Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
David Balfour, a boy in his late teens who has recently become an orphan. Having been left, as his inheritance, a letter of introduction addressed to his uncle, Ebenezer Balfour of Shaws, David decides to leave his home in Essendean in the hope that he can establish some type of relationship with his father’s brother. David begins his journey with confident expectations and is somewhat taken aback when he finds that his uncle’s home is in a general state of disrepair and that Ebenezer himself does not seem happy to see him. Nevertheless, David, as is his nature, soon recovers his optimistic outlook. He resolves to make the best of the situation. A short time after David’s arrival at the House of Shaws, Ebenezer convinces him to join him in taking a trip to Queensferry, near the coast. It is there that David is taken aboard a ship called the Covenant. Once on deck, David quickly realizes that his uncle has abandoned him and that he has been kidnapped. When the Covenant strikes reefs along the coast, the ship sinks and David finds himself alone on a small island. In a state of despair, David nearly abandons his efforts to reach the mainland. His thoughts confused by frustration and anger, he fails to realize that he can leave the island easily at low tide. Finally, David recovers and is able to escape this predicament. He begins his return journey to the House of Shaws knowing that he must cross the wild Highlands of Scotland and reclaim his kinship as well as his inheritance.
Ebenezer Balfour, Esquire, of Shaws
Ebenezer Balfour, Esquire, of Shaws, David’s uncle, an older...
(The entire section is 678 words.)
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