Why Treasure Island is NOT suitable for children
“It was Silver's voice, and before I had heard a dozen words, I would not have shown myself for all the world. I lay there, trembling and listening, in the extreme of fear and curiostiy, for, in those dozen words, I understood that the lives of all the honest men aboard depended on me alone.” -Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island. In the book Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, the tale of a young boy on an adventure with pirates unfolds. Although this book, written in 1881 and eventually published in 1883, is indeed a classic, some people may argue as to why it is not suitable for its’ target audience, children. Treasure Island is an unfortunate solecism of a book for three reasons. It is exhausting to read, it encourages the acts of piracy and murder, and it is advertised inaccurately.
The first reason you should not read Treasure Island is that it is confusing. The language in the book, although it is not vulgar, is difficult for children to understand. It is advertised as a book for children between the ages of 8 and 10, but even some teens and adults have a difficult time understanding it. You might think that it is simply the authors’ style of writing that children don’t like, but Robert Louis Stevenson has many other lesser known children’s books that are less confusing, such as My Shadow (1885), A Child’s garden of Verses (1885), and Olalla (1885). As you can see, Treasure Island sticks out like a sore thumb when it comes to easy to read children’s books.
The second reason you should not read Treasure Island is that it is a bad influence. Although the pirates of the story are not the heros or “good guys,” those who are recognized as the heros are still not the ideal influence on children. Within the first paragraph of the book, the main protagonist, who is between the ages of 12 and 13, is shown selling rum to a strange guest. Not only that, but in the second chapter, the same young boy, named Jim, obeys orders from a suspicios stranger with a sword at his side. This is anything but suitable behavior from a child, and most certainly from the protagonist.
The third and final reason that you should not read Treasure Island is that it is advertised inaccurately. One website is quoted as saying “The heroes are models of rectitude;” However, this review is proved innacurate when you realize that the protagonists have no moral standards towards violence, drinking, and smoking. Even the 12 year old protagonist, Jim Hawkins, drinks rum. There are multiple other ways Treasure Island is advertised incorrectly, such as the fact that it is targeted to children, but I believe that there is enough evidence in merely one example to persuade any person into not reading Treasure Island.
This title contains:
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking