Treasure Island

Treasure Island Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
They dash onto the shore and through the trees, in the opposite direction from the pirates. Dr. Livesey hands Gray his knife, and Gray hurls it behind him. Soon they reach the stockade, and enclose themselves within it, just as seven of the pirates come into sight. They halt and Hunter and Joyce shoot, causing one of the pirates to fall—the others flee. They begin to rejoice at the triumph, but suddenly Redruth is struck by a bullet and falls to the ground.
The battle between the captain’s men and the pirates continues, but it is hardly as well-planned an assault as either side might have hoped. Even though the captain’s side can claim a small victory, since they’ve caused the pirates to flee, the loss of Redruth makes for a high cost of victory.
Themes
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Dr. Livesey says to himself that it’s this loyal, stoic servant, the oldest of the men aboard the ship, who is now to die. The squire asks Redruth to forgive him, and he does. He asks for a prayer to be read, and soon after dies. Meanwhile, Smollett has been busying himself with setting up the house, but he’s been watching Redruth as well, and when he dies the captain lays a flag over his body in reverence. Still, he tells Dr. Livesey that it’ll be easier to survive longer with one less mouth to feed.
The doctor begins to realize just how much their side will have to sacrifice as a result of the pirates’ mutiny. The captain’s preoccupation with day-to-day tasks might seem cold, even if he does lay the flag over Redruth’s body, but it is also the captain’s good sense and willingness to think ahead that will prove vital to the team in order to survive.
Themes
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
They’ve raised the flag of England, which is proving to be a target for the pirates: bullets keep just missing the log-house. But they all decide that it would not be “seamanly” to take the flag down, so it will stay.
Being “seamanly” is what distinguishes these men (in their minds, at least) from the pirates, who might otherwise seem to be pursuing largely similar interests.
Themes
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Smollett asks for volunteers to uncover the stores from the jolly-boat: Gray and Hunter volunteer themselves, but it’s useless—the pirates had already found the boat and taken the provisions. The captain begins to log the day’s events. Dr. Livesey wonders what may have happened to Jim Hawkins: suddenly, they hear a cry, and he runs to the door to see Jim Hawkins climbing over the stockade.
As a result of having to flee the small boat, the captain and his men have now doubly lost: they no longer have the provisions, and the pirates can take advantage of them. This is the moment at which Jim had run to the shoreline after meeting Ben Gunn, allowing him to resume the narrative.
Themes
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
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