Long John Silver In Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island

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Long John Silver is one of the main characters in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” His shifting loyalties and seemingly changing personality make him a target of intense debate. Silver shows many different sides of himself during the book. He is a father figure to the young Jim Hawkins, a good–for–nothing traitor to the captain and the squire, a strict captain of the pirates, and a man who only cares for his own gain when the treasure is found. Silver’s true personality is hidden within several fronts and facades. In the beginning of the story, Silver is a warm, father-like figure to Jim and the crew. It is possible that he wished to have children himself. Unfortunately, we only see him from Jim’s perspective and are unable…show more content…
He managed to convince a group of clearly hardened criminals to follow him in a military fashion, and in another instance when the good guys took him back. He often seems to be mercurial, changing his attitude to whomever he is with. Silver is not portrayed to be a conventional man of the times, which is clearly shown by the fact that even though he was a sea faring man, his intelligence was shown through in his banking account. He often talked about the people of color he longed to be with, (which is normal now, but incredibly odd for the time period of the book) and that he had a wife of color. This supposition is what he told the squire as shown in the letter to Dr. Livesly at the beginning section of the book. This initial story of Silver’s may be an appeal to the squire’s emotions and an early sign of his manipulative nature, or it could be his true motivation. Silver’s true motivations are never clearly revealed. He was crafted to be a man who is both kind and manipulative. It is left ominous whether any of his stories are the truth. Perhaps that is what makes him so interesting. His well crafted, fast paced, constantly changing, personality made him one of the greatest literary characters of all
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