Treasure Island Summary

Treasure Island Summary

By Robert Louis Stevenson.  


An old sailor named Bill, followed by a porter, arrives at an Inn named "Admiral Benbow." He asks the owner of the Inn if there are many people there, and he is answered in the negative. Pleased with this, he rents a room there. He had brought a chest with him, that was huge. He pays the son of the Innkeeper a four penny coin to look out for a seafaring man with a peg leg.

The Conflict

One day, a man called Black Dog comes to the hotel. He is looking for Bill. Bill comes in and sits down with the stranger. Black Dog is injured by Bill and runs away, and Bill has a stroke from drinking too much rum. A doctor named Livesley helps save the man's life. The doctor tells the son of the Innkeeper, Jim, to keep rum away from the seafarer, or he would die from a stroke.

That afternoon, Jim's father dies. The boy is paid by Bill to give him some rum, and he brings him a glass. The old man tells him that some pirates were after his chest and wanted to kill him. Jim is sent to gather some people to protect the Admiral Benbow and its inmates, and along the way he meets a blind man. The man asks where he is and is told that he is at the Inn. He asks the kid to lead him in, and he grabs hold of his arm and threatens to break it if he will not take him to the captain. The child obeys, and the blind man places something in the captain's hand, then runs away. The captain tries to go after him, and dies of a stroke.

The two inmates of the inn run to the town and ask for help, one man gives Jim a gun, and another sends someone to call Dr. Livesley. The boy and his mom return home, and take the key of the chest from the old man's body and open it up. They take the amount of money he did not pay them and a bundle tied in an oilskin, then they run away. The mother of the boy faints, and he drags her underneath a bridge.

The pirates break into the inn to find something called "Flint's Fist" and, not finding it, run away because the doctor and some other people had come on horseback to save the child and his mother. The blind man, Pew, gets trampled and the rest scatter. The boy is taken with the men to the home of a squire named Trelawney to meet Livesley, who was visiting him.

Rising Action

Jim is given some food to eat, and the oilskin package is opened up. In it there is a small paper with some coordinates. The squire goes to Bristol to find a ship to try and locate the island where Flint, a famous pirate, had buried his treasure. He leaves Jim at his home with his gamekeeper.

A letter arrives at Trelawney's estate stating that Jim and his guardian should go to the port where Trelawney was so that they could start on their adventure. He says that he hired an old sailor named Long John Silver, who had a peg leg. They get into a cab and go to the port, where they meet up with Trelawney. Trelawney was told not to tell anyone about their endeavor, but everyone in Bristol heard of it.

Jim is given a letter to take to Long John Silver, who owned an inn that had a large brass telescope as a sign. Jim gives the one legged sailor the letter from the squire. Suddenly, a man rushes out of the inn, it was Black Dog! Jim tells Silver that it was Black Dog, one of the pirates. Someone chases him to make him pay his bill.

John had heard of the pirates and was slightly annoyed that such a bad guy had been in his tavern. The tavern owner informs Jim that he had seen Black Dog coming to his tavern with some blind man. They talk a little bit more about the pirates, then they go to Trelawney. The incident is reported to the squire and the doctor by Silver.

When the doctor, the squire, and Jim get on their ship, the captain comes to them and complains about the crew and about how they were going on a treasure hunt. The Captain was annoyed that everyone other than him knew about the goal of the voyage. Jim hated the captain because he did not seem happy with anything the squire did.

All the sailors start singing and push off from land with the oars. The voyage to the Treasure Island had begun. The mate, Mr. Arrow, was usually drunk and could not control what anyone was doing aboard the ship. One day, Arrow disappears in the middle of the night, and it was rumored that he had fallen into the ocean. Long John was always kind to Jim and treated him like a good matey. The captain rarely talked to the squire unless he was spoken to, and even then, he was quick about it. On the deck of the ship, there was a barrel full of apples for everyone to eat. One night, Jim wanted to eat an apple but could not find one, so he fell asleep in the empty apple barrel. While inside the barrel, he overheard Silver and some men conversing, the cook used to be a pirate who worked with Flint, and he and the Pew were friends. All the men gathered talk with Silver about their acts of piracy, and he congratulates them. They corrupt a lad named Dick to work with them to kill the other passengers on board and to take the map and get the treasure. Then Dick is sent by John to bring him some strong drink. Suddenly, the lookout's voice rings out, telling everyone that he had spotted land. The land was the Treasure Island.

In the madness that follows the announcement, Jim has enough time to sneak out of the barrel, in which he had listened to Silver and his crewmate's talk. Jim tells the squire, the doctor, and the captain how Silver and his friends plotted to kill the crew. Jim is despairing because, according to his calculations, there were in total nineteen pirates on board. In comparison, there were seven loyal seafarers, not including them.

The captain says that all the crew could have the day off so that the tension on board would lessen. Some of the men and Silver get into boats and head for the shore. Jim goes into one of the boats and gets taken to shore along with the rest of the men. The boy jumps out of the boat when they reach land and runs away from the rest of the party.

Jim runs away from the pirates, and hides behind a bush to spy on them. He sees Tom, a sailor who was loyal to the captain, being enticed by Silver to turn traitor. Another man, Alan, was slain by the pirates for not joining their cause, but Tom, unwilling to become a pirate, is murdered by Silver. Jim crawls away as Silver calls his band of pirates to him.

While running away from the murder scene, the boy sees a "creature" walking towards him. He believes it is a cannibal. It was a man who told the boy that he was called Benjamin Gunn, who was marooned on the island for three years by Flint. He says that he will show Jim Flint's treasure if he can take him home and give him food. The boy accepts when all of a sudden, gunshots are heard in the distance.

The doctor, the squire, and the captain were getting ready to shoot the mutineers left on board and then to escape to sea when a man named Hunter told them that Jim had gone ashore. Because there was no wind, it was decided that they would go to shore and find a defensible location. The doctor and Hunter go to the island with a boat that they had loaded up, and they put the stuff they had taken with them in a stockade. They go back to the ship to load up the last of the stuff and the rest of the people on board.

As the captain, the squire, and the doctor escape, they forget to take a weapon off the ship, the cannon. A man named Israel starts firing it at them as they make their escape. Trewlaney tries to shoot Israel, but the other man ducks and a different man is slain. The squire tries to shoot again but misses and the boat capsizes. They wade ashore, but all of a sudden, they hear voices.

They give their gun to Trelawney, who was their best shot. The moment the escapists got to the stockade, seven pirates walk out of the nearby forest. The men shoot their guns and one of the pirates gets killed. The rest ran way back into the forest, but they shot Tom, Trewlaney's servant, who dies. The rest of the men rush inside and soon hear a cannon shooting at the stockade. The doctor is thinking about Jim's fate when he hears the boy shouting to be let into the stockade.

Jim tells everyone about his encounter with Ben Gunn. The people inside the stockade bury the dead man. Some time later, Silver and another pirate arrive, saying that they want a truce.

Silver wants to enter inside the stockade to parley, but the Captain does not agree to that, and he calls the pirate a mutineer. Silver asks if Abe Gray had told them about their evil intentions of mutiny, but the captain tells him that Gray had told him nothing. Captain Smollett and his crew are given an offer to hand over their treasure map to Silver and go free, or to get besieged and possibly killed. Silver declares war on them, then he leaves.

Everyone gets into fighting positions and after a few hours, shots are exchanged between the two sides. Suddenly, many of the pirates rush over the fence of the stockade, getting three of them killed. The crew ran out of the stockade and fought with cutlasses, and then went back into the stockade after winning the skirmish.

On both sides, losses have been suffered. One of the pirates has died in the middle of the night, and Captain Smollett was badly injured. After dinner, Dr. Livesley sneaks outside. Jim is told about this incident by Gray, who thinks that Livesley had gone insane, but he is reassured by Jim that the doctor was only going to see Ben Gunn. The boy sneaks out the following afternoon and goes to where Gunn had told him was hidden a coracle.

Jim rides in the small boat to the side of the Hispaniola. He is being tossed about in the ocean by waves from the ebb tide. He hears some drunkards quarreling in the cabin of the Hispaniola. Jim gets pushed out to sea and goes to sleep dreaming about his home.

Jim wakes up and perceives the trouble that he is in. He at first wants to paddle ashore but sees the multitude of razor sharp rocks. He remembered Silver talking about another cape that was safe to land in, called the Cape of the Woods. The boy was in a current that was taking him towards it and hopefully, he could land there. Jim tried out his paddling skills, but when he changed position the coracle veered off in a random direction and hit a large wave, so he laid back down. With this discovery, he loses his hope of landing safely. He tried landing on the cape but missed and saw the Hispaniola. He was desperate out of thirst, so he started chasing the schooner to board it. It sailed toward him, and he jumps onto it.

He climbs up the schooner onto the deck and sees two men on the floor. One of them was a watchman while the other was Israel Hands. On their clothes and around them on the planks of the ship were splashes of blood, which indicated that they had killed each other. Israel stirs and moans, asking the boy for some brandy. The boy brings the man some brandy and takes some vittles for himself. Jim takes down the pirate flag and throws it overboard. Jim and Israel make an agreement to help each other and to land the ship on the island.

Israel Hands asks Jim if he will throw the body of the dead pirate off the ship. Jim says that he was not willing to do it because he was not strong enough and that he disliked the task. Then the pirate and Jim enter a whole discussion about whether people have an afterlife or not. Israel asks Jim for some wine, and the boy goes to fetch it to spy on the pirate. He sees Israel shuffling to the dead man and taking his knife, then getting back into position. They decide to ground the ship, and the steer it into land. While the ship lurches towards land, Israel charges Jim with his knife. The treacherous man throws the knife which pins Jim to the mast, but gets shot in the process.

When Jim shudders, the knife rips out of his skin and no longer holds him to the mast. Jim was not badly injured and could use his arm, but he did not know what to do, so he resigned his fate to luck. Finally, he was able to jump off the boat onto the soft ground below. Jim is ready to go home to his friends waiting for him in the stockade. He arrives at the stockade and hears a shrill voice shouting pieces of eight over and over. He was in enemy territory!

Jim is taken prisoner and is given the chance to join Silver and his band of pirates. He is told that Livesley no longer cared about him and cursed him as a traitor and that if he valued his life, he would join their side. Jim says that he was the one in the apple barrel who heard their plans and that he killed the people on board the ship and that he sailed it away. The boy said that if they would release him, he would put in a word for them in court.

Later, five of the six remaining pirates come into the stockade. They have a page of the bible with a black mark on it. Silver is told by the men that they no longer wanted him as their leader and that they were done with him. They take the treasure map away from him, but don't know how to take the treasure and leave the island without their ship. Silver blames the new leader of the pirates for losing their ship because it was his men who had been guarding it and failed to defend it. The cook says that he was going to quit and that they would not be able to get a better captain. They all beg him to stay and he accepts.

Jim hears the doctor's voice outside the stockade. Silver tells the doctor that they had Jim with them. Livesley gives medication to the people inside the stockade, and then asks if he is allowed to talk to Jim outside the stockade alone. The pirates inside the stockade disagree, but Silver gets Jim's promise not to run away, and lets him go and meet Livesley. The pirates accuse their captain for letting Jim out, but he defends himself by saying that he will kill Livesley after he is done using him. Jim and Silver cross the sand to where the doctor is, and Silver tells him how he had saved the boy's life and gained a black spot for it in a hope to change the man's opinion of him and to have the doctor put in a good word for him if he is arrested. When Jim and the doctor are alone, he tells Livesley about all of his adventures and where the ship is hidden.

Jim and Silver meet up, and the pirate thanks him for saving his life and not running away with Livesley and keeping his promise. They go to eat breakfast and Jim notices how wasteful the pirates are, and is shocked how Silver is doing nothing about it. Silver begins talking about his plan to find the treasure and then find the ship and leave Smollett's men on the island. Then all the pirates and Jim leave to find the treasure. They find a skeleton pointing in the direction which the map told where the treasure was.        

While taking a break, the pirate party hears a voice in the woods singing and saying Flint's famous last words. Everyone is petrified and all of them group together. Then Silver identifies the voice as Ben Gunn's and all the pirates are relieved that they do not need to fight a spirit. They arrive at the place where the treasure was, and they see that it was all excavated a long time ago.      


Jim is given a double barrel by silver and is told to stand by for trouble. Merry, a crewmate, shouts at the crew that they were misled by Silver and that the old sailor had known that the treasure was gone. Silver shoots Merry, and the doctor, Ben Gunn, and a man named Gray come out of the underbrush and shoot some more of the pirates. Ben Gunn's story is revealed, how he had found the skeleton and dug up the treasure.  Then the doctor says that they had moved inside a cave with more food than the stockade that was Ben Gunn's home. The five people get in a boat and go to Ben Gunn's cave.

Falling Action

Once they arrive at the cave, they prepare to take all the gold inside it to their ship and to sail away, leaving the pirates marooned on the island. In a few days, the ship will be ready for its final voyage. Everyone gets on board and start sailing home.  They see the pirates on the shore, seeming sorrowful and pitiful, but Jim knows that they cannot be taken on board for fear of a mutiny. The doctor shouted and told them where some provisions were left. The pirates begged to be taken along, but when they saw that the people would not, one of them shot at Silver and hit the sail. The people on the ship land at a harbor in Africa, where Silver takes some money and runs away.

The End

Then everyone goes back to their previous lives and settle down once again with their share of the treasure.



One of the most important themes in this book is friendship. Jim and the doctor are friends. The doctor tries as hard as he can to save the boy. Ben Gunn and Jim are friends, and as a result, he lets Dr Livesley and his friends to stay in his cave and eat his food.


Another of the main themes in this book is deception. Israel Hands is deceptive when he tells Jim to get him wine and then takes his knife to kill the boy. Silver deceives the squire by pretending to be a helpful cook to be hired to go to the Treasure Island, and then turns traitor when the moment was ripe. He also deceives Jim by acting like a father towards him, first to turn him into a pirate, then to secure his future.  

I believe that the main theme of the book is that good (honesty, friendship, truthfulness, courage, etc.) will win against evil (deception, murder, stealing, treachery, etc.).