Form and Content
Finding themselves detained in Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War, five Union soldiers and a dog dare to escape in a hot-air balloon during the worst hurricane of the decade. The balloon sails haphazardly through the storm, tosses Captain Cyrus Harding and his dog, Top, into the ocean, and crashes with the rest of its passengers onto the shore of an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. Fearing that the captain is dead, his servant, Neb, searches the island until he finds Top, who leads him to Harding. This is to be the first of many mysterious occurrences involving the group of men.
They build up a settlement as best they can. The men call themselves “colonists” and name their island Lincoln Island after their great president. They establish a permanent camp in a cave on the side of a cliff and call it Granite House. They plant crops from seedlings that they find and establish a farm with the animals that they capture. They build a boat in order to visit nearby islands and find Ayrton, an exiled sailor who comes to live with the colonists and becomes one of them.
Throughout these adventures, a mysterious force seems to be at work on the island that helps the men in dire times of need. Although Harding is clever and is able to make tools and weapons for the colonists, things they cannot manufacture from the natural resources of the island mysteriously appear as they need them. For example, an intact, waterproof chest of books,...
(The entire section is 472 words.)