Treasure Island

Formerly a member of Captain Flint’s crew, Ben Gunn was abandoned on Treasure Island three years before Jim and the Hispaniola arrived. It was he who found and hid the treasure, a mystery that Jim discovers only at the end. Gunn is so grateful to have met Jim and found him friendly that he pledges full loyalty to his side.

Ben Gunn Quotes in Treasure Island

The Treasure Island quotes below are all either spoken by Ben Gunn or refer to Ben Gunn. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Treasure Island published in 1999.
Chapter 15 Quotes

“I were in Flint’s ship when he buried the treasure; he and six along—six strong seamen. They was ashore nigh on a week, and us standing off and on in the old Walrus. One fine day up went the signal, and here come Flint by himself in a little boat, and his head done up in a blue scarf. The sun was getting up, and mortal white he looked about the cutwater. But, there he was, you mind, and the six all dead—dead and buried. How he done it, not a man aboard us could make out. It was battle, murder, and sudden death, leastways—him against six. Billy Bones was the mate; Long John, he was quartermaster; and they asked him where the treasure was. ‘Ah,’ says he, ‘you can go ashore, if you like, and stay,’ he says; ‘but as for the ship, she’ll beat up for more, by thunder!’ That’s what he said.”

Related Characters: Ben Gunn (speaker), Long John Silver, Billy Bones (“the captain”), Captain Flint
Related Symbols: The Map of Treasure
Page Number: 82-83
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 22 Quotes

As for the scheme I had in my head, it was not a bad one in itself. I was to go down the sandy spit that divides the anchorage on the east from the open sea, find the white rock I had observed last evening, and ascertain whether it was there or not that Ben Gunn had hidden his boat; a thing quite worth doing, as I still believe. But as I was certain I should not be allowed to leave the enclosure, my only plan was to take French leave, and slip out when nobody was watching; and that was so bad a way of doing it as made the thing itself wrong. But I was only a boy, and I had made my mind up.

Related Characters: Jim Hawkins (speaker), Ben Gunn
Page Number: 118-119
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 30 Quotes

“There is a kind of fate in this,” he observed, when I had done. “Every step, it’s you that saves our lives; and do you suppose by any chance that we are going to let you lose yours? That would be a poor return, my boy. You found out the plot; you found Ben Gunn—the best deed that ever you did, or will do, though you live to ninety.”

Related Characters: Doctor Livesey (speaker), Jim Hawkins, Ben Gunn
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Ben Gunn Character Timeline in Treasure Island

The timeline below shows where the character Ben Gunn appears in Treasure Island. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15. The Man of the Island
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
The man says he’s named Ben Gunn, and hasn’t spoken to a “Christian” in three years. He is ragged, clothed in... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Ben Gunn tells Jim that he had a pious mother, though you couldn’t tell it from... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Ben tells Jim that he was in Flint’s ship when the treasure was buried by him... (full context)
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Jim asks how he’ll get back aboard: Gunn says he’s built a small boat himself and keeps it under the white rock. Suddenly... (full context)
Chapter 19. Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins: The Garrison in the Stockade
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
With the point of view returned to Jim, he explains that Ben Gunn, seeing the flag, had said his friends must be there, though Jim thought it... (full context)
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Dr. Livesey asks Jim more about Gunn. Jim isn’t sure whether he’s sane, but the doctor says a man in his condition... (full context)
Chapter 20. Silver’s Embassy
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...can’t happen again. Smollett doesn’t let on how confused he is, though Jim suspects that Gunn had snuck up on the pirates and picked a few of them off. (full context)
Chapter 22. How My Sea Adventure Began
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
...shocked and tells Jim he must be mad, but Jim suggests he’s going to see Ben Gunn. Jim begins to envy the doctor, who’s probably walking in the cool woods while... (full context)
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...of a foolish young boy: he plans to go find the white rock mentioned by Ben Gunn and the boat hidden beside it—a worthy goal itself, but not worth slipping out... (full context)
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...brush so as not to be seen. Almost at nightfall, he finds it, and discovers Gunn’s homemade boat of wood and goat-skin. It’s so small that it looks like it would... (full context)
Chapter 27. “Pieces of Eight”
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...In high spirits, he sets off for the log-house, passing by where he had met Ben Gunn. Suddenly the light of a moonbeam reaches him, lighting up the Spy-glass hill, and... (full context)
Chapter 30. On Parole
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
...In return, he says, they’ll be sure to protect him. Livesey also starts to mention Ben Gunn, but at that moment Silver returns, and the doctor tells him not to hurry... (full context)
Chapter 32. The Treasure Hunt—The Voice among the Trees
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...argument, but Merry and Morgan seem cheered. Suddenly Silver shouts that it sounded just like Ben Gunn’s voice. But Dick says that doesn’t help, since Ben Gunn’s not on the island... (full context)
Chapter 33. The Fall of a Chieftain
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Instantly, the doctor, Gray, and Ben Gunn emerge from behind the trees. The doctor cries that they must chase the pirates... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
It was Gunn who had found the skeleton and the treasure, and he who had dug it up... (full context)
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...part of the pirates’ surprise (and might be in danger), he had taken Gray and Gunn across the island to lie in wait. Gunn, who had gone out ahead, hoped to... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...to North Inlet. Passing around the hill, they catch sight of the squire waiting outside Gunn’s cave. They finally reach the Hispaniola, which is in good shape, apart from the cut... (full context)
Chapter 34. And Last
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
...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... (full context)
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
...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... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...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... (full context)