking with the doctor, whom he very much admires, about his cowardice, he breaks down. Jim truly doesn’t want to disappoint those men who have put their trust in him.)



The men are ready to take the “chart” and go off treasure hunting. If you think a treasure hunt would be just the distraction you need right now, you might think about geocaching. It will get you outdoors and you can social-distance while doing it!

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