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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The novel is set in the Lowlands and the Highlands of Scotland. David Balfour is born and brought up in Essendean, in the Lowlands. However, not much is seen of Essendean, for the hero is shown leaving his birthplace when the novel opens. David's father has died, and he leaves for Edinburgh in search of his uncle. He spends a few days in the company of his uncle in Cramond before they leave for Queensferry, where David is kidnapped.
David spends a number of days on the high seas on the 'Covenant', where he meets Alan Breck Stewart. When he is thrown overboard during a dangerous crossing, he swims to a small island near the Isle of Mull. Then he enters the Scottish Highlands and travels from one place to another until he reaches Appin to meet Alan. In the company of his friend, he makes a flight through the Highlands to reach Queensferry and then to Edinburgh to claim his inheritance from his uncle. The novel, therefore, ends where it begins, in the Lowlands.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
A sixteen year-old orphan who has many adventures before establishing his identity in the world.
David's uncle and master of the House of Shaws. He is miserly and ruthless.
Alan Breck Stewart
A brave Jacobite rebel (sympathizer of James II and the Stuarts) who befriends David and remains loyal to him to the end.
The cunning Captain of the "Covenant". He is Ebenezer Balfour's friend and David's kidnapper.
The kind minister of Essendean. He delivers Alexander Balfour's letter to David and directs the boy to the House of Shaws.
An innocent cabin boy aboard the "Covenant". He works for the first mate, Shuan, in the round-house and becomes a victim of his violence.
An expert seaman and a moody officer aboard the "Covenant". He is responsible for the death of Ransom.
The second mate in the "Covenant". He attends to David during his sickness and provides him company in the ship. Mr. Rankeillor - a benevolent man and a shrewd lawyer. He helps David in securing his rightful place in society.
A respected and exiled captain and member of Alan's clan.
Ardshiel's half-brother. He helps David and Alan make their flight from the Highlands.
The leader of the Campbells. He is referred to as the `Red Fox'.
The dishonest, blind catechist (a person who brought Christianity to the more remote parts of the Highlands) who directs David to Torosay.
The kind and generous catechist who provides shelter to David for a night and puts him on the boat to Appin.
Neil Roy Macrob
The skipper of the ferry that travels between Torosay and Kinlochaline.
John Breck Maccoll
A friend of Alan's. He carries his message to James Stewart's wife.
A rebel in the uprising of 1745. He gives shelter to Alan and David in his cave for five days.
Duncan Dhu Maclaren
Alan's devoted friend. He acts as a good host and takes care of David at his home for a month.
The son of the notorious Rob Roy. He comes to the house of Duncan and extends a hand of friendship to David and Alan.
The servant of Mr. Rankeillor. He accompanies the lawyer, Alan, and David to the House of Shaws to trap Ebenezer.