English Essay - Mr Pip

1867 words 8 pages
English Essay – Mister Pip

Analyse how contrast between characters helped the author communicate an important message or idea.

Mister Pip written by Lloyd Jones is a novel recounted by the protagonist Matilda. Set in 1990’s Bougainville, we see Matilda begin to question her Mother’s traditional idea’s about life as a civil war rages between the rebels and the Redskins in her homeland. Mr. Watts or “Pop eye” is given the role teaching the village children, being the only educated, and consequentially, white man left on the island. He begins reading Great Expectations to the children and Matilda finds herself becoming entranced in white civilisation. She gets immersed in the story of the white boy “Pip” living in London in the 1800’s, very
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Dolores goes too far in trying to lead Matilda away from the white world and hides the book more out of her resentment for Mr. Watts and her hatred of Matilda being interested in things she isn’t herself. After Matilda finds out what her Mother does she feels extremely betrayed considering the act petty and selfish – “There are no words for the feelings of betrayal I had at that time” but chooses not to give her Mother up. Her unconditional love for her Mother wins out over all other emotions, no matter how strong they are. The contrast between Matilda and Dolores ultimately results in a test of the unconditional love felt between them and the author uses Matilda’s decision to show us how very powerful it can be.

As the book goes on and the war between the rebels and the Redskins continues to rage, Mr. Watts comes up with a plan for himself, Matilda and supposedly her Mother to leave the island and escape to the white world – “There is a boat coming on the night after the full moon”. He tells Matilda he will tell her Mum just before they leave- “Make no mistake, I intend to speak to Dolores. For now though it is just our secret”. Matilda doesn’t doubt Mr. Watts’s word and she presumes her late notification about the trip is because her Mother might give something away with her insolence towards the white way of life, stopping them from going at all – “I understood- without any need for Mr Watts to spell it out for me –