of view refers to the character through whom the story is told.
Most of Treasure Island features a first person narrator, Jim Hawkins.
But for chapters XVI-XVIII, the story is narrated by Dr. Livesey. The
author switches briefly to the doctor's point of view because there
are events taking place that Jim, who is hiding on the island, is
unaware of. A story told in the first person ("I") can only tell
of action that is witnessed directly by the narrator. In a story in
which events take place simultaneously in two places (as is the case
here), the narrator cannot possibly know about both, so an alternative
form of narration is required.
alternative strategy for the author would have been for the doctor to
have explained all the events to Jim on Jim's return to the loghouse.
But this would have been a clumsy way of telling the story, and
Stevenson wisely switches narrator when the situation calls for
Island is a model of good story-telling. From the outset, it creates
interest and suspense, and the story never flags. The characterization
is always vivid. In just a few lines, Stevenson gives the reader a
detailed word picture of each man being described. On the first page,
for example, this is the description of the old seaman, Billy Bones:
tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man; his tarry pigtail falling over the
shoulders of his soiled blue coat; his hands ragged and scarred, with
black, broken nails; and the saber cut across own cheek, a dirty livid
the adjectives are well chosen and they make it easy to visualize this
decrepit old pirate. The same applies to the descriptions of every
character in the novel.
notable feature of Treasure Island is that the language is always
appropriate for the speaker. The educated speech of the doctor and the
squire is contrasted with that of the pirates, who speak in slang and
use ungrammatical expressions. The best example is Long John Silver,
who speaks a language all his own, with repeated idiosyncratic phrases
such as "you may lay to that" (meaning "you can be sure of
that"). The language he uses becomes part of his distinct identity.
short, Treasure Island might be used as a textbook for an aspiring
creative writer, so well does Stevenson use the basic elements that
make up a good story: a strong plot, well-drawn, distinct characters,
believable dialogue, and effective setting. The setting is where the
story takes place. Whether it is the tavern at Bristol, or the
treasure island, Stevenson creates a clear picture of it in the
reader's mind with a few deft sentences.