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If I understand the question correctly, the life that is found in pursuit of the rough and tumble world of the pirates is what is exhibited, especially in the latter half of the story. As is fabled, the pirate world is seen as barbaric and ruthless, but not totally lawless as it operates within its own set of established codes and rules.
Young Hawkins, the boy, has grown up around pirates through his work at the pub, but he has not actually been in their world before. He is exposed to their ways and his innocence- in small ways- brings some softening to at least some of the pirates.
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