The Culture Of Stevenson

’s Time Essay, Research Paper

Echoly Vue April 12,1999 CP English IV Ms. Wade The Culture of Stevenson s Time The novel The Black Arrow, written by Robert Louis Stevenson, reflects the culture that was around in Robert Louis Stevenson s time. The legend of Robin Hood was very popular during Stevenson s time, with classic elements of good versus evil and the protagonist being the underdog. “Robert Louis Stevenson was one of the world s most popular and most versatile of writers (RLS 1).” Stevenson wrote many extraordinary novels. “In fact Henry James, a well known American novelist, once praised Stevenson as the only man in England who can write a decent English sentence (RLS 2).” This statement gives proof that Stevenson was well loved in his time. “He loved the open air, the sea, adventure, and he loved to read (RLS 3).” His love for adventure and reading may have made him more creative and more open minded. “Stevenson was a sickly child. He was constantly sick in bed (RLS 4).” The time that these sicknesses gave him could have made him very creative and allowed him to have more time for reading other novels. These novels might have influenced him to later become a writer himself. “Since he was in bed almost all the time, he made up a make-believe world (RLS 5).” According to the report given by Jim Murphy, Murphy thought that Stevenson was or must have been bored as a child and this might have made him move into the subject of adventure. “He has a strong sense of atmosphere, and above all his masterly command of style give his novels and stories enduring vitality (RLS 6).” This quote reflects how Stevenson wrote to explain his many settings in detail. “Stevenson wrote many of his best books from a sick bed (Encyclopedia 1).” He was mostly in bed because of his sickness but must have been or wanted to be where his books or novels were. That is how he came up with the ideas for his novels. He must have imagined himself as one of the person finding the treasure in Treasure Island, fighting with pirates, and going on voyages instead of staying in his bed. “Stevenson insisted… that one of the legitimate and necessary functions of literature is to supply adventure for people who lead unexciting lives (Encyclopedia 2).” He wanted everyone to feel the adventure of the novel itself. He wanted the reader to feel like he was almost touching the tree or sensing the fear that the character had. “The first book of Robin Hood was printed in 1520 and it was passed down (Becker 7).” The people of Stevenson s time loved Robin Hood so much and may have made an impression to Stevenson to write the novel The Black Arrow. “Tells how Robin Hood and his men were all outlaws (Becker 10).” May have helped Stevenson get an idea of what to write on. Stevenson must have loved this book because he wrote a book close to the story of Robin Hood. Robin Hood and the War of the Roses were a great influence for this novel. “A fierce war rages between two bitter rivals: on one side the House of Lancaster; on the other the House of York. The prize is the crown of England. Young Richard Shelton finds himself torn in his loyalties. He must decide wisely, for his fate and that of England hang in the balance in this classic and unabridged portrait of England during the War of the Roses (Stevenson 1).” According to Stevenson in his novel TheBlack Arrow it is based mostly during the time of Robin Hood and the War of the Roses. “It was growing late; the sun was setting in the plain beyond Kettley; the treetops overhead glowed golden; but the shadows had begun to grow darker and the chill of the night fall (Stevenson 73).” This quote tells how good Stevenson did explaining the setting. Even though he wrote it quickly for the need of money, he still explained the setting that would make you feel like your almost there. “Out of the odd collection of broken men, thieves, murderers, and ruined peasantry, whom Duckworth had gathered together to serve the purposes of his revenge, some of the boldest and the most experienced in war had volunteered to follow Richard Shelton (Stevenson 148).” An example of an idea that might have came out the story Robin Hood. Robin Hood s Merry Men also were thieves and peasantry. “An arrow sang in the air, like a huge hornet; (Stevenson 8).” Stevenson gives a lot of simile showing his intelligence and his some of his language mechanic skills.

There are some of the modern critics of the novel The Black Arrow. “A reader from Seoul, Korea commented that this book was a romantic adventure for teens and the young at heart. While Treasure Island and Kidnapped are more famous and beloved by the adventurous boys and girls of America, I think this book is underrated. The Black Arrow combines the best of the adventure of Treasure Island and the swashbuckling intrigues of Kidnapped. However, it adds the elements of a young and romantic pair of lovers. I would recommend this book both for adolescent who has progressed beyond Stevenson s more famous books as well as those of us who are still romantics at heart and miss the days of King Arthur or the Code of Chivalry (Customer Comments 1-2).” According to Tory S. Thorkelson s appeal to the novel The Black Arrow , he agrees with what Stevenson wrote and how Stevenson wrote it. He agrees that this is an underrated book that most people don t like. ” A reader from Evergreen, Colorado, commented that it was a complicated book that was hard to follow. The book, The Black Arrow, by Robert Louis Stevenson, did not grab my attention. Although it had some exciting events in the story, for the most part I was unable to appreciate them because I didn t know what was happening or what anything was about. The book had some confusing twists and which were hard to follow. So, I would not recommend this book to most people, because, to me, it was hard to follow and because of that it was boring. There are certain types of people that would enjoy this book. If they can keep their attention and comprehend very well I think they might like this book very mush. Because if you can follow the plot I m sure it will be very exciting (Customer Comments 5-7).” From the customer who wrote this review he must have been very confused with the story line which was to find and marry Joan Seddley and then kill Sir Daniel Brackley for the revenge of his father. Robert Louis Stevenson was one of the greatest writer s I have ever read. Even though I would be to old for some of his many books that he wrote, it would make me feel like a kid again. Maybe that is his intention to make adults feel like a kid again. To have the sense of adventure again. I think that this novel The Black Arrow was decent but I think if Stevenson would have spent more time on this novel it would have been better.


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