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Treasure Island And Hard Times Essay

1558 words - 6 pages

Treasure Island and Hard Times are novels in which, the effects of human influence are taken to their limit. These novels explore the terrors of two protagonists constantly being bombarded with thoughts and ideas of others. Because of the strong authority placed around them, they are exiled into their own minds. Yet, these characters still demonstrate the willingness to think on their own and express themselves freely. Stevenson and Dickens depict through their characters that the innate human ability to think and act is a product that can be influenced by all individuals one may come across.

It is normal for humans to express themselves in any way they please, but for the protagonists in Treasure Island and Hard Times it is something that does not come to them naturally. When someone is being influenced, it is difficult for that person to take a stand and disregard any thoughts that are being thrown at them. They may find it challenging to think for themselves or their ideas may be completely disregarded. Jim Hawkins, the protagonist in Treasure Island is a man who experiences these situations. In the novel Treasure Island, the narrative of the story leads the readers to believe that the protagonist Jim Hawkins is a very knowledgeable boy. On his own he has, “discovered a map that leads to riches,” [Stevenson 48] and was able to find the most trustworthy men in town to tell this important information to. This proves to the reader, that Jim is wise and not foolish. However Long John Silver, The Squire and Dr. Livesey are three characters who, at times seem to believe otherwise. Long John Silver seems to doubt the competence of Jim Hawkins. He is not confident in the ideas that Jim may have to offer, so instead of making attempts to listen to the thoughts of Jim Hawkins, he ignores him and chooses to take advantage of Jim Hawkins’ vulnerable mind. Silver openly refuses to accept any ideas of Jim Hawkins and feeds Jim with beliefs of his own and leads Jim to think himself as being, “as smart as pain,” [Stevenson 64] Silver openly interferes with situations that do not pertain to him but rather Jim. So when Jim develops an argument with the caption of his ship and knowing he has a high influence on Jim he interferes and leads Jim to believe that he is inexperienced and therefore foolish when it came to matters pertaining to the treasurer because they are far above his intellectual capabilities. The Squire is an insidious character who seems to think that Jim Hawkins is far too naive to comprehend his environment. So when Jim brings the new found treasure map to him and his master, he confuses Jim into thinking it is, “incomprehensible [to Jim],” while on the other hand, “it filled him and his master with joy,” [Stevenson 61] Using situations like these, The Squire is successful in leading Jim to believe that he is _______ and _______. Dr. Livesey is a man who has confidence in the mental capabilities of Jim Hawkins, however...

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