What is the man vs. man conflict and solution in the book Treasure Island?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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There are multiple man versus man conflicts throughout Treasure Island:

  • 'The Good Guys' versus the mutinous pirates--This is one of the most central man versus man conflicts in the novel, featuring the noble and well-meaning characters like Captain Smollett, Dr. Livesey, Trelawney, Jim Hawkins.  They must match wits against Long John Silver and his wily pirates at treasure hand.
  • Long John versus his own pirates--The pirates turn against Long John at the stockade and give him the 'black spot,' the pirates way of showing no confidence in his leadership.  Silver, ever crafty, is able to use the circumstantial fact that they drew the spot on a Bible page to redirect their attention.  The pirates turn on Silver again at the dig site when they find the empty treasure boxes.
  • Jim Hawkins versus Israel Hands--  In one of the most tense moments in the novel, Jim must escape from the murderous Israel aboard the Hispaniola.  Originally, Jim planned on sailing the Hispaniola to the beach for Captain Smollett, but Hands waylays him on the ship.  Jim threatens to shoot him from atop the mast, and Hands throws his knife, wounding Jim.  This is a true man versus man conflict in the novel, in which Jim must fight Hands for his life.

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