Treasure Island: Characters

As part of the brief for this project, we have to come until with at least 6 character designs, 3 protagonists, and 3 antagonists. There are quite a variety of characters on both sides in the book, some appearing more than others, and some not even appearing by name. However, I am going to label which characters I am going to do in this post, as well as have some quotes from the book, describing the character, or the characters appearance, or a brief description of what the. character would be like in the game


Protagonists

Player Character (Hawkins)
The narrative of the story is given from the first person, from the perspective of the young boy Jim Hawkins. Since the game we are making is an RPG, and the story does not have to follow the original narrative, I thought it would be more appropriate to remove the characters first name, and just to leave them with their surname, as with Commander Shepard in the “Mass Effect” game series. This would allow the player to select their character’s gender and appearance, without too much affecting the narrative. The personality and decisions made by Hawkins would be decided by the player.

Dr. David Livesey
” Dr. Livesey came late one afternoon to see the patient, took a bit of dinner from my mother, and went into the parlour to smoke a pipe until his horse should come down from the hamlet, for we had no stabling at the old Benbow. I followed him in, and I remember observing the contrast the neat, bright doctor, with his powder as white as snow and his bright, black eyes and pleasant manners, made with the coltish country folk,”

” The doctor never so much as moved. He spoke to him as before, over his shoulder and in the same tone of voice, rather high, so that all the room might hear, but perfectly calm and steady: “If you do not put that knife this instant in your pocket, I promise, upon my honour, you shall hang at the next assizes.””

” “Much I care,” returned the doctor. “It’s the name of a buccaneer of my acquaintance; and I call you by it for the sake of shortness, and what I have to say to you is this; one glass of rum won’t kill you, but if you take one you’ll take another and another, and I stake my wig if you don’t break off short, you’ll die—do you understand that?—die, and go to your own place, like the man in the Bible. Come, now, make an effort. I’ll help you to your bed for once.””

“…and the doctor, as if to hear the better, had taken off his powdered wig and sat there looking very strange indeed with his own close-cropped black poll.”

These quotes from Treasure island show me several things about the doctor’s personality. As you can tell from the quotes, the doctor is a very serious and straight talking man, who isn’t afraid to tell people how it is, weather they like it or not. Although he holds a position of power, he does not seem in any way arrogant, as he shows no qualms about sitting in the inns bar whilst waiting for his horse However, he doesn’t seem to have much patience for those that bring avoidable medical conditions on themselves, or for those who attempt to make him do things that he’s unwilling to do.

Ben Gunn
“What it was, whether bear or man or monkey, I could in no wise tell. It seemed dark and shaggy; more I knew not.”

“Instantly the figure reappeared, and making a wide circuit, began to head me off. I was tired, at any rate; but had I been as fresh as when I rose, I could see it was in vain for me to contend in speed with such an adversary. From trunk to trunk the creature flitted like a deer, running manlike on two legs, but unlike any man that I had ever seen, stooping almost double as it ran. Yet a man it was, I could no longer be in doubt about that.”

“I could now see that he was a white man like myself and that his features were even pleasing. His skin, wherever it was exposed, was burnt by the sun; even his lips were black, and his fair eyes looked quite startling in so dark a face. Of all the beggar-men that I had seen or fancied, he was the chief for raggedness. He was clothed with tatters of old ship’s canvas and old sea-cloth, and this extraordinary patchwork was all held together by a system of the most various and incongruous fastenings, brass buttons, bits of stick, and loops of tarry gaskin. About his waist he wore an old brass-buckled leather belt, which was the one thing solid in his whole accoutrement.”

“I now felt sure that the poor fellow had gone crazy in his solitude, and I suppose I must have shown the feeling in my face, for he repeated the statement hotly…”

From these quotes, it is easy to tell that Ben Gunn has grown highly adapted to living by himself on the Treasure island. He seems almost to be at one with the island itself, shown in the way that he moves when pursuing Hawkins. Ben Gunn is grateful to be rescued by the crew, and helps them find the treasure, and he doesn’t turn on them when they first dock after leaving the island which shows his integrity.


Antagonists

One-Legged apparitions
“I would see him in a thousand forms, and with a thousand diabolical expressions. Now the leg would be cut off at the knee, now at the hip; now he was a monstrous kind of a creature who had never had but the one leg, and that in the middle of his body. To see him leap and run and pursue me over hedge and ditch was the worst of nightmares. And altogether I paid pretty dear for my monthly fourpenny piece, in the shape of these abominable fancies.”

This is a description of the nightmares that Jim Hawkins has when he’s told to look out for the “One-legged Seaman”. Though this is the only place in the book that these apparitions appear, I thought that they would be an interesting character to include, as they could be included in a dream sequence, or as actual spirits at some point in the game. They would also give me a chance to develop lots of different designs for them, as they appear in many different variations.

Pew
“He was plainly blind, for he tapped before him with a stick and wore a great green shade over his eyes and nose; and he was hunched, as if with age or weakness, and wore a huge old tattered sea-cloak with a hood that made him appear positively deformed. I never saw in my life a more dreadful-looking figure. He stopped a little from the inn, and raising his voice in an odd sing-song, addressed the air in front of him, “Will any kind friend inform a poor blind man, who has lost the precious sight of his eyes in the gracious defence of his native country, England—and God bless King George!—where or in what part of this country he may now be?”

“”Come, now, march,” interrupted he; and I never heard a voice so cruel, and cold, and ugly as that blind man’s.”

“”And now that’s done,” said the blind man; and at the words he suddenly left hold of me, and with incredible accuracy and nimbleness, skipped out of the parlour and into the road, where, as I still stood motionless, I could hear his stick go tap-tap-tapping into the distance.”

“Pew’s anger rose so high at these objections till at last, his passion completely taking the upper hand, he struck at them right and left in his blindness and his stick sounded heavily on more than one.”

Pew is on of the first antagonists that Hawkins meets. As you can see from the quotes, Pew is quite willing to use deceit, fear, and force to get what he wants. Because of his blindness, he must be more clever in his techniques, but it gives him the advantage of a major weakness which he can use to exploit his victims sympathies. This shows that he is ruthless and cold-hearted, and cares nothing for other people’s feelings.

Long John Silver
“Long John Silver, he is called, and has lost a leg; but that I regarded as a recommendation, since he lost it in his country’s service, under the immortal Hawke.”

“As I was waiting, a man came out of a side room, and at a glance I was sure he must be Long John. His left leg was cut off close by the hip, and under the left shoulder he carried a crutch, which he managed with wonderful dexterity, hopping about upon it like a bird. He was very tall and strong, with a face as big as a ham—plain and pale, but intelligent and smiling. Indeed, he seemed in the most cheerful spirits, whistling as he moved about among the tables, with a merry word or a slap on the shoulder for the more favoured of his guests.”

“I had seen the captain, and Black Dog, and the blind man, Pew, and I thought I knew what a buccaneer was like—a very different creature, according to me, from this clean and pleasant-tempered landlord.”

“I’ll put on my old cockerel hat…”

“On our little walk along the quays, he made himself the most interesting companion, telling me about the different ships that we passed by, their rig, tonnage, and nationality, explaining the work that was going forward—how one was discharging, another taking in cargo, and a third making ready for sea—and every now and then telling me some little anecdote of ships or seamen or repeating a nautical phrase till I had learned it perfectly. I began to see that here was one of the best of possible shipmates.”

Post Mutiny:
“With a cry John seized the branch of a tree, whipped the crutch out of his armpit, and sent that uncouth missile hurtling through the air. It struck poor Tom, point foremost, and with stunning violence, right between the shoulders in the middle of his back. His hands flew up, he gave a sort of gasp, and fell. Whether he were injured much or little, none could ever tell. Like enough, to judge from the sound, his back was broken on the spot. But he had no time given him to recover. Silver, agile as a monkey even without leg or crutch, was on the top of him next moment and had twice buried his knife up to the hilt in that defenceless body. From my place of ambush, I could hear him pant aloud as he struck the blows.”

“When I came again to myself the monster had pulled himself together, his crutch under his arm, his hat upon his head. Just before him Tom lay motionless upon the sward; but the murderer minded him not a whit, cleansing his blood-stained knife the while upon a wisp of grass.”

“He was tricked out in his best; an immense blue coat, thick with brass buttons, hung as low as to his knees, and a fine laced hat was set on the back of his head.”

Long John Silver begins the book appearing as one of the protagonists. He appears to be a perfectly pleasant and well tempered landlord and chef. However, his allegiance is truly revealed when he stages and leads a mutiny on board the ship, expelling and almost killing the Protagonists. In spite of the fact that one of his legs is wooden, he seems to be able to cope perfectly well, and be perfectly fit, as he can leap without the aid of his crutch. Also, his movements and mannerisms are so convincing, it appears that he has conducted other mutinies of this type, as he seems so well versed in doing so.


Reference

Stevenson, R. L. (1883) Treasure Island [online] London: Cassell and Company, Available from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Treasure-Island-Robert-Louis-Stevenson-ebook/dp/B0084AZXKK [Accessed: 29th February 2016]

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