Treasure Island

Treasure Island Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the madness following the announcement of land, Jim slips out of the barrel and reappears on deck, joining the others and listening to Captain Smollett’s orders. The captain asks if anyone’s seen this island before. Silver says that the best place to anchor is on Skeleton Island, which used to be a pirate hold: the main hill is called the Spy-Glass and used to be a lookout. Smollett shows him a map, and Silver’s eyes light up, but Jim notes that he’s disappointed, since this is not the treasure map—it’s an exact copy with the exception of the x-marks-the-spot and the instructions.
Again, Jim is clever and discreet enough to evade capture or suspicious glances. Now Silver is becoming increasingly unconcerned with hiding his true character: he tells the captain exactly what he knows from having sailed to Treasure Island on a pirate ship himself. But Jim recognizes that Silver is still missing one crucial element for his plan: the treasure map.
Themes
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Jim begins to feel terrified at the sight of Silver, even though he recognizes that Silver didn’t know he overheard him. Jim goes to the doctor and asks him for a private conference with the squire and Smollett. Dr. Livesey agrees, but first the captain draws all the hands on deck and congratulates them: they’ll all be given drinks to celebrate. At the crew’s cheer, Jim can hardly believe that they’re all plotting to kill them.
While Silver had treated Jim kindly before, now Jim finds him many times more frightening than the much more obviously violent Billy Bones. Watching the crew rejoice, Jim is given another lesson in duplicity and the ability to hide one’s true feelings or intentions.
Themes
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Soon Jim is sent for and finds the squire, captain, and doctor in the cabin. He relates what he heard. The squire admits to the captain that he was wrong, and the captain accepts his apology. They all note that Silver is a remarkable man for managing the crew with no signs of mutiny. Captain Smollett says they can’t turn back now, and besides, only a few honest crewmen seem to be left—Trelawney’s three servants, plus the four of them. The squire tells Jim that he has great faith in him, but Jim is anxious: they are seven against nineteen, and he is only a boy.
Jim has remained loyal to the men who took him under their wings and brought him aboard the ship. This moment of reconciliation between the captain and squire can take place now that they’re facing a common enemy. This sense of adult strength and comradeship, however, is weakened by the squire’s insistence that Jim will be able to play an important role in helping: he’s again forcing Jim to act as an adult.
Themes
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon