Friday, June 11, 2021

Review of "Classics Illustrated: Mutiny on the Bounty," by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall

 Review of

Classics Illustrated: Mutiny on the Bounty, by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall

Five out of five stars

Classic based on truth

 Unlike most of the other classic works of literature, “Mutiny on the Bounty” is based on a true story. The descendants of some of the mutineers still live on Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific, the area where the mutiny took place. It was a time when a common sailor on a ship led a hard life, and the captain’s word was law. Transgressions could be punished by being placed in irons and even being flogged, sometimes to the death. Therefore, being on a ship was tantamount to being a temporary slave.

 While there were many instances of desertion, situations of actual mutiny were rare. It took a great deal of courage and bad actions by the captain before members of the crew revolted. Furthermore, if the captain lived and a mutineer was found, death by hanging was a common fate.

 The most famous mutiny took place aboard the ship called “Bounty” and it had been sent to the Pacific Island of Tahiti to bring back young breadfruit plants so that they could be transplanted to other locations with a climate suitable for growing them.

 This comic captures the essence of the background circumstances of the ship, the sadistic nature of Captain Bligh and the circumstances behind the mutiny. Having spent a long time on the island paradise of Tahiti and getting to know the people, the crewmembers were reluctant to leave. It could serve as a reference book for a classroom discussion of the story as well as the social context of life on a ship as well as why the breadfruit plants were considered so valuable.

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