Family as a theme in Falkner's "Moonfleet", Author: J. Meade Falkner

Essay by jman196High School, 11th gradeB+, May 2007

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Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner is a tale of a search for a mythical pirate’s treasure and of a boys growth from a child to a man. Materialism and greed are prominent themes throughout this novel, Falkner portrays John as a very materialistic child who vies for wealth and riches. The curse of Blackbeard’s diamond and the lure of wealth and great fortune lead to grave consequences for young John Trenchard. Throughout the story John and Elzevir grow with one another and through their experiences gain a need for one another as they learn from one another. After his aunt parted from him, John sought out Elzevir, who recently experienced the loss of his only son, who took John into his home and gave him a place to sleep and food. Throughout their journey together the main character, along with his companion, progress with one another and undergo gain and loss, they both learn the true value of family, and they realize that wealth isn’t everything in life.

Materialism and greed only lead to destruction and evil, Elzevir and John discover this on their quest for wealth and fortune. John Trenchard is a young boy from the village of Moonfleet in Dorset. Dorset was named moonfleet short for "Mohune-fleet." The Mohune family which the town was named after were a great family who were once lords of all these parts. The most famous of the family was the notorious Blackbeard. Blackbeard was said to haunt the town cemetery and this provided the perfect cover for a group of local smugglers who smuggled contraband liquor and hid it in the underground Mohune family vault. John is captivated by the myth of a pirates treasure and he does everything possible to discover more of the secrets in hope of becoming wealthy.