Treasure Island


Robert Louis Stevenson

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Treasure Island: Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Jim stays at the doctor’s residence under the charge of the gamekeeper, Redruth, while preparations are taking place, and spends a long time brooding over the map and wondering about this strange island.
Jim indulges his imagination as he wonders what kind of adventures await him, as he’s only known life at the inn so far.
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In March, Jim and Redruth receive a letter from the squire saying that the ship is ready, and that everyone in Bristol has been most helpful once they realized that the crew is in search of treasure. Jim realizes that the doctor won’t like this news. The rest of the letter recounts how the squire met a ship-cook by chance, who had been sick but is now yearning to get back to sea. The squire hired him—Long John Silver, who lost a leg in the army—and Silver helped him recruit another six or seven crewmen. He learned that Silver has a bank account that’s never been overdrawn, as well as a wife, who is black, which he imagines is also a reason Silver wants to get back to sea.
The doctor had already warned the other members of the party not to breathe a word of their task to anyone else, since the pirates who ransacked the Admiral Benbow would almost certainly be aware that someone else had gotten their hands on the treasure map. The squire, however, is confident in his choices. Today we read his view of race and of women as prejudiced and unsavory: his assumption would have been a casual stereotype at the time.
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The next morning Redruth and Jim head back to the inn so that Jim can spend one final night with his mother. He finds her cheerful, with an apprentice-boy who has been helping her as Jim used to. At this Jim begins to cry, finally realizing that he is leaving home, not just going out in pursuit of adventures.
As Jim witnesses his mother and the new apprentice boy who seems to be taking his place, his tears once again signal that he has been thrown into adulthood perhaps before he is quite ready.
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The next morning Jim and Redruth travel to Bristol and walk to the port, where Jim revels in the smell of tar and salt and in all the magnificent ships. The squire meets them and announces that they’ll be leaving the next day.
Nonetheless, by the time he reaches the port, Jim is feeling enamored with his new life and excited to embark on his new adventure, which seems to be already beginning.
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