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Free Study Guide for Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson-BookNotes

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CHAPTER 7: I Go to Bristol


The voyage to Skeleton Island/Treasure Island doesnít work out as fast as they planned. Neither does the plan to keep Jim with Dr. Livesey as he leaves for London to find a doctor to take care of his medical practice in his absence. Since the Squire was still detained in Bristol trying to obtain a sailing vessel and crew, Jim stays with Tom Redruth. Weeks pass by with no news. During these days Jim spends his time imagining things about the Treasure Island and what it will be like. One day, he receives a letter from the Squire. The letter informs him about the ship named Hispaniola that the Squire has purchased. He states that his old friend Blandly who has assisted immensely in buying the ship. He writes that all the people who were aware of the voyage helped him very much, especially after they learned that they were to set sail for treasure.

Jim doesnít like this and is sure that Dr. Livesey wonít either, as the purpose of the voyage was supposed to strictly remain a secret. The Squire goes on to describe the troubles he went through to appoint the right crew for the Hispaniola. He writes about the Sea Cook he had appointed. He is a seasoned old seaman named Long John Silver with only one leg. According to the Squire, Silver is a very experienced hand with an ability to recognize the right men with right spirits. He informs Jim and the Doctor that he feeling strong and is looking forward to the voyage. He gives Jim permission to visit his mother with Redruth and spend a night with her. After which they should hurry for Bristol to board the ship for the voyage.

Jim is delighted on reading this. He starts his journey back to the Inn to see his mother with Redruth, who, Jim says, is a grumbling old man.

Jim returns to his mother to find a refurbished and newly painted Admiral Benbow Inn. The Squire has also appointed an apprentice to help his mother. Jimís eyes fill with tears when he finds another guy replacing him at the inn. He feels jealous of the boy, as he is privileged to stay beside his mother all day long.

Redruth and Jim hit the road the next day. Jim turns a bit nostalgic while leaving the cove. They leave for Bristol. Jim sleeps like a log in the whole journey. When they reach Bristol and walk towards the Squireís hotel, Jim observes old sailors sitting around and imagines himself on a voyage to an unknown island in search of treasure.

The Squire is delighted to see them, as now the shipís crew is complete. The doctor had already arrived from London. The next day they would leave on the voyage.


Jim stays away from home. Their plans to board the ship and sail to the island do not work as fast as they had planned. All this time, Jim stayed with Redruth. During his spare time, Jim daydreams about the Treasure Island. Jim is portrayed as imaginative and brave, who is not afraid or apprehensive about the journey that lies ahead of him. When he finally receives the letter from the Squire, he is delighted. The voyage to the Treasure Island with the proper crew, excites him especially when he finds out that the Squire has already bought a 200 ton schooner named Hispaniola, appointed a proper crew with a diligent Sea Cook. He feels dejected and scared when he learns that the Squire had revealed the secret of the journey to people at Bristol. Jimís excitement clearly brings out his childish nature.

Having an opportunity to visit his mother and stay with her for a night makes him extremely happy. This again shows how much Jim cares for his mother. This is unlike the typical attitude demonstrated by most boys. Jim appears to be a much more sensitive person, especially after the death of his father.

In this chapter, the character of the Squire is briefly touched upon. Even though he is depicted as a hard task-master with burning enthusiasm and leadership qualities, he is not shown as a completely dependable man. Especially when, despite the promise given to the doctor, he tells him about the support he got from the people at Bristol. His non-judicious qualities are also touched upon briefly when he puts his trust in unknown people and even employs them despite the threat of trouble if the wrong people find out.

When Jim finds a boy replacing him at the Inn, it makes him jealous. He feels that he has taken Jimís place beside his mother, which fills him with emotional envy and his eyes well with tears at this sight.

The emotional tie that binds Jim to his mother , is painted as a essential characteristic of a boy brought up in a small family of three. And Jimís jealousy is a natural corollary of this quality. This doesnít stop Jim from pursuing his objective. Without allowing these thoughts to gain precedence over his ultimate goal of sailing to the Treasure Island, he leaves his mother with the boy at the Inn and takes them off his mind the moment they are out of sight.

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