Project Title

Greed and Parrots: Examining the Emergence of Pirate Tropes in Treasure Island

Authors' Affiliations

Rebekah Voiles and Dr. Clay Matthews, Department of English, Tusculum College, Greeneville, Tennessee

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

5

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Clay Matthews

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Department of English

Type

Poster: Non-Competitive

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Project's Category

Arts and Humanities

Abstract Text

In modern pop-culture, the prevalence of tropes is eminent. Without a knowledge of common themes and overgeneralizations, an author’s work will fail to attract a sufficient audience. One of these encompassing tropes includes the pirate trope. Pirate tropes range from physical aspects, such as eyepatches and tricornes, to the psychological implications of greed and villainy. Understanding the origin of tropes helps eliminate the over usage and transformation of tropes. The current study, a textual analysis, examines the popularized pirate novel Treasure Island and compares its’ tropes to the first collection of pirate biographies, A General History of Pyrates. The researcher hopes to discover many, if not all, of the tropes found in Treasure Island originated, through explicit evidence or variances, from A General History of Pyrates. The study will also utilize the New Historicism approach. Through New Historicism, the researcher will examine what historical accounts, including political, cultural, and economic strife, led Treasure Island to emerge as the most well-known pirate novel, rather than its predecessors. Thus far, the research has indicated that Treasure Island emerged as the prime pirate novel due to several factors, including America’s proximity to piracy during the 18th century. These associations include, but are not limited to: America’s trade system with pirates, proximity to pirate dwellings in North America, Americans’ desire of freedom associated with pirates, and democracy based politics practiced among outlaw captains and crewmembers. Stevenson illustrated these points in Treasure Island, which ties the novel’s timeless tropes with today’s conceptions of piracy. In addition, Stevenson used tropes from other novels associated with pirates including: Sir Walter Scott’s The Pirate; Washington Irving’s Tales of a Traveller; Captain Frederick Marryat’s “The Pirate”; Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Gold-Bug”; and several works by Daniel Defoe. Stevenson combined these tropes in Treasure Island while also using A General History of Pirates as a guide to ensure creditability. These tropes, brought to attention by Stevenson, continue to flourish in modern depictions of 18th century pirates.

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Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Greed and Parrots: Examining the Emergence of Pirate Tropes in Treasure Island

Ballroom

In modern pop-culture, the prevalence of tropes is eminent. Without a knowledge of common themes and overgeneralizations, an author’s work will fail to attract a sufficient audience. One of these encompassing tropes includes the pirate trope. Pirate tropes range from physical aspects, such as eyepatches and tricornes, to the psychological implications of greed and villainy. Understanding the origin of tropes helps eliminate the over usage and transformation of tropes. The current study, a textual analysis, examines the popularized pirate novel Treasure Island and compares its’ tropes to the first collection of pirate biographies, A General History of Pyrates. The researcher hopes to discover many, if not all, of the tropes found in Treasure Island originated, through explicit evidence or variances, from A General History of Pyrates. The study will also utilize the New Historicism approach. Through New Historicism, the researcher will examine what historical accounts, including political, cultural, and economic strife, led Treasure Island to emerge as the most well-known pirate novel, rather than its predecessors. Thus far, the research has indicated that Treasure Island emerged as the prime pirate novel due to several factors, including America’s proximity to piracy during the 18th century. These associations include, but are not limited to: America’s trade system with pirates, proximity to pirate dwellings in North America, Americans’ desire of freedom associated with pirates, and democracy based politics practiced among outlaw captains and crewmembers. Stevenson illustrated these points in Treasure Island, which ties the novel’s timeless tropes with today’s conceptions of piracy. In addition, Stevenson used tropes from other novels associated with pirates including: Sir Walter Scott’s The Pirate; Washington Irving’s Tales of a Traveller; Captain Frederick Marryat’s “The Pirate”; Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Gold-Bug”; and several works by Daniel Defoe. Stevenson combined these tropes in Treasure Island while also using A General History of Pirates as a guide to ensure creditability. These tropes, brought to attention by Stevenson, continue to flourish in modern depictions of 18th century pirates.