Good vs. Evil in Treasure Isla

Topics: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edinburgh Pages: 6 (2728 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Throughout many works of literature, a prominent theme has been “Good vs. Evil”. Many authors base the plot of their novels around “good guys” fighting the “villain”.Robert Louis Stevenson contrasts good and evil through many of the characters thathe creates. In the story “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, Stevensoncontrasts the characters of Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde to further the theme “Good vs. Evil”. This theme is common to many of Stevenson’s other works. In TreasureIsland, Stevenson uses the character Long John Silver to bring out this identicalidea. Long John Silver in many ways can be viewed the classic villain. But, whilereading this novel, one must be aware of the many other facets of Silver’spersonality that bring out his good nature. In Treasure Island and “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, Robert Louis Stevenson incorporates the theme “Good vs. Evil” in both of these stories through the split personalities of both Long John Silver, and Dr. Jekyll. Robert Louis Stevenson’s theme of “Good vs. Evil” is prominent in the novel Treasure Island. This story begins by introducing the protagonist of the novel Jim Hawkins. Jim works at an inn, which his mother owns. An old buccaneer is staying there by the name of Billy Bones who possesses a mysterious sea chest, which many people seem to want. While he was staying at the inn, many people attempted to steal the chest from the buccaneer. Billy Bones is a very heavy drinker, which may have been the cause of his death while staying at the inn. After the death, Jim’s curiosity for the old chest overwhelms him. Jim opens up the chest and finds to his pleasure an old treasure map. Jim immediately brings the map to Dr. Livesey, a friend of Jim’s family. Dr. Livesey and Jim decide to gather up a crew and sail to Treasure Island aboard the Hispanola to find the buried treasure. While looking for a cook, Dr. Livesey comes across a man by the name of Long John Silver. Because of Silver’s vast knowledge of the sea and his great cooking, he is named the head chef of the ship. Silver has other plans in mind though. As soon as he boards the ship, Jim sees him as a nice, intelligent man. This all quickly changes as he overhears Silver talking about heading a mutiny against the captain and the other crew members and taking the treasure for himself. As soon as they get to Treasure Island, Jim and his comrades escape from the wrath of Silver and hide out in a bunker in the forest. Silver soon realizes this and declares war on Jim and his men. While exploring the forest, Jim comes across a man by the name of Ben Gunn. Ben is the only inhabitant of Treasure Island, and was marooned there three long years earlier. Ben decides to stay hidden in the woods while Jim goes back to the bunker. While at the bunker, Jim and his men are repeatedly attacked by Silver. The next day, Jim boards the Hispanola and beaches it miles down shore so no one can find it but him. Silver is greatly angered by this and captures Jim along with his men. They happily trade Silver the treasure map for their freedom, but when Silver goes to look for the treasure, he finds that someone has taken it. What Silver did not know was that earlier in the day, Ben Gunn had discovered the treasure and had hidden it in his cave. Jim and his men now have the treasure, and all of Silver’s men leave after they get in a fight. Jim and his men take Silver aboard to reach civilization and to have him imprisoned. But when they reach shore, Silver grabs two handfuls of treasure and fleas, never to be seen again. From the beginning of the novel, the reader gets an evil connotation from Silver’s character. Although Jim likes Silver, the reader knows that Silver is the one legged man that the buccaneer previously had warned Jim...
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