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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 310

The Beach of Falesá is a short tale of adventure infused with political and moral conflicts. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the story with black humor to balance out the realism of the main character's struggle to keep his decency in an uncivilized and hostile environment. John Wiltshire, the narrator and protagonist, moves to the island of Falesá and becomes entangled with another white trader, Case, and his two comrades, Randall and Black Jack. Case is the antagonist and cautionary tale of the short story. Wiltshire immediately befriends Case and follows along with his suggested and organized marriage to an islander named Uma. The wedding takes place in a small, filthy store owned by a trader, Randall, and is improperly officiated by another trader, Black Jack. The wedding certificate states that Wiltshire's marriage to Uma was illegal. After the wedding, Wiltshire becomes ostracized from other traders on the island. Not understanding that his wedding had been taboo, Wiltshire gradually learns of the true intentions and dark nature of Case. Case is seen to have supernatural and devilish powers by the local community, as he has killed and driven other traders from the island. Through a series of magic tricks and manipulation, Case creates a devil-like front and gains influence over the islanders. Wiltshire becomes wary of Case and discovers many of his deceptions and unforgivable acts. As Wiltshire discovers Case's lair, he exposes the hoax of Case to the wealthiest chief of the island, Maea. Wiltshire ultimately kills Case in self-defense while he is trying to destroy Case's cave of faux idols. Maea leads a group of locals to find Wiltshire wounded, the cave destroyed, and Case dead. As Wiltshire repairs his relationship with the local natives, Case's comrades, Randall and Black Jack, leave the island. The novel ends with Wiltshire coming into a profitable business and legitimate marriage to Uma.

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