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Treasure Island Notes

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Notes on Treasure Island- B35 Week 4:

Contextual material, genre, implied child reader

Jim Hawkins (1883 children)

Pirates and Long John Silver

- RC 1719 to 1883, when first book for TI published

- Lots of similar ideas to that of RC,

- Middle class is central and earn and spend most money

- Post-darwinish, most significant difference is crisis of faith when Christian origins are questioned and this novel barely talks about religion

- Ben gunn is like mock RC and only mentions barely providence, not very worthy of this worldview, providence is replaced by luck and chance, things just happen and u must prove yourself

- High imperialism and British empire formalized, in RC, he is the one owning island and doesn't talk about giving the island to brit rule

- Adventure fiction becomes very popular in this time and is ideological version of empire basically

- This book actually takes place in late 1754ish and wasn't set in modern day because there were no pirates and things were more cleaned up at this point

- They give heros all sorts of values and aspects that make them worthy of empire

- Other changes (first is religion) another is mass literacy therefore more literature


- Children fiction now exists and is in full swing, TI is now actually written for children, ie Stevenson's stepson and also writing for a market that already exited, and knew it would make him rich

- Wrote for boy readers

- This is a form of Romance genre, not fundamentally realistic basically, realism was considered superior than romance, this is like Locks thought on good helpful stories for children (19th century)

- Stevenson debated with henry james, who wrote realist books

Henry James:

- Fiction should be faithful rep of world, and talks about TI, but still failed james' reality test

- Stevenson replied and basically said his thoughts were off and is equating boyhood with imagination for adventure and james obvi didn't have this

- We can see specific implied child reader, romantic, adventure seeking child reader

- Even jim is that typical child as he fantasizes over the map in ch 7

- Its like jim has read RC before this whole adventure

- This also implies that the regular boy cannot imagine anything like this of the book though, some suspense

- This book was also read by adults, a way to escape from adult life and remember boys life

Adventure fiction in 1880

- Ppl began to worry men were going soft because of industrialization and stuff; stuck in factories, offices...

- Haggard is thinking the quotes are not good reading..blah blah

- It seems in TI that it turns from not what a man chooses to do, but how they do it

- Adventure fiction is anti domestic, but actually about manliness

- The scene in bar when they get bombarded by pirates, jim basically takes leads and defend s mom setting him up to be a hero, other people are cowards

- No disobedience as in RB and in this case its set up with cowardness


When we talk about gender, we are talking about culture and society. What is valued and devalued?

- On basic level its man versus boy, but sometimes boys can be manly if they behave in certain ways

- Manliness is contingent and is based on what you did and how you do it

- If by Rudyar Kipling- if you do, then you will be a man and that is why it is contingent

Jim Hawkins:

- Three main events: apple barrel, going on shore, and leaves stockade

- Basically he is brave and plays the role that supports the story

- He really matures and grows up and very significant that his dad dies, and that basically gives reason as to why he grows up

- It initially starts with taking care of women, but as adventure starts, no women anymore

- Its like Stevenson is saying any kid can be like a hero and everyone has it in them

- Though is still greedy from beginning

- Apple barrel scene chapter 10, on shore with pirates, basically all these events make it seem like he is the true hero and will only be the one to save them even though there are more people and gets slightly cocky

- Retrospective narrative and first person narrative, it is obvious in certain phrases

- Basically even though he looks back upon this story, the reason the adventure happened was dependant on him being a boy

- Coming



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