Treasure Island

The Map of Treasure Symbol Analysis

The Map of Treasure Symbol Icon

While most of the novel is taken up with the voyage to and search for treasure, at the beginning the search is for the map itself that will lead its reader there. Treasure is the guiding motivation for most of the characters in the novel, the one goal that is never questioned or challenged. The map, in turn, represents this search—the quest for an avowed desire that triggers an entire novel’s plot. In some ways, this search is straightforward, requiring resources and courage, to be sure, but not exactly complicated. However, the treasure map itself is not exactly clear: it includes several red crosses which are too large to pinpoint a specific place, as well as a set of directions that could be interpreted in a number of ways. The search after one’s desires, the treasure map seems to suggest, is more complex than it seems at first, and requires not only persistence but the ability to interpret and respond to various challenges along the way.

The Map of Treasure Quotes in Treasure Island

The Treasure Island quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Map of Treasure. 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 6 Quotes

The doctor opened the seals with great care, and there fell out the map of an island, with latitude and longitude, soundings, names of hills, and bays and inlets, and every particular that would be needed to bring a ship to a safe anchorage upon its shores. It was about nine miles long and five across, shaped, you might say, like a fat dragon standing up, and had two fine landlocked harbours, and a hill in the centre part marked "The Spy-glass." There were several additions of a later date; but, above all, three crosses of red ink-two on the north part of the island, one in the south-west, and, beside this last, in the same red ink, and in a small, neat hand, very different from the captain's tottery characters, these words: “Bulk of treasure here.”

Related Characters: Jim Hawkins (speaker), Doctor Livesey
Related Symbols: The Map of Treasure
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:

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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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The Map of Treasure Symbol Timeline in Treasure Island

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Map of Treasure appears in Treasure Island. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6. The Captain’s Papers
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...final page is folded and sealed. When Dr. Livesey pries open the seal, a detailed map of an island falls out. There’s a hill in the center marked “the Spy-glass” and... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...is a little concerned, realizing that the other pirates know about the existence of this map too—the three of them must not breathe a word to anyone, and must never be... (full context)
Chapter 7. I Go to Bristol
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...gamekeeper, Redruth, while preparations are taking place, and spends a long time brooding over the map and wondering about this strange island. (full context)
Chapter 9. Powder and Arms
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Then Captain Smollett says he’s heard that they have a map of the island where the treasure chest’s location is marked. The squire cries that he... (full context)
Chapter 12. Council of War
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...hill is called the Spy-Glass and used to be a lookout. Smollett shows him a map, and Silver’s eyes light up, but Jim notes that he’s disappointed, since this is not... (full context)
Chapter 20. Silver’s Embassy
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...presumably want to save their lives. He demands that the captain give him the treasure map. The captain coolly refuses. They both light a pipe and silently sit, smoking. Silver again... (full context)
Chapter 28. In the Enemy’s Camp
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...pirates, remembers that it was Jim who recognized Black Dog, and who found Billy Bones’s map: Jim has thwarted them at every turn. Morgan springs up and draws his knife. Silver... (full context)
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...a game is up. Finally, he asks Jim why the doctor gave him (Silver) the map. Jim is flabbergasted, but Silver insists that he did. (full context)
Chapter 29. The Black Spot Again
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, who has been taking care of the wounded. Finally, he throws the treasure map onto the ground. Jim still can’t imagine why the doctor gave it to Silver. (full context)
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
But the pirates, with a cry, grab hold of the map and pass it from hand to hand. Merry wonders aloud how they’ll get the treasure... (full context)
Chapter 33. The Fall of a Chieftain
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...Gunn, so the next morning, seeing the Hispaniola gone, the doctor had given Silver the map and the provisions, since Gunn’s cave was well-stocked, as well as the stockade, so that... (full context)