Free Study Guide for Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson-BookNotes|
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Stevenson doesnít stretch the tension he has built up in the last chapter for long. But right at the beginning of the chapter he touches upon the character of the Captain when he is furious over his men for leaving their positions and compliments Gray for attending to his duty. Here it may be noted that despite the various problems looming before the Captain, he has a firm hold over his men.
His maturity and experience are obvious when he quickly summons everyone and asks them to prepare for an attack within the hour. He gives everybody a position to man and asks them to shoot at sight. They are successful in killing some of the mutineers. But, as the mutineers outnumber them their situation is worsened. They can no longer stay inside the stockade due to the smoke inside. So they get out, as per the Captain orders, and fight with their cutlasses. Here we are in the midst of excitement and action. Our hero is also part of the action. In fact, Jim kills a mutineer with his cutlass for the first time in his life. In this action, Jim is no longer a mere boy, he is a man fighting other men for his life.
In the heavy fighting that follows the number of mutineers keeps on decreasing. Meanwhile the doctor asks the men to get back to cover and fight. Nobody pays any attention to it. Soon the mutineers are defeated and the fighting stops.
The doctor, Jim and Gray run for shelter. When they reach the stockade, which is now cleared of smoke. There are casualties on their side too. Joyce is dead. Hunter is bleeding and the Squire informs them that the Captain is also wounded. Just like in the start of this chapter, Stevenson closes this chapter with his focus on Captain Smollet.
When he asks them about the mutineers, despite the pain caused by the wound, and finds out that five of them are killed, he is overjoyed. His enthusiasm is re-awakened. And when he says that the new ratio is more bearable now, the reader can only admire the true grit and spirit of a brave seasoned Captain. The Captainís respectable position in the ship, as well as his character in the book is developed as one of the most important in the whole adventure.
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. 09 May 2017