The Coral Island

R. M. Ballantyne

Book Description

"The Coral Island" is an adventure novel written by R. M. Ballantyne and published in 1858. The story revolves around three British boys—Ralph, Jack, and Peterkin—shipwrecked on a deserted South Pacific Island, where they must learn to survive and establish their own society. Initially, the boys revel in the island's natural beauty and bountiful resources. They work together, hunting and building shelters, while maintaining an optimistic view of their situation. The novel presents a romanticized portrayal of their idyllic life, where they face and overcome various challenges, such as encounters with wild animals and hostile natives. However, their paradise is disrupted when they discover another group of less virtuous shipwrecked sailors led by the cunning and villainous Tom. This creates a conflict between the boys' peaceful and morally upright society and Tom's group, which leads to a series of confrontations, including a battle with the native Polynesians. "The Coral Island" is a reflection of the Victorian era's values, emphasizing the moral superiority of British civilization. It presents an idealized vision of English youth and their ability to maintain their Christian virtues in the face of adversity. The novel is an adventure story that blends elements of colonialism and the adventure genre, making it a product of its time and a precursor to later works like William Golding's "Lord of the Flies." This book is copyright free and can be downloaded without incurring any cost.

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