Treasure Island – Chapters 4-6

In general:

Creating a fictional map with his stepson was the creative spark for Treasure Island. In an essay Stevenson wrote in 1894, as he was looking at the map, “the future character of the book began to appear there visibly among imaginary woods.” Many people have speculated where the real Treasure Island is geographically, but isn’t it fun what imagination can create?


Discussion questions:

1. As Jim and his mother go through Bill’s sea chest, they find a number of interesting items. Why do you think Jim takes the packet of papers as part of their payment? What does he think it might be?

2. Is it significant that much of the action in these chapters takes place at night? Why or why not?

3. What do you make of the ransacking of the Hawkins’s inn?

4. When Jim shares the packet with Dr. Livesey and Squire Trelawney, the doctor tries to impress on them both the need for secrecy. What do you think will come of this? And, what do you think of the three partnering in this adventure?

5. If you were Jim, would you have agreed to take part in this enterprise – going off to seek treasure? Why or why not? Should Jim have agreed?


Notes and Quotes:

  • Pew’s statement during the ransacking of the inn: “…it’s that boy. I wish I had put his eyes out.”

(Pew really does believe in an eye for an eye! Also, fairly drastic, which shows you his character.)


  • “‘He was the bloodthirstiest buccaneer that ever sailed. Blackbeard was a child to Flint.”

(First, love the alliteration of the bloodthirstiest buccaneer Blackbeard! Also, sets us up for an even wilder adventure.)


  • Squire Trelawney vows to be as “silent as the grave.”

(A little foreshadowing here, in two different ways – but I won’t say anything else!)



Did you ever create a map for an imaginary or fictional place. I remember I was always fascinated by what layouts of houses in books I read must have looked like (I designed a house plan – with its surrounds – for Trixie Belden back in the day!). For fun, take a few minutes and dream about what a house or village might have looked like, or try your hand at creating a treasure map!

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