Treasure Island | Study Guide

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Treasure Island | Part 5, Chapter 25 : My Sea Adventure (I Strike the Jolly Roger) | Summary



Jim crawls over the Hispaniola's bowsprit to the safety of the deck. As the main boom swings to and fro, Jim catches sight of Israel Hands and the red-capped pirate sprawled on the deck; it appears that Hands is still alive. When Jim approaches, he begs for some brandy.

Quickly going below to the ship's cabin, Jim gathers some brandy for Hands and some provisions for himself, and returns topside. The brandy revives Hands somewhat; Jim announces that he is taking over the ship and Hands is to regard him as his captain until further notice. Then Jim takes down the pirates' black flag and tosses if overboard.


The influences of lingering childishness and growing maturity, as well as those of Captain Smollett and Long John Silver, are apparent in Jim's actions and decisions in this chapter.

While Jim is wise enough to be cautious around Israel Hands, he is still naive enough to think he has the upper hand because Hands is injured and appears weak. In fact Jim seems to pity Hands somewhat. When Hands says, "I've tried my fling ... and I have lost, and it's you has the wind of me," he is selling Jim the notion that he has the advantage now. Jim is still inexperienced enough to buy it.

Jim is "greatly elated" with his new role as the Hispaniola's captain. It's a childish, though innocent, vanity. There's a bit more maturity in Jim's hope that his "great conquest" will offset his disregard of duty in taking French leave from the stockade. He has a grownup desire to make up for his misdeed.

Jim has witnessed the patriotism of Captain Smollett, who defiantly raised and kept the Union Jack flying above the besieged stockade, and in imitation of him he cries "God save the King!" while tossing the Jolly Roger overboard.

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