Treasure Island Essay, Research Paper
Kyle FloydApril 1, 1999CP English IVMs. WadePirates of Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson s Treasure Island is a suspenseful, action-packed story in which he uses the stereotypical image of pirates to captivate his audiences. The pirates in Treasure Island greatly resemble that of 16th century pirates. Pirates undeniably possessed an ability to persuade. According to Jan Rogozinski in her book Pirates!, ” Pirates were often fisherman who traded with passing ships. They would lure the ships in as if they wanted to trade and then rob them”(257). Actions like those are strongly reflected through the pirates in Treasure Island. This ability is best emphasized through Long John Silver, the main pirate in the book. He is known as a ruthless man and a criminal, but because of his ability to persuade, he gains Squire Trelawney and Jim s trust (Stevenson 109). Silver owns a seafood restaurant in which Squire Trelawney often attends. Squire Trelawney was so impressed with Silver s cooking that he appointed him to be the cook on the journey to find Flints Treasure. Squire Trelawney takes Jim and the doctor to Long John Silver s to eat. During their dinner Trelawney is convinced by Silver that his crew is the best around (Stevenson 109). Silver and his crew later commit mutiny. On the journey to find the treasure Long John Silver gains Jim s trust and they become friends. When the treasure is finally found Floyd 2Silver takes Jim hostage in a desperate attempt to capture the treasure all for himself (Stevenson 118). This portrays the uncaring image displayed by pirates. Long John Silver and Jim had built a relationship based on trust. Long John Silver ruined their friendship when he took Jim hostage in order to obtain the treasure map.Pirates are constantly characterized as criminals who roamed the sea looking for any possible way to strike it rich. “Pirates lived a life full of killing, stealing, and searching for treasures”(Rogonzinski 258). This is very similar to Long John Silver s crew who will do absolutely anything to capture Flints treasure for themselves. Silver s crew makes several attempts to take over the ship but is unsuccessful with each try. “Pirate crews were known to be drunken, blasphemous, and ferocious men”(Rogonzinski 257). This is directly reflected through Long John Silver s crew. Silver s crew is a group of pirates who are constantly drinking rum and fighting amongst each other. They have very fowl mouth s and are rough looking ferocious men. However, according to Robert Carse in his book The Age of Piracy, ” Pirates were the survivors of the survivors, tough, desperate, in superb physical condition, and stronger than any motive of personal greed was a consuming hatred for the enemy”(20). Pirates such as Long John Silver were so greatly feared because of their strength and because they were out to kill their enemies.
The physical characteristics of the pirates in Treasure Island are much like that of pirates who once roamed the sea. ” Pirates were usually characterized by their fancy clothing, the fine cordoba boots, the huge pendant gold ear-loops, even the display of weapons”(Carse 22). This is similar to what Long John Silver and his crew wore. Long John Silver had two big gold hoops in both of his ears (Stevenson 55). He also had an Floyd 3eye patch, a popular characteristic of pirates in the 16th century. Silver wore a hat and had long dark hair and a rough looking beard to add to his pirate image. Clothes were important to pirates because they wanted to be feared and having a fearful image fit their lifestyles (Rogozinski 243). “Pirates were demonic villains, who denied all civilized values”(Rogozinski 257). Long John Silver s crew did not abide by any rules of civilization. Their clothes and other characteristics fit the fairy tale images of pirates who once roamed the sea. They lived at the sea and followed their own rules. For example, when Silver kept trying to hold his crew back from taking over the boat, they retaliated and served him a black spot (Stevenson 74). When a black spot was served it meant death to whom ever received it. The crew usually served it to a captain or another member of the crew that had betrayed them in some way (Rogozinski 89). They did not want to be bossed around by anyone; they wanted to follow no rules at all. They were violent human beings; they follow no laws and were outcasts from society, the way they dress gives people that perception. The art of piracy is reflected in the pirates in Treasure Island. Centuries ago pirates’ roaming the sea was a reality. According to A.B.C. Whipple in his book Famous Pirates of the New World, “People who carried money on their ships were constantly in danger of pirates. Since shipping was their only way of travel, they had to fear the sea”(5). That is similar to Treasure Island because the only way of travel was the sea, and pirates must constantly be feared. Long John Silver and his crew had the advantage right as soon as the boat set sail. They were pirates and accustomed to the sea. They lived a life of mutiny. This lifestyle was best emphasized through the actions of pirates. “Many times Floyd 4pirates would chase other ships until they decided to give up”(Whipple 7). “This shows the same aggressiveness illustrated in the lethal scramble for Flint s treasure in the book Treasure Island”(Stevenson 1). Pirates of the 16th century were similar to those in Robert Louis Stevenson s Treasure Island. Many people imagine pirates as having eye patches, wooden legs, and gold earrings; similar to characteristics of the pirates in Treasure Island. “Yo-ho-ho-an a bottle of rum”(Stevenson 112).