Ebb-Tide

Ebb-Tide

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by Robert Louis Stevenson, Lloyd Osbourne, David Daiches
     
 

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The strange and memorable character of Attwater, ruthlessly violent while talking always of Jesus' forgiveness, who alternately repels and fascinates the other characters, reflects Stevenson's own conflicted feelings about Christianity.

"Oh, what does it matter?" cried Herrick. "Here I am. I am broken crockery; I am a burst drum; the whole of my life is gone to

Overview

The strange and memorable character of Attwater, ruthlessly violent while talking always of Jesus' forgiveness, who alternately repels and fascinates the other characters, reflects Stevenson's own conflicted feelings about Christianity.

"Oh, what does it matter?" cried Herrick. "Here I am. I am broken crockery; I am a burst drum; the whole of my life is gone to water; I have nothing left that I believe in, except my living horror of myself. Why do I come to you? I don't know; you are cold, cruel, hateful; and I hate you, or I think I hate you. But you are an honest man, an honest gentleman. I put myself, helpless, in your hands. What must I do? If I can't do anything, be merciful and put a bullet through me; it's only a puppy with a broken leg!" -- "If I were you, I would pick up that pistol, come up to the house, and put on some dry clothes," said Attwater.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780460875356
Publisher:
Everyman Paperback
Publication date:
12/28/1994
Pages:
141
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 7.79(h) x 0.48(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Published in 1894, the year of Stevenson's death, this novel tells of three unscrupulous men entrusted to deliver a cargo of champagne aboard a ship whose crew has died of smallpox. The three embark on a drunken voyage, only to discover an island whose sole European inhabitant, Attwater, has amassed a fortune in pearls.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
November 13, 1850
Date of Death:
December 3, 1894
Place of Birth:
Edinburgh, Scotland
Place of Death:
Vailima, Samoa
Education:
Edinburgh University, 1875

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Ebb-Tide 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Ebb-Tide is a scathing attack on British colonialism in the South Pacific and witnessed assaults from Victorian censorship conventions because it depicted the subjugation and oppression native islanders suffered at the hands of the British. Attwater is the definitive and most memorable figure of Stevenson's colonialists. His presence in the islands is ominous, menacing and is comparable to (though predates) Colonel Kurtz in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The crew of forlorn sailors spend their decadent lives in search of fortune but their own vices and a fatal encounter with Attwater cripple any chances of financial success. The text's open-ended conclusion was an innovative literary tactic for the time and one that contributes significantly to the overall bleakness of the text. For readers and non-readers of Stevenson, The Ebb-Tide reveals the vast talents of an author left behind by the modernist movement and filed hastily under the category of a fiction/adventure writer for boys. While adventure is prevalent in The Ebb-Tide, the novel is a foremost exploration into the emperialist minds of those who journeyed to the South Pacific ravaging numerous civilizations.