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The purpose of Mr. Watts' story telling of Great Expectati

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Jasmin Tuhkasaari

on 16 April 2014

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Transcript of The purpose of Mr. Watts' story telling of Great Expectati

The purpose of Mr. Watts' story telling of Great Expectations in the act of theft; telling the children the "original" version, adjusted by him. Through borrowing; reconstructing the lost version with the help of the children and, adaptation; reading to the rebels his own version of his life as himself as Pip, making the ultimate sacrifice for the people of the island during the war, while paying for his choice of escape to the island of Bougainville.

Mr. Watts’ adaptation of Great Expectations which incorporates experiences from his own life. the islanders knowledge and parts of the Dickens classic, Great Expectations, allowing the people of Bougainville to feel included and safe while he sustains the Rambos who arrived in the town.
“Pip would be a convenient role for Mr. Watts to drop into. If he wanted, he could tell Pip’s story as Mr. Dickens had written it and claim it as his own, or he could take elements from it and make it whatever he wished and weave something new.” (Jones 165)
“Between us, me and Grace had created a new world. I liked that idea. It encouraged me to think about my father. Perhaps he wasn’t lost. Or we weren’t lost.” (Jones 171)
“By the third night, it was settled. Mr. Watts was Pip and they--like the rest of us—were the audience” (174).
This prior decision of Mr. Watts’ to become Pip presents the ultimate sacrifice he makes for the island and himself; a brave act fuelled from his need for escape to the island.
"None of the kids looked at each other. Instead we stared at our new unexpected teacher [Mr. Watts]... 'I want this t be a place of light', he said. 'No matter what happens'." (16)
"My Mr. Dickens had taught every one of us kids that our voice was special, and we should remember this whenever we used it, and remember that whatever else happened to us in our lives out voice could never be taken away from us". (256)
Original Storytelling
The purpose of Mr. Watts reading the story to the kids is to bring them relief from the terrible world or war around them. The children can escape to another world when they are listening to The Great Expectations.
“Mr watts had given us kids another piece of the world. I found I could go back as often as I liked. Whats more, I could pick up any moment in the story. Not that I thought of what we were hearing as story. No. I was hearing someone give an account of themselves and all that happened.” (Jones 24)
“It was always a relief to return to the Great Expectations. It contained a world that was whole and made sense, unlike ours. If it was a relief for us, then what must it had for Mr. Watts. I feel equally sure he was more comfortable in the world of Mr.Dickens than he was in our black-faced world of superstition and mythic flying fish. In Great Expectations he was among black people.” (67)
“By the time Mr. Watts reached the end of chapter one, I felt like I had been spoken to by this boy Pip. This boy who I couldn't see to touch but knew by ear. I had found a new friend.” (23)
The purpose of Mr. watts and the children retelling the story by remembering fragments, is to restore trust and belief. The people have lost so much, and what they need is to escape to a place of peace, between the war, and the bad things that have happened.
“[Matilda] and Pip had something else in common; [Matilda] was eleven when [her] father left, so neither of [them] really knew [their] father” (Jones 25).
“we all have lost our possessions and many of us our homes...But these losses, severe though they may seem, reminds us [that no one] can take...our...imaginations” (123).
“In the first fire people has lost gifts and favourite things. A ball. A fishhook. In my case, the shoes my father had sent me. The postcards. This time what people lost was their privacy. Where could they hide themselves now?” (120).
Discussion Question
(OPTION 1) Based upon our analysis of Mr. Watts and his moral compass or solely on your own opinion, is Mr. Watts a good and brave man, or an escapist?
(OPTION 2) Do you believe he stayed on the island to teach and help the children, or for his own reasons and fulfillment?
Full transcript