One of the main problems in the story is that of Jim Hawkins's adolescence. As with any young adult, Jim finds himself caught uncomfortably between the worlds of childhood and adulthood. He's mature for his age, largely on account of his helping to run the Admiral Benbow after his father's untimely death. But he's still not quite an adult, and needs to grow up fast if he's to deal successfully with all the numerous challenges that his exciting adventures throw at him.
More than anything else, Treasure Island is a coming-of-age story, and over the course of the book, Jim develops from a boy into a man. Jim resolves the problem of his adolescence by taking his fate in his own hands, an essential precondition for leading the independent life of an adult. The scene where Jim reclaims the hijacked Hispaniola from Israel Hands is crucial in this regard. Whereas Jim may have been forced by circumstances to take on the role of running The Admiral Benbow with his widowed mother, here he acts entirely on his own initiative. In doing so, he solves the problem of his adolescence by making a big, bold step into adulthood.