Narrated by Jim Hawkins, Treasure Island's tone is suspenseful, lively, and upbeat. As narrator, Jim often puts readers on the edge of their seats. This is exemplified in Chapter 4, for example, after Jim and his mother flee the Admiral Benbow in search of help after Billy Bones dies:
The neighbourhood, to our ears, seemed haunted by approaching footsteps; and what between the dead body of the captain on the parlour floor, and the thought of that detestable blind beggar hovering near at hand, and ready to return, there were moments when [...] I jumped in my skin for terror. Something must speedily be resolved upon; and it occurred to us at last to go forth together and seek help [...] Bare-headed as we were, we ran out at once in the gathering evening and the frosty fog.
The dramatic language in the passage is characteristic of the novel's overall tone. Jim uses certain words and images to evoke feelings of fear and urgency in the reader. The word "haunted," for example, brings to mind ghosts, and the image of Bones's dead body and Pew "hovering" like a waiting monster are equally frightening. The darkness outside reflects the sense of abandonment Jim and his mother feel as they wander their neighborhood alone, frightened and helpless. Stevenson presents these details to the reader to create a sense of foreboding; this, all in all, keeps them invested in the unfolding adventure and in the novel's characters.