Treasure Island Summary – Story of Moral Ambiguity

Before Starting Treasure Island Summary, let’s discuss the author Robert Louis Stevenson, who was born in November 13, 1850 and December 3, 1894. Robert Louis Stevenson Treasure Island novel was published in November 14, 1883.

Treasure Island Summary – Chapter 1

Jim Hawkins is a twelve-year-old boy whose family owns an inn near the town of Bristol, England. One night a drunken sailor named Billy Bones arrives and gives Jim a little money to watch for his former shipments, who Billy says are after his valuables. Some of Billy’s shipmates do eventually arrive, literally frightening poor Billy to death, but fail in their attempt to steal Billy’s property – which turns out to be a map to buried treasure on a distant island.

A local nobleman, Squire Trelawney, decides to buy a ship and hire a crew to go search for the treasure, and will take young Jim on board a scab in boy. Other members of the crew are Captain Smollett, who is quite suspicious of the sailors and the purpose of their voyage; Dr. Livesey, a local physician who is now ship’s doctor; and Long John Silver, a one-legged tavern keeper who’s been hired as ship’s cook. During the voyage out on the Hispaniola, Jim is befriended by the smart, slick-talking Long John Silver and almost begins to trust him.

Treasure Island Summary – Chapter 2

But before long, Jim and the captain and the rest of the honest crew realize they’re trapped on board a ship full of pirates who intend to mutiny once the treasure is found. And Silver is one of those pirates. At the island, keeping up the pretense of not knowing about the pirates, Jim goes ashore with the mutineers – but when they kill two men who refuse to join them, Jim runs away to save his own life. While hiding on the island Jim encounters a man named Ben Gunn, who says he was marooned there years before by Captain Flint – the same captain whom Billy Bones and Long John Silver served. Gunn offers to help fight the mutineers in return for passage home and a share of the treasure.

Trelawney, Smollett and Livesey are forced to abandon ship and hide out in an island fortress with Jim and Ben. The mutineers then hoist the pirate’s flag – the white skull and crossbones on a black background, sometimes called the Jolly Roger – over the Hispaniola. After the pirates fire on the fortress, Long John Silver approaches it under a lag of truce and demands their surrender. Captain Smollett refuses and the pirates attack again, wounding Smollett and continuing the siege. That night, Jim slips away from the fortress, takes Ben Gunn’s make shift boat, and goes out the Hispaniola. There are only two pirates still on board and while they’re in the midst of a drunken quarrel, Jim manages to cut the anchor ropes and let the tide carry the ship out.

Treasure Island Summary – Chapter 3

But the exhausted Jim falls asleep in the little boat, and it also drifts out with the tide and with the ship.Jim gets back on board and finds that one pirate has killed the other one during their fight. Jim forced to shoot the remaining pirate in self-defense and after re-anchoring the ship he goes back to shore to try to help the others. Returning to the fortress in darkness, Jim is caught by Long John Silver and five other pirates.

Silver tells him that Captain Smollett and the others traded the reassure map for their freedom and are gone. The next morning, Silver and the other pirates take Jim with them as a hostage and he out to follow the treasure map. But when they find the place where the treasure should be, there is nothing. The pirates realize now, why Smollett and his men were willing to hand over the treasure map – because it was worthless. Now that they’ve lost both the treasure and the ship, there maiming pirates turn against Long John Silver. They’re about to attack him when three of them are shot dead by Dr. Livesey, Ben Gunn, and another of the honest sailors.

Treasure Island Summary – Chapter 4

They all stayed behind to rescue both Jim and Long John Silver, since Silver did help to protect Jim from the other pirates back at the stockade. It turns out that Ben Gunn actually found and re-hid the treasure months before. After abandoning the remaining mutineers on the island, Gunn, Jim and the others take the treasure on board the Hispaniola and set sail for home. At the first port of call, Long John Silver steals some variables and jumps ship, getting away clean. But the rest return to Bristol, where they divide up the treasure and make the decision never to follow treasure maps again.

Treasure Island is largely an exciting and straight forward adventure tale, though it is also a coming-of-age story for Jim Hawkins. He is tested in every way by the quest to find treasure in exotic places while encountering danger at nearly every turn. It is a simple metaphor for a boy becoming a man. Jim must learn to recognize what is worthwhile and what isn’t –that is, to recognize the real meaning of “treasure” – and most important,learn which men are trustworthy and which are not.Long John Silver is one of Jim’s greatest tests, for Silver is far smarter and braver than most of the other simple-minded, drunken pirates.

Treasure Island Summary – Chapter 5

Silver is described as an educated gentleman who would seem to be an unlikely pirate, but that is precisely what makes him so dangerous. Silver also represents an image of what Jim could become if he is not careful. That is, if Jim does not use his own intelligence and bravery wisely, he could end up living outside the law the way Silver does. Jim Hawkin’s journey to Treasure Island and back can be seen as the universal human adventure of finding one’sown strength and worth through self-reliance – and that is the real treasure.

I hope you will have understood the complete “Treasure Island Summary“. If you are interested to read the complete novel, you can free Download or buy Treasure Island pdf.

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Robert Louis Stevenson Quotes

  • I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
  • Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
  • There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
  • We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.
  • Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.
  • To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.
  • You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.
  • Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.
  • Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.
  • The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.


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