Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Treasure Island



To this wonderful book I owe the confirmation of my imagination. As a child I must have heard or read some pirate stories and we played pirate games often. Then in the last year of primary school some muse prompted our teacher to read this book to us last class every Friday. It was wonderful! I could imagine that steamy island, those skeletons, Flint, Long John Silver, the parrot, and Ben Gunn who had survived on his own for years there. I even dreamt about this story. Such an imaginative yarn. I have read it at intervals throughout my life and it gets better each time. What a story teller Stevenson was!--Submitted by Brendan

In an age of declining literacy standards, it is instructive to revisit a work of literature which has done more than almost any other to promote reading among boys. Whether revisiting it or discovering it for the first time, adults will also be enchanted by Stevenson's consummate skills as a story-teller. Treasure Island is a gripping pirate story, fast-paced by the standards of its time and full of action. For this reason, it has been a staple of school reading lists, at least until the stultifying hand of political correctness started to remove it from the curriculum. Unlike modern attempts to inculcate children with a love of reading through the use of action-packed and exciting stories (think Harry Potter), Treasure Island has the merit of being written in faultless and elegant English prose. True, a few expressions sound a little stilted to the modern ear--"If you do not put that knife this instant in your pocket..."--but the language is wholly accessible to a competent reader in Year 6 or above, and the occasional archaic formulation adds to the old-world charm of the work. This novel also provides a gentle introduction to the genre of nautical adventure stories set in the age of the sail (e.g. Patrick O'Brien's Jack Aubrey novels, now popularised in the Russell Crowe movie 'Master and Commander', and C.S Forester's Hornblower stories, the subject of a 1951 Gregory Peck movie, and the recent Ioan Gruffud mini-series). Adults who have not read this wonderful book will do themselves a favour by trying it. They will do an even bigger favour for their school-age children by introducing them to it.--Submitted by Alan Anderson

If too much adventure seems to be lived on television -- if the "information superhighway" takes away most mysteries in life at an early age -- if playing video games that may concern space emperors and galactical empires, fighting with laser sabers and photon torpedoes is virtually the extent of what your imagination is allowed to process ... try reading Treasure Island. Somehow, with television, computers and video games, there is a most significant element lost. As you read this classic, you not only root for the good-guy hero, through whose eyes you view the incidents and vicariously live them in your own mind, but you react with far more humanity and empathy as you pretend to live the adventures. All this is true, and so you'll find, because of the masterful story itself and the way author Robert Louis Stevenson gathers your interest with descriptions, curious facts and articles, foreshadowing, and names of characters and places which make you wonder "there's something under" that name, that person, that place, that idea. The action begins when narrator Jim's plain and uneventful life is interrupted by a mysterious new boarder at his family's small inn set in a lonely cove. This new tenant is silent regarding his past except that when he has too much rum to drink, which comes to be quite often, then he sings and tells stories about his rough life on the high seas and the coasts and islands of the Americas. Since he neither has, and plainly doesn't want, any company from his past life, you know it will be only a matter of time when that is imposed on him, and that there has to be a reason he wishes not to be found. When he is found, it's by an old shipmate called Black Dog. What would you make of someone with a nickname like that? And only after this meeting do we find out that his own name, which he had never divulged, is Billy Bones. Why does a dog come looking for bones he has dealt with before? The answer lies buried in the book. And what does the color black represent? Has a friend who can't keep his tongue, but instead likes to tell "secrets," ever got you into trouble? Have you ever experienced a dangerous situation in which your curiosity was stronger than your fear? What does an abstract arrow, like your computer cursor, do? It *points* to something, right? As for points and pointers, you will find those in abundance in this book, from first to last.

If you are worried about some of the words and the styles of language used, the above paragraph should allay your fears, as there is a small sample there, and even in this very sentence. You will get used to it, and you will probably come to like a piece of adventure that broadens your vocabulary and acquaints you with settings not so foreign you can't understand, but rather are a different part of civilization that put us where we are today. This novel does that. For a moment in your life, exchange the laser saber for a cutlass, a photon torpedo for a cannon that fires a nine-pound ball, and a stun gun for a black powder pistol. Let calls, whistles, signals and flags take the place of mobile phones and text messages. Let a remote island with tall hills and swamps and springs be your setting, instead of a fenced playground or a computer desk. Think of going to a place of fun and adventure as taking weeks on a ship sailing the ocean, instead of hours in an SUV or a minivan on the highway. But be prepared for one thing which is the same today or two centuries ago... the dividing line between right and wrong, between good guys and bad guys, between responsible and careless, is not always as clear as we might wish. That circumstance can make a great adventure story even greater.--Submitted by Tim Rockfort

This is a book that has made history. History that will never be forgotten.--Submitted by Sir Tari Joseph

Fan of this book? Help us introduce it to others by writing a better introduction for it. It's quick and easy, click here.

Recent Forum Posts on Treasure Island

Jim's father a pirate?

Could Jim's father have himself been a former pirate or know something about these pirates beyond what he lets on? It occurs to me that it may be more than coincidence that Jim's father seems to suffer a terminal decline in health as soon as Bones arrives--in much the same way as Bones declines once Black Dog and Pew appear. The similarities are fairly striking. The stated reason for Jim's father's decline--the stress of Bones not paying for his room--don't fully make sense to me. I assume as a businessman Jim's father has dealt with deadbeat guests before and knows how to handle the situation. Plus Bones isn't a deadbeat: he offers to settle up his room as soon as they let him know, and he always pays Jim his wage. It seems to me that there must be something more to the relationship between Bones and the father that we aren't told. Plus Jim immediately seems drawn to Silver as a surrogate father figure. Isn't Silver--initially--living a life much like Jim's parents? Silver runs a bar by the sea with his wife--a very similar life to what Jim's parents have.

Treasure island help!

TREASURE ISLAND : ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON Can you help me answer these questions? 1. What is the symbolism of the treasure? 2. What are the obstacles they faced as they journeyed to find the island? 3. What attitude/significant character and from whom helped the, achieve/not their goals? I REALLY REALLY NEED THESE FOR MY PROJECT OR ELSE I'LL FAIL. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME?


TREASURE ISLAND : ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON Can you help me answer these questions? 1. What is the symbolism of the treasure? 2. What are the obstacles they faced as they journeyed to find the island? 3. What attitude/significant character and from whom helped the, achieve/not their goals? I barely understood the book. @-) I need it ASAP.

Treasure Island

Last week I read Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, "Treasure Island". I'm thirty years old so when my friends saw me walking around with a book with a skull and bones on the cover they busted my chops a little. Having never read the book themselves they are under the impression that a book about pirates and treasure can only appeal to young boys. But I couldn't disagree more. In my opinion I found Treasure Island to be very well written, Stevenson's prose are excellent and his vocabulary was extensive. I was really surprised. In saying that I mean that the although the book is about pirates, etc, it's actually a book that I think many adults would enjoy. It has that perfect blend of childhood adventure and mature realism, i.e. the pirates were real guys, not some walking sack of bones with a curse. I'd like to get some other opinions on this book. I'm sure others have read it.


PLEASE HELP ME I need 5 major event from treasure island in chronological order. Also i need one special event from the story that was important to the development to the story. PLEASE I NEED IT BY TOMORROW

Considering reading

I was afraid to open up any of the existing threads because of spoilers. The back of the book I got from the library makes it seem like a simple adventure book. Is there more to it?

Finished it

I just got done reading it,I liked it even though it is quite hard to understand.With a little help from sparknotes i could understand what was going on.I really liked this book what about you?

I need help wit an essey i have to do tommorrow (ASAP)

i have to write and essey at least 5 paragraphes or more answering the following Why does Stevenson choose to portray Long John Silver in a positive light, considering he is a villain? i dont need the essey i can right that myself all i need is the answer to that question cause ima use it as my thesis? and it would help if u can quote the book with concrete details to answer the question to. plz ppl i really need help i read the book but i didnt get it fo nothing and i have to have the the question answered by tonight

Treasure island Help

This is the assignment: In a Composition of at least 5 paragraphs, respond to the following essay questionBe sure to respond to the entire question, citiong examples from the novel- when appropriate - which support your argument and conclusion. Remeber to proofread your final draft for omission or mistakes. This is the question, Who do you freel is the strongest leader, Captain Smollett or Long John Silver? List details from the story to justify your choice. I need this Essay ASAP it is 8:52 pm I need it by the morning Pleaseeeeeeeee!!! If I do not have this by the morning I will FAIL!! :(:(:( So please please please helpp me!!!!!!!!!


How can anybody possibly like this book? This could be the worse book I've read in a long time. The language has is as interesting and colorful as a rock. The ending was beyond horrible. I would not recommend this book; actually I would say to stay away from it.

Post a New Comment/Question on Treasure Island

Related links for Robert Louis Stevenson

Here is where you find links to related content on this site or other sites, possibly including full books or essays about Robert Louis Stevenson written by other authors featured on this site.

Robert Louis Stevenson