Treasure Island | Study Guide

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Treasure Island | Part 4, Chapter 19 : The Stockade (The Garrison in the Stockade) | Summary



Jim resumes his role as narrator, relating how he and Ben Gunn arrived at the stockade. Jim is unsure who might be inside, but Gunn has no doubt it is Jim's friends. Gunn urges Jim to make arrangements for him to meet with either the squire or the doctor.

Jim waits until the mutineers stop shelling the stockade and then announces his presence and climbs the outer wall. Once safely inside, he tells his story to "the faithful party." Captain Smollett assigns everyone specific duties—cooking, gathering firewood, or digging a grave for Redruth.


To signal the reader that Jim has resumed his role as storyteller, a line is added to the title: Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins.

The chapter works mostly to knit together the doctor's narrative with Jim's and to clarify where their storylines overlap. A few comparisons are made that underscore the minor theme of savagery versus civilization and further develop the key theme of duty and honor.

Before parting with Jim, Ben Gunn insists that he will speak only to a born gentleman because he is well acquainted with gentlemen of fortune (pirates) and knows how they compare to real members of the civilized world.

The flags flown by the two groups indicate their differences in character and values. The Union Jack flown over the stockade represents pride in country and the elevated principles its occupants live by, such as honor and duty. The Jolly Roger flown on the ship represents violence, death, and the buccaneers' disregard for laws and social order.

As the occupants of the log house prepare for another attack, Dr. Livesey compares himself to Captain Smollett. Like the doctor the captain provides a moral and behavioral benchmark against which other characters may be measured. He is courageous, commanding, and quick-thinking in dangerous situations. Most of all, he is trustworthy and devoted to duty, always with an eye to serving a greater good. Also like the doctor, the captain stands out in counterpoint to Silver, who is anything but trustworthy and defines duty as doing whatever he must to reach a selfish goal.

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