Treasure Island

Treasure Island Chapter 34 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next day they get to work to load the Hispaniola with treasure. Jim is amazed by all the different kinds of coins, from different countries and in different sizes. On the third night, the doctor and Jim are walking along the hill, when they hear shrieking and singing: the doctor cries that it’s the mutineers. Silver says that they’re all drunk. Jim had noticed how everyone has been treating Silver no better than a dog, except for Gunn, who’s still afraid of him, and Jim, who’s still grateful to him (even though he hasn’t forgotten the moment of final planned treachery on the plateau).
Once again Jim witnesses first-hand the drunken revelry of the pirates, and now he has proof that such revelry has only served them ill, while the more rational, strategic members of the captain’s crew are now piling treasure into the ship. Jim continues to be of two minds about Silver, both admiring him and regarding him with suspicion, and aware that he’ll never really be able to predict Silver’s next move.
Themes
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
The doctor wonders if the mutineers are insane, rather than drunk, in which case he should go assist them. Silver tells him that there’s no way the doctor could do so and hope to live. So they leave the last three pirates, deciding to abandon them on the island. Finally, they pull up their anchor and sail out of the North Inlet. As they sail away, they see the three pirates kneeling in supplication: they all feel a burst of pity, but in the interest of preventing another mutiny (not to mention the gallows that will surely await them) they leave the men behind. Seeing that they are leaving, one of the pirates shoots a bullet through the main sail, so the party ducks low on deck until at a safe distance.
At first, the doctor’s professional role triggers his sense of responsibility, but Silver has no similar sentiment, and once again is able to convince the doctor to act in the way he thinks best. Still, as the crew sails away, the pirates seem more pitiful than threatening, especially when weakened by drink. Throughout the book, indeed, they have shifted wildly between being terrifying and pathetic, and now the latter seems to win out.
Themes
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
At sundown, they anchor at a port where Mexican Indians and black people are selling sweet-smelling fruits and vegetables. The doctor, squire, and Jim meet an English man-of-war and spend some time aboard his ship. When they return to the Hispaniola, Ben Gunn says that Silver has escaped, with one of the coin sacks worth three or four hundred guineas. They all think it a cheap price to be rid of him.
The adventure at this port is much more low-key than on Treasure Island. While no one precisely expected Silver to run away, neither are they exactly surprised, and it certainly prevents them having to spend the sea voyage back studying him for any sign of a new plot against them.
Themes
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
The Hispaniola has an uneventful voyage home, though it arrives with only five of the men who had left. Jim ends by relating how each man spent his fortune: Captain Smollett retired from the sea; Gray saved his money and became an owner of a ship himself, as well as married with children; Ben Gunn lost or spent his money in three weeks and returned to begging. They’ve never since heard of Long John Silver, though Jim imagines he met his wife and perhaps lives comfortably with her and the parrot.
Jim recognizes that it’s difficult for characters to change substantially: fortunes of wealth tend to align with fortunes in the other sense of luck, as well as with the character traits that were present in each figure from the start. With time and the benefit of hindsight, Jim’s view of Long John Silver becomes more benign than suspicious.
Themes
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Get the entire Treasure Island LitChart as a printable PDF.
Treasure island.pdf.medium
Jim claims that he’ll never again return to that island. His worst dreams include the loud waves on an island, and the sound of the parrot squawking “Pieces of eight!”
While Jim has clearly relished sharing his adventure with readers, he seems confident that he’s learned all that he needs to through such events.
Themes
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon