Jim faces many struggles in Treasure Island. Some of the conflicts are emotional, like carrying on in the face of his father’s absence or dealing with the trauma of watching people die aboard the Hispaniola. The physical troubles that Jim faces are more central to the plot and revolve around the life or death nature of Jim’s journey.
At the start of the novel, Jim is given the task of watching out for Long John Silver, who is looking for Billy Bones, a sailor that arrives at the inn Jim’s father owns. Two unsavory characters visit Billy Bones, and Jim is the one who is threatened by these pirates. Jim, despite being threatened and hurt, still tries to warn Billy Bones. Billy dies of a stroke but reveals the location of a treasure map to Jim before he goes.
Jim then sets off on an adventure with some locals from Bristol and a ship's captain. Long John Silver pretends to be a cook to sneak onto the ship, and as a result, Jim has to struggle against the pirates Silver brings along. One day, when Jim is hiding in an apple barrel, he hears of Silver's plans for mutiny:
“It was Silver's voice, and before I had heard a dozen words, I would not have shown myself for all the world. I lay there, trembling and listening, in the extreme of fear and curiosity, for, in those dozen words, I understood that the lives of all the honest men aboard depended on me alone” (chapter 11).
Jim has to keep his wits about him but also let everyone know that there will be a mutiny. He then has to struggle against the odds to escape the ship without being captured, find the treasure, and outwit the pirates. He also at one point struggles against Israel Hand in hand to hand combat when he gets set adrift on a boat.