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Treasure Island (part 2).docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Natalie Rose

ENGB35 Jan 28, 2013 Jim goes on shore with the pirates “[A]s I was certain I should not be allowed to leave the enclosure, my only plan was to take the French leave, and slip out when nobody was watching; and that was so bad a way of doing it as made the thing itself wrong. But I was only a boy, and I had made my mind up. […] This was my second folly, far worse than my first, as I left but two sound men to guard the house; but like the first, it was a help towards saving all of us.”  French leave: French are cowardly and don‟t play by British rules… this is a bit of British nationalism.  Defense of Jim‟s actions: o I was only child and children disobey o Not following the adult rules is what saves the day  There is both a celebration and a disapproval of the disobedience o The disobedience is for the good o The retrospective voice allows for disapproval to be shown as it the adult moral perspective  Jim must leave the group in order to be a hero… with the adults, Jim is still only a child. On his own, he is the hero o Individualism: the child must be an individual in order to be successful  This whole thing is a massive child fantasy: “[H]ere you are, in a bad way – ship lost, treasure lost, men lost, your whole business gone to wreck; and if you want to know who did it – it was I! I was in the apple barrel the nigt we sighted land, and I heard you, John, and you, Dick Johnson, and Hands, who us now at the bottom of the sea, and told every word you said before the hour was out. And as for the schooner, it was I who cut her cable, and it was I who brought her where you‟ll never see her more, not one of you. The laugh‟s on my side; I‟ve had the top of this business from the first; I no more fear you than I fear a fly.”  Lots of „I‟ emphasis – again that individualistic outlook  Self-exaggerating: while it may sound like Jim did everything, for the most part, it was the adults who had to help him after he discovers information o He did not kill all the men on the boat  Gradual escalation of violence through the book: o Jim‟s father dies of natural causes ENGB35 Jan 28, 2013 o Pew is trampled off-stage o Once on the island, things begin to get violent Jim and Israel Hands “Seeing that I meant to dodge, he also paused; and a moment or two passed in feints on his part, and corresponding movements upon mine. It was such a game as I had often played at home about Black Hill Cove; but never before, you may be sure, with such a wildly beating heart a now. Still, as I say, it was a boy‟s game, and I thought I could hold my own at it, against an elderly seaman with a wounded thigh.”  Sets up a viewpoint of a childhood game: o Imaginary o No consequences o The game is training for adult life “‟One more step. Mr. Hands,‟ said I, „and I‟ll blow your brains out! Dead men don‟t bite, you know,‟ I added with a chuckle. He stopped instantly. I could see by the working of his face that he was trying to think, and the process was so slow and laborious that, in my new-found security, I laughed aloud.”  Pirates are not worthy opponents, they‟re not as smart as every other person  “Dead men don‟t bite” – this is actually Hands‟ line. Jim is throwing it back at him, using pirate speak. o Mimic pirates to show a courageous front – Jim‟s not really that brave so he has to pretend he‟s a pirate in order to feel courageous “I was drinking in his words and smiling away as conceited as a cock upon a wall, when, all in a breath, back went his right hand over his shoulder. Something sang like an arrow through the air; I felt a blow and then a sharp pang, and there I was pinned by the shoulder to the mast. In the horrid pain and surprise of the moment – I scarce can say it was by my own volition, and I am sure it was without a conscious aim – both my pistols went off, and both escaped out of my hands. They did not fall alone; with a choked cry, the cockswain loosed his grasp upon the shrouds, and plunged head first into the water.”  Framed as an accident: o Preserves Jim status as a hero – kills a bad person o But it does not make him into a cold-hearted murderer – people have a horror of child killers o “I didn‟t mean to do it, it was an accident.”  Consciousness and volition are absent o It is a reflex, not a planned out thought ENGB35 Jan 28, 2013  Has to be framed this way as Jim had thought of killing hands (and had previously tossed O‟Brien‟s dead off the boat), it has to limit Jim‟s violent nature The Faithful Party vs. Pirates  Stockade (F.P.) vs. Swamp (P.) – F.P. have Union Jack and the P. have their skull and crossbones  Pirates: o Aggravated burglary o Don‟t follow rules o Are disloyal and cannot be trusted as they usually have their own agendas  They are not loyal to authority but they are also not loyal to each other o Deceitful and manipulative  Can act appropriately in order to gain a goal  However, a lack of self-control is always there o Very greedy  Everything is based on the fact that they want everything at once o Chaotic o They are the „other‟  Unlike Robinson Crusoe‟s „other‟, the pirates are more like class „other‟  A political allegory - We didn‟t discuss this, but in 1883 the working classes were seeking the vote, so the pirates have been read as
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