What is the central thesis in the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson?

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Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island heavily inspired almost every single high-seas or pirate-themed work of fiction that followed it.

Despite the standard interpretations of straight adventure, the central theme to Treasure Island is of a bildungsroman, or "coming-of-age" story. Jim Hawkins, the young protagonist, goes from a simple life working in a tavern to a dangerous life on the ocean, battling against pirates and soldiers. His "adoption" by the old pirate Long John Silver serves to teach him many skills he needs to survive, including keeping his word, an important matter of honor in that era. Silver shows him the advantages of subterfuge and deception:

Long John was hard at work going from group to group, spending himself in good advice, and as for example no man could have shown a better. He...

(The entire section contains 449 words.)

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