Coming Of Age In Treasure Island

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Coming of Age in Treasure Island And by came an Angel who had a bright key, And he opened the coffins & set them all free; Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run, And wash in a river and shine in the Sun. “The Chimney Sweeper,” William Blake When one thinks of the word “adventure” what comes to mind? In Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, adventure is the main topic. In fact, the whole point of Stevenson writing this intriguing novel was to please his stepson, Lloyd Osborne (Fletcher xii). Richard Ambrosini and Richard Dury state that while on vacation in Braemar, Stevenson decided to tell his stepson a story (par. 1). The inspiration was a detailed map drawn by Stevenson in 1881 (Milne 230). Despite his desire to…show more content…
Angus Fletcher writes, “If we go back to the origins of adventure story fiction, we discover that the heroic quest remains its principal myth” (xxvii). He is the one that finds the map and makes the move to get help from Dr. Livesey and Squire Trelawney. He is the one that is brave through many moments most children would be frightened. Fletcher writes, “We may get the wrong idea of heroism. Instead this is a story of a young boy becoming a man, of discovering his own character, his strengths and weaknesses, hopes and fears.…” (xvi). Jim takes charge in many situations throughout the novel. For example, he shows his outstanding character in the killing of Israel Hands, the pirate. Like most people would do, Jim kills Hands in self-defense after he is wounded. Jim takes over the ship, becoming the captain. Stevenson writes, “I was no sooner certain of this than I began to feel sick, faint, and terrified” (406). As Jim comes in contact with reality, he feels sick. The responsibility that he has given to himself through this death is overwhelming. The child left in him reveals fear, yet the man he is becoming knows that it had to be done. Fletcher states, “Fear, even treated idly, is as mysterious as it is powerful, and when it has deep early childhood origins, it is likely to generate anxiety” (xxxiv). Fear gets in the way of most people doing what is right. Despite his feelings, Jim takes over and does what any man with…show more content…
Jim from the moment of Bones’ death is already starting to make mature decisions crucial to the plot. After unlocking the sea chest, Jim’s mother takes the money. Instead of wanting money, Jim finds something much more valuable, even though he does not know it at the time. This choice is what starts the adventure. If Jim had chosen the money, the men would have found the wanted contents and the plot would have completely changed. Jim is already making heroic decisions. Another example is when Jim is looking for the key to the chest. Jim’s mother says she cannot touch the dead man’s body, while Jim searches it entirely and finds the key. Jim and his mother are somewhat switching roles and this contributes to his coming of age. After finding out that the content in the oilcloth is Flint’s detailed map of Treasure Island, Jim takes it to two trustworthy peers, Squire Trelawney and Dr. Livesey. They are excited at the thought of it all. Jim gains more pride when Dr. Livesey and Squire Trelawney applaud him for his finds. Stevenson writes, “’As you will, Livesey,’ said the squire; ‘Hawkins has earned better than cold pie’” (98). All of these occurrences are starting to take part in Jim’s transformation into a young man. In most boys’ transformations into young men, role models are involved. Jim Hawkins may not think of Long John Silver as an actual role model,

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