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Mr Pip Revision Notes by Natasha Wilson
Bougainville is part of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon islands.
Australian company builds in Panguna, Papua New Guinea on the island of Bougainville.
Islanders had no benefit from this.
o Very little of earnings were given to island workers.
o `Wontok' system of redskins taking jobs, elbowing locals out of jobs
o Devastates ecology of the area. Affects locals who rely on nature.
Killed plants and animals
o Social injustice. The Australians damaging ecology and locals suffer.
Islanders fight back to try and get mine closed.
Redskin soldiers come to fight. Rambos fight back. Civil war ensues. Fighting for:
o Man and his culture
o Land and environment
Culture clash results in more loss than gain?
Reduces diversity. Matilda's name is not even her own cultures
Great Expectations invaded Bougainville culture and led to misunderstanding and violence
Led to arguments within community as some agreed/disagreed with foreign influence. Dolores does not
want Matilda to disappear into White World. Civil War to defend culture.
Developed cultures take advantage of those who are poorer. Stole away husband and father. Took away
Independence. Ruined land and environment (Pollution of water, plants and animals. Destroyed rainforests).
Helps advance knowledge and understanding. Matilda says the story results from their ignorance of outside
If all cultures were the same after being invaded, then there would not be misunderstandings such as the
issue and violence following Great Expectations
Invasion brings more jobs and another way of life. Opportunities and money to a primarily farming
community. Father actually followed white world back to Australia showing he felt it was an advantage.
Religion of new culture was embraced by Dolores. Strongly Christian.
Mr Watts, hero or villain?
o When wife dies
o When he calls himself Mr Dickens to save Daniel
o When he gives his own life
Volunteers to help teach children
Provides escape via literature for Matilda. Gives her wider knowledge of outside world. Rescues them from
facing atrocities face-on without support.
Past life with wife (June) in New Zealand portrays him as a villain who wasn't loyal to his wife.
June felt Mr Watts was a weak man. He had an affair with neighbour Grace.
Represents white world, which for many of the villagers is the `evil'.
He lied to many people
o Story about his life was all false. Mix of truth, Dickens, and parent's classroom teachings.
o He lied about his past
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Shares plan to leave island with Matilda, although it becomes evident he didn't plan to take her with him.
Was he just acting and fitting whatever role given?
Matilda concludes that she had met Mr Dickens as Mr Watts. He introduced whole of literature to her.
Power of words/literature
When Mr Watts talks of Mr Dickens, children think it is a person at Bougainville.
Matilda's language is deceptively simple. No `fancy-nancy' English talk that Dolores hates. Horrific violence
described with simplicity and no adornment.…read more
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He has a natural authority as he is a white man
o Forgiving despite the blame village puts upon him.
o Later, June calls him `weak'. Turns out he lied a lot.
o He was "whatever he needed to be". Never saw the real him.
o Ignorant and proud
o Compares her to Angry Sister of Pip. Seems emotionless
o Sees Estella in her Mother. Taunting Pip.
o Compares her to Miss Havisham who cannot move on from her day of disappointment.…read more
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Islanders did not know outside white world
Mum only knew what Minister had told her in sermons
Dad saw how small island was for first time when leaving it
Copper mine is rarely referred to, despite it being ultimate cause of devastation. Few of characters have
ever seen it. All information on rebellion based on hearsay until redskins enter village.
Parents come to school and teach about plants and animals. Practical knowledge for survival.…read more