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Treasure Island Book, 3 character development - Essay Example

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The character of Jim, the narrator and protagonist of the novel is one that experiences a great deal of change throughout the novel. Whereas Jim begins the novel as something of a child, his experience within the story changes him to more of a man. …
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Treasure Island Book, 3 character development
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Download file to see previous pages “It was on seeing that boy that I understood, for the first time, my situation. I had thought up to that moment of the adventures before me, not at all of the home that I was leaving; and now, at sight of this clumsy stranger, who was to stay here in my place beside my mother, I had my first attack of tears. I am afraid I led that boy a dog's life, for as he was new to the work, I had a hundred opportunities of setting him right and putting him down, and I was not slow to profit by them” (Stephenson 67).
Although this admission may not seem as something entirely important to understanding the plot or the means by which Jim developed, the fact of the matter is that the quote itself describes and even foreshadows the transformation that Jim will make between boyhood and manhood as a function of the adventure he undertakes. As a means of referring to the “clumsy stranger”, Jim obliquely refers to himself as an ungainly and rather wide eyed child.
Similarly, the character of Billy Bones undergoes one of the most marked transformations of any character within the novel. Whereas when he comes into the Inn Billy Bones is described in something of a menacing fashion, the reader and the narrator is soon made aware that the gruff that hides a less than cruel interior is merely the trappings of a reclusive and misunderstood character. Says Jim of Billy Bones upon first inspection: All the time he lived with us the captain made no change whatever in his dress but to buy some stockings from a hawker. One of the cocks of his hat having fallen down, he let it hang from that day forth, though it was a great annoyance when it blew. I remember the appearance of his coat, which he patched himself upstairs in his room, and which, before the end, was nothing but patches. He never wrote or received a letter, and he never spoke with any but the neighbours, and with these, for the most part, only when drunk on rum. The great sea-chest none of us had ever seen open” (Stephenson 12). As a means of juxtaposing such a figure with the internal dynamics of friendship and trust, Stephenson masterfully relates a character that although outwardly somewhat conspicuous and terrifying turns out to have a soul that Jim can relate to and attempt to befriend as the novel progresses. Finally, the character of Long John Silver undergoes an extensive and expansive change throughout the story. At first, Stephenson, through the voice of the narrator, casts Long John Silver in something of a friendly shade. Although he is beset by a litany of bad features to include violence, thievery, and cruelty, he nonetheless bonds with Jim and plays a vital role in the development of the plot line. However, upon the novel’s close, the narrator says of Silver, “Of Silver we have heard no more. That formidable seafaring man with one leg has at last gone clean out of my life. [...] It is to be hoped [that he lives in comfort], I suppose, for his chances of comfort in another world are very small” (Stephenson 225). In this way, Jim’s character wishes Silver happiness in the short period of time before his life necessarily ends. This unique due to the level of difficulties that Silver had caused for Jim during the course of the story. Yet in a truly ambiguous way, Jim also notes that no matter what will be the cause of Silver’s death, the fact of the matter is that he will most likely be going to hell as a result of the actions that he has perpetrated. In this way, even though the character and his interpretation has changed and morphed throughout the course of the novel, Jim once again visits the issue with a type of detached understanding. The growth that each of these character experience is of course one of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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