Ahoy, ye landlubbers, and welcome to the beginning of our voyage through Treasure Island! I will try to keep my pirate-talk to a minimum, but it’s still going to show up now and then. Our piratical adventure will end November 30th.
Here’s the reading schedule:
By November 7th, you should have chapters 1-8 read.
By November 14th, you should have chapters 9-17 read.
By November 21nd, you should have chapters 18-26 read.
By November 28th, you should have chapters 27-34 read.
Make sure you check out the hashtag #TreasuRead on Twitter and Instagram.
I’m not going to begin discussing the story until Monday’s post, but below are some fun facts, helpful links, and a couple general themes and questions to keep in mind while you read this book.
The author, Robert Louis Stevenson, lived from 1850-1894, but Treasure Island is set somewhere in the 1700s. The “Golden Age of Piracy” is considered to run from the late 1600s to the early 1700s.
I found this page about his literary contemporaries really interesting.
This is really fun and user-friendly website on pirates in the time period of Treasure Island.
This article covers what 18th century folks thought of pirates like the ones in Treasure Island. It’s drier but worth a read.
Like Dracula, Treasure Island is a first-person fictional document recounting what has happened in the past. However, here there is only one narrator, and he is much younger than any of the Dracula characters. Pay attention to if and how this affects the story. Does the fact that the story is being told after it’s all over affect the suspense, and how?
Some themes to look out for:
- Greed is going to be pervasive in any story about treasure. Pay attention to which characters (good and/or bad) are being affected by greed, and when.
- Social class: take note of the different characters’ social class and how the story treats them. Is there a bias, and if so, whom is it against?
- Heroic role models: do they exist in this book, who are they, and why are they heroic?
- Animals/animal imagery: Look out for humans being compared to animals in some way.
Lastly, ye best have fun reading, or ye’ll have to walk the plank!