Treasure Island


Long John Silver

Long John Silver—Silver is Jim’s foil to a degree. Although both of them are bold characters, unafraid to face danger, Jim is the more valiant of the two because he stands for the right. Silver stands for himself and will accept a self-effacing position if it means his life will be spared. However, his primary goal is to boldly lead a mutiny and take the treasure. He bloodily executes this plan without a qualm. Only when this plan proves a disaster does he revert back to the friendly conduct initially shown by him when he was simply known as the cook.

Silver’s contradictory nature is exemplified by his physical defect. Having only one leg, it would be supposed that he would not be the feared and strong pirate that he truly is. Yet, his handicap belies his strength. Strong as an ox and agile as any man with two legs (when he has his crutch under him), Silver is no mere man.

His handicap also allows him to better deceive those who desire to see him as a helpful, friendly man. He is able to control his character to such a degree that he can play the part of the friend or the villain whenever the need arises. A likable enough man for his wit and entertaining banter, he is nonetheless not a man one would like to be close to, for he is duplicitous to the very end.

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Essays About Treasure Island