A Matter Of Perception: Treasure Island Is Good Or Bad

1095 words - 5 pages

Written in the nineteenth century, Treasure Island was the beginning of RobertLouis Stevenson's career as a writer. While numerous critics think that his work(Treasure Island) was a great success, there are still some that think it was not. In therecritiques they deal with moral concerns that the people of Stevenson's tome may have hadand literary excellence.Maurice Hewlett says in his article in "Criticism Today" that Treasure Island alongwith many other works of Stevenson is "not so wonderful a performance after all"(www.wwwesterni.unibg.it/siti_esterni/rls/critrec.htm, 3/01/03). H.L.Mencken says thateven Stevenson's most doting admirers find his literature difficult to read. Howev ...view middle of the document...

This is especially helpful to theyoung reader.Blackburn writes that Treasure Island is "brilliantly handled" with its"interweaving" activities that would happen at the same time. A young person is able tounderstand what happens all the time. Yet, in writing for the young reader, Stevensonalso writes so that adults are able to enjoy it as well as the young reader."Stevenson is very much aware of the need to supplement children's experience ofhuman nature," says Blackburn. He shows morals for everyday life. Blackburn writes thatStevenson found numerous ways to portray values leading to success in this world. JimHawkins, as the narrator and the protagonist of the story, knows that the treasure hewants was blood money, and he is afraid of becoming somebody who can live with himselfpossessing all that money while knowing what the cause of it was. It would be immoral.The book describes the island as a place with swamps and the whole place seems kind ofgloomy. Blackburn believes that this description may in fact be a reflection of JimHawkins himself -- an internalization. The adventure in Treasure Island is, beneath it all,"a psychological journey" with "its most precious reward being a modest degree ofself-knowledge" (Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 63, pp.252).Jim "regrets having broken the rules, even when following them might have led todisaster" (Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 63, pp.256). Blackburn thinksthat the book shows that it is better to follow the rules that lead to disaster than to breakthe rules all together. He definitely believes that Treasure Island has things to give thereader mo...


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