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Treasure Island Unit Study: Part III

This is the third lesson in the unit study on Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Part Three is called "My Shore Adventure".

Treasure Island 1950 Video

Treasure Island (Signet Classic)

For a free ebook version of Treasure Island check out http://www.gspp.com.au/treasure_island.htm.

You may also be interested in the Introduction to the Treasure Island unit study.

Suggested Vocabulary:

Define the meaning as the one used in the book.

scuppers under
mess of swabs
clove hitch

Summary of the Book:

From Biblomania.com: "Stevenson's most famous novel and an enduringly popular romance, Treasure Island was published in 1883, although it had appeared initially in Young Folks in serial form July 1881-June 1882 under the alternative title of "The Sea-Cook or Treasure Island". It is of course the author's success, but the novel's conception is interesting. It developed from an imaginary map that Stevenson and his stepson Lloyd Osbourne had devised on holiday and this goes some way towards explaining the book's appeal among children. Moreover, the famous antihero Long John Silver was the invention of Stevenson's friend, William Henley. Nonetheless, the tale is the archetypal nineteenth century 'ripping yarn'. Our narrator is Jim Hawkins, son of a guesthouse owner on the west coast of England sometime in the eighteenth century. To the inn come firstly an old buccaneer who has a map of Captain Flint's treasure, and secondly a group of pirates under the command of ominous blind man Pew. Jim Hawkins, our hero, in an act of bravery and cunning gets hold of the map before this rabid mob gets it. He delivers the map to Squire Trelawney, and together they set off for Treasure Island in the Squire's schooner. The rest of the crew, apart from Dr Livesey (a friend of the squire) are a company collected by Long John Silver. The latter and his men try to mutiny and get hold of the treasure themselves but Jim intervenes and through a series of enthralling adventures we find ourselves on Treasure Island with the marooned Ben Gunn and ever closer to the treasure itself."

Suggested Activities and Questions:

1. Draw a picture of the island as Jim is describing at the opening of this section of "How My Shore Adventure Began."

2. What does it mean for the ship to be rolling scuppers under? [Note: Scuppers are openings at the deck-line which let water run off. The schooner would have to be rolling very heavily before the scuppers would dip.]

3. Why did Jim take an immediate dislike to Treasure Island?

4. Describe the warping of the boat that took place in this section. You may also wish to draw a picture of what you think this looked like. [Note: warping is moving a ship by a rope or cable attached to something else -- another ship or rope or form the shore. here the crew had to move to safe anchorage by towing with lifeboats.]

5. Why did the doctor think that instead of treasure they might find fever? [Note: by "feve" the doctor was probably referring to malaria.]

6. No one at the time of this story knew -- and Stevenson himself didn't know -- that malaria is carred by mosquitoes. But they did know swamps and wet places were dangerous, while high, dry places were fairly safe. What was the treatment for malaria back then? What is the treatment for malaria today?

7. Why did Jim perceive Long John's obvious and anxious cheerfulness as the worst sign of the coming mutiny?

8. What did Long John Silver do that caused Jim to almost faint?

9. What was the apparition that Jim saw at the beginning of chapter fifteen?

10. Research cannibals. What are they? What sets them apart from other people? Where were cannalbalistic peoples located during the 1700s?

11. What does it mean to be marooned? Why was Ben Gunn marooned?

12. Why did Ben Gunn count being marooned as Providence? Do you agree or disagree with this? Why or why not?

13. Ben talks about a clove hitch, which is a kind of knot. Try learning several different kinds of knots and what they could be used for. Practice at least three until you are proficient at tieing them.

14. In this section, what is the "cliff-hanger" ending before the next section begins?

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