Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Treasure Island: Context
Treasure Island: Plot Summary
Treasure Island: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Treasure Island: Themes
Treasure Island: Quotes
Treasure Island: Characters
Treasure Island: Symbols
Treasure Island: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Robert Louis Stevenson
Historical Context of Treasure Island
Other Books Related to Treasure Island
- Full Title: Treasure Island
- Where Written: Scotland
- When Published: 1881-1882
- Literary Period: Victorian Literature
- Genre: Novel, children’s adventure story
- Setting: Britain (on the Bristol Channel) and Treasure Island (apparently somewhere in the Caribbean, although the plants on the island make that unclear)
- Climax: Having found the x-marks-the-spot, but with no treasure to be seen—merely an excavation site—the pirates are ready to mutiny against Long John Silver (and kill Jim along with him) when Silver kills George. The doctor, Gray, and Ben Gunn then emerge from their hiding place in the woods and they send the other pirates racing off.
- Antagonist: Long John Silver is the most prominent antagonist, though he’s an ambivalent one: less important pirates like Israel Hands are also the most decidedly evil.
- Point of View: Most of the novel is told in the first person from the perspective of an older Jim Hawkins who is setting down the tale of Treasure Island. For several chapters, however, the point of view shifts to that of Dr. Livesey, who relates a number of events happening while Jim was elsewhere and thus couldn’t have known what was going on.
Extra Credit for Treasure Island
Shipwrecks and silver. Hispaniola, the name of the ship that carries the characters to Treasure Island, is also the old name for the island now divided between the nations of Dominican Republic and Haiti. There, a sunken Spanish ship carrying a great deal of treasure was discovered by a notorious adventurer, William Phips, who left some gold for others to find.
Bringing the book to life. Among the American artist and illustrator N.C. Wyeth’s most famous works are the vivid illustrations he made for Treasure Island, which are often considered to be his best.