Treasure Island

chapter 28

How much of what Silver says does Jim believe?

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It is interesting to note how Long John Silver acts when Jim begins his verbal abuse against Long John Silver, especially when he concludes with "I no more fear you than I fear a fly." What self-respecting pirate would seriously endure this sort of talk from a mere child. The answer is that of course, none, but Silver really has no self to respect. There is no basic personality from which he may derive strength when challenged or to which the reader may assign responsibility when silver is doing the threatening. As one critic claimed, Silver is like a weed that flourishes in ideal conditions but shrivels without resistance at the first sign of opposition. The point of the story is in the active conflict, as mentioned previously, and in the rest of the book, the active conflict depends upon Long John Silver changing sides and so change sides he does.