In Chapter 7, Jim Hawkins leaves for Bristol and tearfully bids his home goodbye. Moved by his fondness for the family inn, Jim uses personification as he says a final farewell:
I said good-bye to mother and the cove where I had lived since I was born, and the dear old "Admiral Benbow"—since he was repainted, no longer quite so dear.
Jim refers to the inn as "dear old," a phrase that emphasizes its familiarity to him and implies the inn is a cherished friend. This is an example of personification, a form of figurative language in which non-human objects are described as having human attributes. The Admiral Benbow isn't just where Jim lives; it also represents the safety and comforts of home. Once Billy Bones arrives and Jim father's dies, however, both the inn and Jim's life are thrown into disarray.
Stevenson uses personification purposefully in the passage above to underscores the inn's significance to Jim. Once Jim leaves the Admiral Benbow for Bristol, he faces events that challenge and change him forever. Jim's departure from the inn symbolizes a transition from the innocence of childhood to the harsh realities of adult life.
Other characters also refer to the inn as "Admiral Benbow" throughout the novel, speaking of the inn as if it was a real person. In naming the inn "Admiral Benbow," Stevenson also alludes to the Naval officer John Benbow, who became a popular hero in Britain during the late 1600s for his exploits at sea.