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Kidnapped Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 12 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Kidnapped.
This section contains 258 words
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The most salient theme is that virtue and courage will prevail over craftiness and evil. In advancing this thesis, Stevenson uses the time-honored quest motif. After being kidnapped at the instigation of his wicked uncle and meeting with Alan, David must travel afar, fight battles, and even kill enemies.

Another thematic element is Stevenson's repeatedly exposed belief that there are positive and negative sides in nearly everyone. Several of the men on the ship where David is taken illustrate this belief. Second officer Riach shows some kindness to David, but his kindness is chiefly confined to periods of drunkenness; when he is sober, he tends to be mean. On the other hand, Mr. Shuan is the opposite: kind when sober and violent when drunk, as when he kills the cabin boy in a fit of drunken rage. Even Alan Breck, with all his bravado and tendency to violence, can...

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This section contains 258 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Kidnapped Short Guide
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