Essay Kidnapping

Kidnapped

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Kidnapped

Kidnapped: Being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751 was written by Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1850. As a child growing up Stevenson was extremely sick and suffered from severe respiratory ailments which continually interrupted his schooling. As he grew up his relationship with his parents became more and more difficult. His father expected Robert to follow the family profession and become an engineer. Stevenson agreed to study law but rarely attended classes and studied literature instead.

Motivated by his love for adventure and need for a climate that suited his health needs Stevenson was continually traveling. In the 1870’s he traveled to France making money off of essays and travel books. There he met Fanny Osbourne, a married American he soon fell in love with. Stevenson followed Fanny to California to arrange for her divorce and soon after the newly married couple moved back to Europe

During the 1880’s Stevenson wrote the novels that would make him famous. Treasure Island was the first book to set him off on his literary career in 1883. This book although written for a boys magazine is said to be more for an adult audience; that’s how most of Stevenson’s books are, filled with romantic adventure and a grim reality. In 1886, Stevenson wrote two novels, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one of his most famous works, and Kidnapped. Although received highly by the critics Kidnapped was overshadowed by Jekyll and Hyde in the public’s eye.

Kidnapped is a story with fictional characters woven around true incidents. David Balfour is orphaned at nineteen and sent to his uncle to gain his inheritance. As he travels across the country to get to his uncle’s estate he learns that the people curse his name. When he gets to his uncle’s house instead of being greeted with a warm family welcome, his Uncle Ebenezer shuns him away. David refuses to leave and demands his inheritance and his uncle finally decides to take him in.

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MLA Citation:
"Kidnapped." 123HelpMe.com. 10 Mar 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=38693>.

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David starts to suspect that his uncle will not give him his inheritance, especially when Ebenezer attempts to kill David. His uncle then promises to take David to Mr. Rankeillor, the family lawyer. Instead it is all a trick to get David kidnapped and used for slavery by Captain Hoseason. At first he lived on the ship in filth and starvation but after the death of the cabin boy David was promoted and for a time life was better on the ship. One night the ship, the Covenant ran down a small boat and cut it in two. The only survivor was Alan Breck Stewart, a Scottish Highlander and Jacobite with a price on his head. The Captain agrees to take him ashore, but David overhears his plan to seize Alan and warns him. They escape the ship and begin their adventure to return to the lowlands. Within this story are the actual events of the rebellion against King George. Stevenson bases this story off an article he found involving the trial of the murder of Colin Campbell. Alan is accused of the murder and so they must hide by day and travel by night. They eventually make it to the lowlands and meet with Mr. Rankeillor, and prepare to confront David’s uncle. With the help of David, Alan is able to escape from the highlands and with the help of Alan, David is able to regain his inheritance.

Robert Louis Stevenson directed many of his works to young readers in deference to nineteenth century Romanticism’s idealization of the presumed innocence of childhood. Kidnapped was originally published in a boy’s magazine called, Young Folks Paper. It required only six minor corrections before going between hard covers. A large part of the popular appeal of Kidnapped lies with the historical-romantic nature of the plot. Typical of such plots, the novel revolves around a genuine historical incident, the murder of Colin Campell; and other historical figures appear such as King George. Stevenson’s fictional characters and incidents such as David Balfour’s trials and Alan Stewart’s escapades constitute the largest part of the novel, although the pivotal action in the plot is tied to actual history.

When the critics talk about Kidnapped it is usually in comparison to his other novels, specifically Treasure Island; but still it is always highly received. In the St. James Gazette it is quoted, “It is high praise therefore of Kidnapped to say that it is no unworthy companion of Treasure Island. Its incidents are not so uniformly thrilling… yet Kidnapped is excellent from end to end.” (Harris p.400)

The critics also praise Stevenson’s literary artistic ability in describing the setting of Scotland and the people that existed there at the time. For example, R.H. Hutton says, “The power of Kidnapped consists chiefly in the great vivacity with which the portrait of the Highland chieftain is drawn and with which the contrast is brought out between the frank vanity of the Highland character and the rooted self-sufficiency of the Lowland character in the relations between the Stewart of Appin and the Lowland hero of the adventures.” (Harris p.400) Henry James also reviewed the characters in the book saying, “…Alan Breck, in Kidnapped, is a wonderful picture of the union of courage and swagger; the little Jacobite adventurer, a figure worthy of Scott at his best, and representing the highest point that Mr. Stevenson’s talent has reached.” (Harris p. 402)

Arthur Conan Doyle could appreciate the historical aspect of the book when comparing it to his other works in his review of Stevenson,” Treasure Island is perhaps the better story, while Kidnapped may have the longer lease of life as being an excellent and graphic sketch of the state of the highlands after the last Jacobite insurrection.” (Harris p. 409)

Robert Louis Stevenson was a writer that appealed to audiences of all ages. His works contained the historical settings for adults and the plots filled with adventures for the children. The critics both in his time and ours always give him high praise for his use of setting and characterization within his works. Kidnapped is one of his more enjoyable works with all of these aspects included and a must read for any of his fans.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Eigner, Edwin M. Robert Louis Stevenson and Romantic Tradition. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966.

Harris, Laurie Lanzen and Fitzgerald Sheila, eds. Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Detroit Gale Research Company, 1984.

Nicholson, Leo. Scottish History-The Jacobites. 1996
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/lennich/jacobite.htm

Noble, Andrew. Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Vision Press Ltd., 1983.

Peterson, Cameron. Classicnotes: About Kidnapped. 21 April 2003



Original Writing Story Kidnapped

  • Length: 1068 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)
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My stomach retched, my throat dry, had I got myself into this mess? A distant thud echoed across the cold, hard floor, ricocheting into my ear. Someone was coming.

With a slow dawn I remembered. Had I slipped or had he hit me with something? My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth as I relived the figure advancing towards me. It was dark. The street light that shone from behind the man in the faceless thickset man in the grey hoody ensured anonymity. Now he was coming. How long had I been here? My head ached as I struggled to assess my surroundings.

Stamp. Stomp. Scuff. The torture was unbearable. I blocked the harrowing thoughts of my oncoming captor, and tried to construct a plan. I peered around the eerie room. Dust dulled each and every ornament, just adding to the clutter in the already paltry squalor. The lighting was poor, the only light came from the rotting window at the other side of the room.
Suddenly my mind raced? A window! I prepared to make a run for it. I pulled myself off the ground and began to stand. If only I could get to the window I could make my escape.

OUCH! My leg crippled with pain. I tried to shuffle my way to the window, but it was excruciating. As my senses kicked back in, I felt pains shooting up and down my body. Peering down at my hands I screamed. My hands were covered in cold, congealed blood.
Too late! He had heard me. Why had I been so stupid as to scream? I had lost valuable seconds and drawn negative forces to me.

?Well, well,? droned a confident voice.
His pose screamed power. His broad shoulders held high. His Doc Martens legs astride, he loomed ominously in my face.
?Who are you?? I cried, ?Why have you brought me here??
No reply.
I raised my arms in anger, ?I?m talking to you.? Instantly his arm swung swiftly, like steel, it impacted on mine. Fear bulged from my eyeballs, he grasped both my hands and heaved me up. My feet dangled in the air.

Don?t make me angry Lady. I don?t like people who make me angry. He dropped me like a sack to the floor. I winced, a white light of pain shot as my injured knee crushed to the concrete floor. He grabbed me by the head, my hair taut in his vice grip, he dragged me behind like a hunter drags home his prey.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Original Writing Story Kidnapped." 123HelpMe.com. 10 Mar 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=152853>.

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Kidnapped Essay - Kidnapped Kidnapped: Being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751 was written by Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1850. As a child growing up Stevenson was extremely sick and suffered from severe respiratory ailments which continually interrupted his schooling. As he grew up his relationship with his parents became more and more difficult. His father expected Robert to follow the family profession and become an engineer. Stevenson agreed to study law but rarely attended classes and studied literature instead....   [tags: Free Essays Online]
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He yanked open the door and set foot upon the creaky hallway towards the stairs. Splinters penetrated my legs. I opened my eyes in alarm and took in the walls stained with brown smudges, I?d be unsurprised to learn it was smeared on blood. The floor was littered with used cigarette butts, and there was a dire lingering smell of old smoke, which was starting to collect in my lungs.

The more awake I became the more the pain seemed to grow inside me from every inch of my body.

?Well, well, well, what do we have here then?? said a smarmy voice. Was I stuck in a bad movie? I felt a sharp yank on my hair. I knew it was real. A small, skinny little figure ambled out from a crummy doorway, which sported a pretty bad, grimy, yellow paint job.

He was a slimy, queasy looking chap, probably hooked on heroin, my flesh crawled. What did they want from me?
?Gonna give us a go Max,? squirmed the creep, his grubby hand reaching out to stroke my leg. I writhed away instinctively.
?A live catch hey, I like ?em feisty,? his voice syrupy on every word.
?Yeah right mate, shift out of the way? said the black Doc Martens.
The confrontation was instant and the affronted junkie swiftly pulled his right arm from his faded jeans to produce a shotgun.
?Get back to the wall, drop the girl?
In two rapid moves my captor karate kicked the wrist of his assailant and the gun ricocheted into the room behind, the second move saw his knee make contact with groin and the threat was in foetal position on the floor.
In the course of both moves he had dropped me to the floor for a second time.
?Get in the room,? he growled.
?But I can?t walk!? I wailed.
?And that?s my problem because?? He laughed a wicked laugh, a laugh so cold that it would send your bones trembling in a split second. He strode into the room, retrieved the gun, a semi-automatic, which now pressed into my temple.

Tears began to spout in the corners of my eyes.
?I said get off the floor!?
?I?m trying? I whimpered. I pressed my hands against the floor, and tried to push myself up. I tried and tried, but every time I got halfway the whole left side of my body would give way on me. I was so tired, so dehydrated, all my energy was gone.
?Get off the floor, or you get it.?
This couldn?t be true, this couldn?t be happening. What had I done? This wasn?t the way I was meant to die. Was it?

I just wasn?t about to take that chance. Finally with one last hoist, I yanked my self up onto my elbows. I was going to need a bit more strength on this.
?Come on, you can do it? I whispered to myself. It would take every last ounce of energy to make it, but I didn?t care. I had to save myself.

?Bang! Bang? The gun shot twice.

My thoughts were buzzing around my head, blocking out my senses. My stomach plummeted to my heels. My heart beat so fast I thought it would crash in a dismantled heap on the M25. Dead in my tracks, my blood ran cold. I realized I?d dropped to the floor in reaction to the blast, my heartbeat pounded in my ears.

Filled with dread I shifted and turned my head to survey what had happened. Junkie Boy had was on the deck next to me an arm?s length away, with blood pumping from the artery in his neck and trickling out of the corner of his mouth.

I thought I was screaming, but it was my inner voice. I tried to speak, and then realized I could do neither.



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