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In the novel, Treasure Island, Jim Hawkins experiences a relationship with Long John Silver that varies between admiration and respect to fear, hatred and disgust.

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Introduction

In the novel, Treasure Island, Jim Hawkins experiences a relationship with Long John Silver that varies between admiration and respect to fear, hatred and disgust. Jim's opinion of Silver fluctuates throughout the novel as a result of Silver's motives and personality which becomes more transparent as the journey continues. Jim's mind is absorbed by Silver long before he ever meets him. Jim first becomes aware of Long John Silver when he was paid by Billy Bones in his father's inn, the Admiral Benbow. He was told to keep his "weather-eye open for a seafaring man with one leg". Jim becomes afraid of this man who he hasn't even met yet and is dreading their inevitable first meeting. Billy Bones quoted "How that personage haunted my dreams". He also quotes, "I would see him in thousand forms and with a thousand diabolical expressions. Jim pictured Silver to resemble a demon. After Jim heard this he was always looking out for Silver, "I had always my eye open for seafaring men." Jim's image of Silver is like a haunting nightmare to him, which is expressed by the following, "my nightmares with that of the one legged seafaring man." ...read more.

Middle

Jim admires Long John Silver and treats him like a friend. However, these feelings change when Jim is in the apple barrel and falls asleep. When he wakes up he over hears Silver talking about a mutiny. Jim's feelings for Long John take a dramatic turn to the worse. Jim's original feelings of pity and envy of Silver now turn to feelings of hate and disgust. He describes Silver as"abominable old rouge." Long John doesn't know that Jim knows of his plans for mutiny, so Jim still treats him with respect saying things such as "I have, sir," but he is now fully aware of Silver's intentions. Jim and Silver have their first proper conversation after the apple barrel incident, as he realises how clever Silver is. This is a conversation that strikes fear into Jim; however, there are no concerns by Silver as he believes that Jim has no idea of his plans. During this conversation, Silver was always complimenting Jim, trying to get on his good side, and he employs the same tactic with all the other crew members. On the island, Jim witnesses two events which have a dramatic effect on their deteriorating relationship. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their relationship although it wasn't a close friendship is put to rights and Jim is beginning to comprehend Silver by quoting "I began dimly to understand." Silver realises that Jim is his only hope of survival. His fate rests on having a good relationship with Jim. Silver's admiration for Jim is summed up when he admitted that he had become a better human being from entering this young boy's simple life. After the surviving crew had left the island and had arrived home in Bristol, Silver admitted to Jim that he will always remember what Jim has done for him and won't forget his actions by saying, "If I saved your life, you saved mine; and I'll not forget it." He backs his statement up by saying "we'll give him his share, to be sure, for all his kindness." This demonstrates his loyalty to Jim. Silver shows that he has some morals and he still talks to Jim in a polite manner. Overall during the journey, Jim's relationship with Silver covered many varying emotions; however, I believe that their adventure has left a lasting impression on each of them. At the end of the novel Jim claims that Silver is "clean out of his life", however he still wonders how Silver is and what path his life has now taken ...read more.

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