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Mister Pip - GCSE Analysis

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Maddie Taylor

on 19 March 2015

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Transcript of Mister Pip - GCSE Analysis

Set in the early 1990s during the civil war,
Bougainville was granted independence from Australia and became under Papua New Guinea control.
Copper was the natural resource of the island, hence why PNG kept hold of it.
The Bougainvillean’s did not see a lot of the profits.
Red Skins (PNG’s) were not liked.
Devastating impact on the environment.
Many Bougainvillean’s were unhappy and became rebels, under the control of Francis Ona.
Not rebels originally, originally they fought for reformation peacefully.
They wanted compensation for the devastation of the of the environment, share of the profits and ownership of the mine.
Historical Context
GCSE Analysis
Mister Pip
Set in Bougainville, part of Papua New Guinea (South West Pacific Ocean

They were refused.
Then they became rebels (BRA - Bougainville Revolutionary Army): vandalising, bombing pylons etc…
Mine closed in May 1989
However, war continued.
PNG Government created a new plan: a blockade.
All non-Bouganvillean’s left the island.
Complete state of unrest.
PNG defence forces (Red Skins) tried to get rid of the rebels in anyway that they could. There were rumours of men being thrown out of helicopters.
Is part of the Solomon Islands
Has a tropical climate
it is rich in copper which was mined and is a valuable resource hence the wars
a war torn country
Suffered two major civil wars in 1975 and 1990
Setting for Mister Pip
Mr Watts
Known as ‘Pop-Eye’ at start of the novel,
Wears a red clowns nose,
Only white man on the island,
Teaches the children after all the teachers have left on ‘the last boat,’
He introduces Matilda and the children to Great Expectations,
He is married to Grace and their child died sending her into a deep depression,
His house is the only building that is not destroyed when the rambos come for the second time,
He plans to escape the island with Matilda,
He is beaten, shot, chopped up and fed to pigs – he is sacrificed.

Matilda is the narrator of the story and we see everything through her eyes
She is 13 years old at the start of the novel
Her mother rejects the ‘white world’ but her absent father (who works in Australia for the ‘white man’) embraces it
She is a very strong character who grows throughout the novel
She is fascinated by Great Expectations and the character of Pip
She escapes the island by accident after witnessing the traumatic deaths of Mr Watts and her mother
She meets Mr Watts’ first wife and finds he is not what she thought he was
Her education (Great Expectations) is a form of escapism for her.
Matilda’s mother,
Hates everything that ‘the white man’ stands for,
Believes the ‘white man’ took her husband away from her and she is angry (or did her ‘strong’ personality drive him away?)
is highly religious but is a hypocrite,
She hates Mr Watts,
She causes the village to be destroyed,
She is very proud and will NOT give in to anyone,
She sees everything in very simple and very moral (in her opinion) terms - she refuses to be questioned,
She is raped, chopped up and fed to pigs,
But in this act she redeems herself and shows great courage as she protects Matilda.

Mr Watts’ wife
She is the reason Mr Watts came to Bougainville
Mr Watts pulls her around on a trolley
Was an actress who played the Queen of Sheba
Lost a child
Suffered with extreme grief
We learn about her by the things she wrote on the attic walls
Dies without much mention
Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA or Rebels
They had no guns and used basic weapon; no official uniform,
They believed that Bougainville should be independent from Papua New Guinea,
Committed many atrocities on their own people,
It became difficult to tell the difference between the Redskins and the Rebels.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) military force
they were armed with military weapons; wore uniforms
Believed that Bougainville belonged to Papua New Guinea and should not be independent
Committed many atrocities on their own people.
Horror of War
Loss of Innocence
Power Struggles
Mr Watts and Dolores
Mr Watts provides a different world
Matilda and Pip
Is there a limit to Mr Watts' power?
Colour Symbolism
Black and White
‘We had grown up believing white to be the colour of all the important things, like ice-cream, aspirin, ribbon, the moon, the stars’
‘White men had stolen her husband and my father. White men were to blame for the mine. And the blockade. A white man had given us the name of our island. White men had given me my name. By now it was clear that the white world had forgotten us’
Red and Blue
‘Blue is the colour of the Pacific. It is the air we breath. Blue is the gap in the air of all things, such as the palms and iron roofs. But for the blue we would not see the fruit bats. Thank you, God, for giving us the colour blue.’
‘The soldier looked like people leached up out of the red earth. That’s why they were known as redskins’
Mr Pip is the story from the mind of a young girl, Matilda, during the redskin uprising against an Australian mining company. Matilda's village is caught up in these events with disastrous consequences. Note that the events in this novel happened in real life (to a certain degree), with embellishment and exaggeration in parts to add drama and plot to the novel.
At the start, Matilda is a young girl, introducing us to her life and introducing us to the main figure (and who's name is eponymous to the title as shown later on), Mr Watts. He is presented as the last white man on the island, and is therefore shown as an outcast instantly. A chapter in, we find that the school on the island is re-opened, with the mysterious, lonesome Mr Watts becoming the teacher to the children. Instead of conventional methods of teaching, Mr Watts instead chooses to read the children a book: Great Expectations. He places great weight upon this book, seemingly obsessed with it, and this obsession is passed on to the children, especially Matilda, who becomes infatuated with the protagonist 'Pip'.
At one point in the novel, a change is initiated, with the redskins coming to the village. They notice the name 'Pip' in the sand on the beach, something Matilda did. Matilda's mother, Dolores, hid Great Expectations, so Mr Watts could not prove that Pip was a character. In response to being 'lied to', the redskins burn down the village, not including Mr Watts' house. Soon after, a group of rebel soldiers return to the village, listening to Mr Watts explain over the course of 7 days his life story, purposely linking his story with Pip's from Great Expectations. Mr Watts' wife had died, and Mr Watts decides to move on, offering Matilda a chance to escape with him on a boat. Before this happens, the rebels flee and the redskins arrive for the second time.
Plot 2
This time around, the redskins kill Mr Watts in one of the most gruesome fashions, and when Dolores stands up for the right cause, she is taken away and raped, although choosing to sacrifice herself for her daughter, and she too is murdered. Matilda gives up the will to live, and, wandering aimlessly, is caught up in a flood, clinging to a branch to survive (she calls this branch 'Mr Jaggers', a reference to Great Expectations). She is saved and moves to Australia, to live with her father. It then cuts to the present day, when Matilda has been digging into Charles Dickens' life, as well as Mr Watts'. She reveals her success as a scholar and also as a teacher, educating children as Mr Watts did for her.

The Machete - a symbol of violence, as well as development

Great Expectations - One of the two important books in the novel

The Bible - The second of the two important books in the novel

The Sea - A source of freedom, and also life
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