KIDNAPPED

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Categoria:Inglese

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Data:05.02.2007
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Testo

KIDNAPPED
Author profile: Stevenson was born in Edinburgh as the son of Thomas Stevenson, a joint-engineer. Since his childhood Stevenson suffered from tuberculosis, inherited from his mother.
In 1867 he entered Edinburgh University to study engineering but changed to law.
During these years his first texts were published in The Edinburgh University Magazine (1871) and The Portofolio (1873). Stevenson's favourite books, which influenced his imagination and thinking, were Shakespeare's Hamlet, Vicomte de Bragelone, and Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.
Instead of practicing law, Stevenson wrote travel sketches and short stories for magazines.
In 1879 Stevenson moved to California with Fanny Osbourne, girl met in France. They married in 1880 and after a brief stay at Calistoga they returned to Scotland; then, they moved often in search of better climates.
Stevenson gained first fame with the romantic adventure story TREASURE ISLAND, which appeared in 1883. Among his other popular works there are KIDNAPPED (1886), THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1886), and MASTER OF BALLANTRAE (1889). He also contributed to various periodicals.
From the late 1880s Stevenson lived with his family in the South Seas, in Samoa. Fascinated by the Polynesian culture, Stevenson wrote several letters to The Times and published novels THE BEACH OF FALESA (1893) and THE EBB-TIDE (1894), which condemned the European colonial exploitation. Stevenson died on December 3 1894 in Vailima, Samoa. His last work, WEIR OF HERMISTON (1896), was left unfinished.
First edition: Kidnapped was written by Stevenson in 1886 and the first edition for the publishing house Longman has happened in 1988.
Setting of the story: The happenings, and even some of the people, in this story are not all imaginary. The actions takes place in Scotland, in the summer of 1751.
Description of the main characters:
• David Balfour was a young orphan man of the Lowlands, the southern part of Scotland. He’s the protagonist of this story and his function is to serve like a cabin boy. He passes thousand adventures with his friend Alan, meet on the ship.
• Alan Breck Stewart is an excellent swordsman and guide; he is a Jacobite, and believes that the Scottish Stuarts should are the true kings of England.
His primary role is to guide David through the wilds of Scotland and he teaches David how to survive.
• Ebenezer is David’s uncle. He is younger than David's father but he looks much older. He lives alone and he is rich but he is so miserly that allows the House of Shaws to deteriorate into squalor. Ebenezer is very avid and cruel!
The others characters in the story are: Captain Hoseason, the captain of the ship Covenant, Mr. Campbell who takes care of David after the death of his father, Mr. Rankeillor, David Balfour's lawyer, Colin Campbell of Glenure, the king of a clan in the Highlands and James of the Glens, the leader of the Stewart clan.

Plot: Kidnapped tells the story of David Balfour, a seventeen year-old orphan of the Lowlands, the southern part of Scotland. Before he leaves Edinburgh, he meets his guardian, Mr. Campbell who reveals that David has an uncle, Ebenezer Balfour. He is very happy to know this and decides to go to Cramond, where his uncle lives.
David walks two days to Edinburgh, and soon arrives to Cramond. His Uncle Ebenezer seems particularly ill regarded by the community, and is in fact the only occupant of the house.
His uncle gives him a cold welcome but he treats David very badly, and seems very interested in the death of David's father.
Time passes and a cabin boy, Ransome, arrives at the House of Shaws. He has been sent by Captain Hoseason of the Covenant (a ship). Hoseason want to see Ebenezer, so the old man decides to go to the port with Ransome and David. David is very interested in seeing the ships at the port.
After having talked whit Ebenezer, Hoseason asks to speak to David on the boat; once he is on, the boat departs and the sailors knock David unconscious. On the ship, David becomes the new cabin boy.
After a few days at this new job, the Covenant strikes and sinks another boat. One man survives, a strange Highland man dressed with clothes of a French soldier called Alan Breck Stewart.
David knows that the officers are plotting to murder the stranger so he tells him.
Alan and David successfully defend the Round-House from the sailors killing some of them.
Alan, impressed of David's courage, gives him a silver button from his coat. The captain and Alan negotiate, and the captain agrees to drop the two young men near Linnhe Loch.
On the way, however, the ship strikes some rocks and goes down. David escapes and finds himself on an unknown island.
David then stays at a house, and discovers that Alan himself passed through and he left an instruction: David must go to Alan's homeland of Appin.
When the young man arrives in Appin, he meets a group of four men on horseback. One of the men is Colin Campbell, the King's Regent for that area.
As David speaks with the boss, he is suddenly shot and killed by an unknown assailant. One of the people on horseback accuses David of distracting Campbell, and just as soldiers are about to apprehend David he is pulled away by Alan. The two men, now suspects in the murder, flee to the woods.
David and Alan finally, after thousand adventures and difficulties, return home where they meet David family's lawyer, Mr. Rankeillor. Rankeillor believes their story and help David to play a trick to his uncle Ebenezer.
The story ends with the arrest of the avid uncle and the happiness of David who inherits all the money.
Narrative notes: In the book there are ample descriptive parts and dialogues. The narration of the facts is situated to the beginning of every chapter
Narrator: In the text we have a first person narrator who tells us the course of facts.
Message of the book: I believe that the message in this story is: people can do everything for money. In this case, Ebenezer pay £ 20 to “send” David in the Carolinas for work in the coffee's plantations; in this way he could receive all the inheritance.
Personal opinion: This book is a famous masterpiece of Stevenson but I don’t like it. Sometimes, the narration is boring and it is written with a difficulty and wanted language.
In the text there aren’t elements that make it charming.
I prefer the mysterious and fascinating story of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!

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