Literary Devices In Novel Treasure Island

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When reading a book the reader more than likely thinks about what things and how things hint to what will happen next in the book. Authors do this on purpose in their writing to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island, an adventurous novel filled with fighting, broken friendship and treasure. In the novel Robert is using different text evidence to show that the characters are greedy for treasure, because of this characters are back stabbed and murdered. Robert also uses symbolism to represent the different objects true meaning. The novel foreshadows, to portray the dangers that will unfold in the future. Usages of the theme of desire shown between the pirates and the treasure. Treasure Island is a bildungsroman, a coming of age story that uses literary devices such as foreshadowing, themes and symbolism.

Robert uses literary analysis of symbolism throughout the novel in many different ways. This is displayed when the pirates are drunk from drinking too much rum. “Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum” (7), in the story rum symbolises recklessness of the pirates behavior. When the pirates begin to drink rum they become destructive and careless, which reflect in the song lyrics about, “dead man’s chest” (7). The “dead man’s chest” (7), symbolises not just the pirates are going to wind up dying at the end of their mission, but also with Billy Bones’s sea chest and Flint’s treasure. “Dead man’s chest” (7), associates with the downfall of the pirates. The image of the dead man’s chest reflects on a man’s soul with his desire to obtain the treasure. One of the first sailors to demise from drunkenness is Billy Bones. Billy keeps drinking after Dr. Livesey warns him it will wind up destroying him and later on killing him. Robert goes on in the novel to symbolism how rum changes the ability of the pirates to fights or participate in any activities when Jim climbs aboard the Hispaniola. Since Israel Hands is constantly drunk like the rest of his crew Jim defeats him and takes his ships.

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Robert uses another example of symbolism in the novel dealing with the treasure map. The map symbolizes the adventures Jim comes to go through. “The doctor opened the seals the great care, and there fell out the map of an island,” (38) In this scene is when the treasure map is first introduced to Jim Hawkins. Jim and his mother found the map when they were going through Billy Bones’ sea chest. The map not only symbolizes adventure, but also desire. All of the pirates want the map and will do anything to get it. By the end of the novel Robert shows how the map was ultimately useless, Ben Gunn has has already dug up the treasure and moved it. Silver doesn’t know this and when he believes he finds the treasure all he finds is an empty, dark hole symbolizing the uselessness of material things.

Robert uses symbolism with Ben Gunn’s coracle. “With some strength and sleight, set my coracle, keel downwards, on the surface” (132). Ben is talking about his boat here. The coracle is a boat that Jim and Ben take from Captions Smollett’s to go and take over the Hispaniola. The small boat symbolizes Jim’s adventure, what he had to go through this whole journey he was on.

Seen at the beginning of the book, Robert uses the literary device of foreshadowing. The first point where foreshadowing is seen is when Jim finally witnesses the one-legged man. “I had taken a fear in my mind that he might prove to be the very one-legged sailor whom I had watched for so long at the Benbow” (49). Billy Bones explains to Jim that the one legged man is not good, and that he should be careful when he meets him. The one legged man is Long John Silver a conniving, mischievous pirate. Despite Billy’s warning Jim becomes friends with Silver, which causes Jim to see past his biblical ways. This foreshadows a future fight scene between mutiny and Captain Smollett’s crew.

Foreshadowing furthermore presented when Captain Smollett doesn’t feel good about his new crew he was given. “I don’t like them, sir,” returned Caption Smollett, “and I think I should have a choosing of my own hands” (54). Captain Smollett is vehement and strict as he leads the Hispaniola to Treasure Island. Captain Smollett’s uneasiness about his new crew foreshadows there will be an uprising that will happen later on in the novel. Smollett is a pirate who knows people character very well. Squire, Trelawney is the man who gives Captain Smollet his new crew. This is what also hints to Smollett something is wrong. Later on in the novel you find out that the crew was indeed bad, this is shown with the fight on treasure island.

Robert shows foreshadowing recurring when the pirates sing their ditty, “Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest” (7). This is seen foreshadowing Jim’s adventurous journey towards the treasure island. It also explains why everyone else is there including the Hispaniola. “Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest,” (7) foreshadows in the future that fifteen pirates of the sea will discover the treasure and die over it. As seen at the end of the novel this event comes true. Robert use of foreshadowing allows the reader to use their brain to think while reading to try and figure out what will happen in the future.

Treasure Island explores the fruition of desire, and greed. By the end of the adventure, Jim and the Captain Sellmett’s crew have finally come to their desire by getting the treasure. For the pirates, desire proves useless, by the end of the novel the treasure map leads them to an empty hole. The desire the pirates have for the treasure pushes them to the point of losing their soul. It only escolates when they are lead to an empty aperture. The act of the pirates digging in the ground, is like them digging their own graves, their death. Their greed lead only to death, loss, and dissatisfaction.

When Long John Silver’s aspire to obtain the treasure this is an example Robert puts in the novel. This is seen when Long John Silver says, “I’ve always liked you, I have, for a lad of spirit, and the picture of my own self when I was younger and handsome. I always wanted you to jine and take your share” (162). Long John Silver and Jim becomes friends despite Bens warning. Silver is using Jim to get the treasure and keep it to himself. Silvers motivation and greed is only for the treasure nothing else. This is shown as the novel progresses to the point of the treasure being found. Greed overtakes Silver, making him get a rebellion to fight Captain Smollett to obtain the treasure, on the other side he leaving many pirates behind. This is seen when Jims says, “You may imagine how I felt when I heard this abominable odd rogue addressing another in the very same words flattery as he had used myself. I think, if I had been ready, that I’d have killed him through the barrel” (64). Silver says the same thing to Jim to convince him to become friends and find the treasure.

In conclusion, the novel Treasure Island is a bildungsroman, a coming of age story that uses literary devices such as foreshadowing, symbolism, and theme. Robert uses symbolism in this novel by the pirates, what they treasure most and what is means to them. Foreshadowing is shown throughout the novel giving hints to what is going to happen next. The theme of greed and desire change and evolve the characters in the story. Changing them to evil ways all to get some treasure. Literary devices Robert uses allows the reader to interact with the book and keep them interested while reading


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