Treasure Island


Jim Hawkins

Jim Hawkins—Jim is a likable, unassuming, good-hearted lad who leaps wholeheartedly into the adventures posed at the novel’s outset. He is also sympathetic to the pirates he meets, though he is never tempted to join in their wickedness. He stands as a model of bravery, cunning and virtue, and proves his mettle even to the face of Long John Silver. Mostly silent throughout the tale, or at least a quiet (though prominent and heroic) actor in the events, Jim recounts the story with an eye for detail. He sticks largely to the facts and does not deviate into providing psychological assessments. Thus, his narration befits his age.

Jim is a modest storyteller who records his own faults and failings as well as his bolder acts of heroism. He performs the almost magical feat of describing the action as though he were an impartial observer, at the same time including personal details that only a central actor could have supplied. In this way, it seems that the story is written from both the third and first person perspectives.

Finally, Jim’s modesty, humility, and desire to tell the truth contrast sharply with Silver’s willingness to be either treacherous or friendly at any given moment. Jim shows himself to have an exemplary character, courageous for standing up and facing the odds even when afraid—unlike Silver, who faces the odds by essentially becoming a turncoat.

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Essays About Treasure Island