Character Development of Jim Hawkin Throughout the Treasure Island Novel
The novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is a novel that can be critiqued about so many things. What the novel can be debated on is the way that the main character Jim Hawkins changes throughout the book because of his change of age. When the father of Jim Hawkins dies, Jim Hawkins looks up to two other men that mentor him and are like father figures to him. The two men are Dr. Livsey and John Silver. The traits that Dr. Livsey is what a father should have. The same thing goes for John Silver. These two men help Jim Hawkins with finding the treasures that come with adulthood. Jim Hawkins was pushed into adulthood whiched forced him to look for father figures and make adult choices. In order for Jim Hawkins to be a better man in adulthood, then Dr. Livsey and John Silver were the two men that Jim needed to succeed to become a man.
At the beginning of the novel, the reader gets to know who Jim Hawkins is. Jim Hawkins is a young man that is at his job which is working at an inn. While working at the inn, Jim Hawkin’s father is very ill and does not have that much time to live left. While working at the inn, Jim encounters a man named Bill. Bill, who lived most of his life on the sea, Bill suffers a stroke and after the stroke, we meet Dr. Livsey. This is one of the father figures that Jim has throughout the story. The second father figure that we meet is Long John Silver, who is the cook for the ship that Jim Hawkins travels on we meet him by the men trying to find a crew to take with him to go to Treasure Island. One of the things that Dr. Livsey has in order to be a father figure is the ability to be straight forward with things. Also, he has the ability to make sure that he teaches Jim Hawkins right from wrong, which is discernment. Livsey teaches Jim Hawkins about loyalty, and intelligence, which relates to discernment. “The doctor is an intelligent man, loyal to those loyal to him”
Jim Hawkins learns what he needs to learn from Livsey over the course of the book. Livsey is the main person that Jim looks up to in the novel. The other father figure that Jim Hawkins has in the novel is Long John Silver. Long John Silver is a man that surprisingly is the father figure for Jim. Silver teaches Hawkins how to be an independent man and how to strategically think about decisions that he is about to make. Out of the whole novel, Silver teaches Hawkins how to be good at decision making and how to become clever and how to be independent when needed. Ultimately, however, he (and the book as a whole) maintain a certain respect for this man, who is clever and nimble enough to evade death or punishment just by plotting and conniving.
Hawkins is not a father figure, but he teaches himself to deal with adult problems. Sometimes Hawkins was forced into situations and he dealt with them fairly well sometimes. Sometimes when Hawkins was overwhelmed, Hawkins would start to cry, which represents that he is a boy dealing with adult situations.
Other times Hawkins was taught things that a man needed to learn before adulthood. Jim showed that he was able to handle the change that came to him and he will be able to change from a boy to a man. At the beginning of the novel, we meet Hawkins who is a boy at the time. While working at his father’s inn, Jim meets a man named Bill. Bill was a sea captain and he is staying at the inn to get rest. While at the inn Bill suffers a stroke and has to be taken care of by Hawkins and Dr. Livsey. Bill suffers a stroke after having a glass of rum and then is energized by the alcohol. Suddenly, Bill suffers another fatal stroke and dies. When Hawkins sees Bill fall down to the floor because of the stroke, Jim starts to cry. “Even as he did so, he reeled, put his hand on his throat, stood swaying for a moment, and then, with a peculiar sound, fell from his whole height face foremost to the floor.” (Stevenson 26-27). The reason why Jim cries is that he knows that he is forced into adulthood and adult circumstances. This is the first of only several times that Jim cries, reminding us that he is only a boy though thrust into adult circumstances.
Jim had no one else to look up to and Jim felt like he and Bill were starting to become friends. After this event, Jim looks to Dr. Livsey as a father figure. The way Hawkins is putting himself in adulthood is sudden for him because his father died the day before Bill died and he had no one to look up to. Jim was lost for a second and he did not know what to do when Bill died.
An example of Livsey being a father figure to Jim Hawkins is when Hawkins went way without asking him to go to get the ship that the men had come from after the ship was stolen. Livsey is saddened but keeps his true feelings away from being said. This is a thing that some people think is not needed to be a good father. “There is a kind of fate in this,” he observed when I had done. “Every step, it’s you that saves our lives; and do you suppose by any chance that we are going to let you lose yours? That would be a poor return, my boy. You found out the plot; you found Ben Gunn—the best deed that ever you did, or will do, though you live to ninety.”
This example also shows us that fathers show that sometimes in bad situations, they can teach the caregiver how to deal with problems like these. Hawkins knew that he was in the wrong since he did not tell anyone that he was going to leave the camp and he is put in danger. Livsey is angry at him but he is not going to show the anger right away or at all. This shows that Livsey cares for Hawkins and all he was worried about was making sure that Jim was okay. This is one of many things a father needs and also the caregiver of a father figure needs to experience. Long John Silver is a surprising father figure because he was a rebellious person at the beginning of the book. We meet him at the beginning of the book and he is a major character in the novel. Silver changes over time and he is a man that teaches Hawkins so much about how to become a man. Silver teaches Hawkins kindness and respect. An example of Silver showing Hawkins on how to become a better man is when Silver and Hawkins are talking on the ship and they are talking about how Silver would like to be better than how he is now and be more like Hawkins.
’’Now, you see, Jim, so be as you are here,’ says he, I’ll give you a piece of my mind. I’ve always liked you, I have, for a lad of spirit, and the picture of my own self when I was young and handsome. I always wanted you to join and take your share, “ ( Stevenson 227).
Silver is a man that knows that he messed up in life and he wanted to make his life better than it is now. This is showing that Silver is encouraging Hawkins to be a better man when he grows up and he wants to see that Hawkins does the right thing and does what he tells him to do. Silver shows that he is caring for Hawkins and Silver wants Hawkins to be the best man he can possibly be. This shows that Silver is a man of encouragement and he wants his caregiver to do the same thing. A caring heart is what a man needs in order to have a good life. Care is needed to be shown to everyone that you meet. Care is something that most people who do not have a father figure do not see as much because the person that is caring for the person sometimes thinks that it is something that most men do not need to have. Care is something that can help you live a happy life and will help you be a good father and a good person to be around. Throughout the novel, the reader learns about how to care for others, how to make good choices, and how to teach yourself how to grow up and become an adult. The reader can see the change that Jim Hawkins has made over the course of the novel. Jim Hawkins went from a boy to a premature man. Hawkins learned how to deal with situations on how to grow up as a man by himself and he had two of many men to look up to. These two men made Hawkins change
Throughout the book the most because they both taught Hawkins so much about being a man. What the reader can learn about this novel is to take care of the people that need someone to look up to. Sometimes people have nothing to look up to and they feel as if they have nothing to live for. If someone has the courage to look for someone to look up to, this means that the person is taking one of many steps to becoming an adult. The next thing that someone can do for someone with no adult figure to look up to is to look for someone to mentor. This shows that you are taking part in something that some adults don’t want to do. Some people mentor people because the person believes that the person that they see something that others do not see. Another thing that the mentor needs to have is the ability to show the caregiver what the person needs in order to succeed. Care, respect and loyalty are a few of many things that the caregiver needs to show when mentoring a person. In the end, The mentor shapes the person to be a good role model for other people to see. For Jim Hawkins, Long John Silver and Dr. Livsey are the two people that effected and mentored Jim Hawkins to be a man. These men helped Jim become a man and helped him by showing him how to be a good man. At the end of the novel, we see that Jim Hawkins changes and becomes a man and has the characteristics that a man needs.
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