Mister Pip – Plot Summary
Mister Pip is the story of a girl caught in the throes of war on the island of Bougainville. It is through the guidance of her devoted but strict Christian mother and teacher that Matilda survives but more importantly, through her connection with Pip, a fictional creation from the mind of Charles Dickens in Great Expectations. Pip helps Matilda maintain a desire to live, especially after her mother, the wise Mr. Watts, and her island cease to exist.
The novel opens with a colorful description of Mr. Watts, whom the children call Pop-Eye due to his eyes that "stuck out further than anyone else's". We learn of his marriage to Grace, a native of Bougainville, which serves to explain why he remained long after most of the white men had abandoned the island. With military tension rising and the school room growing over with creepers, Mr. Watts decides to take on the task of educating the children. Despite his claim to be limited in intelligence, he introduces the students to one of the greatest English authors, Charles Dickens.
Dolores, Matilda's overzealous Christian mother, expresses an extreme distrust of the teacher and his curriculum. She does everything in her power to ensure that her daughter's mind is not polluted by the strange white man, including making weekly visits to the classroom. She even goes as far as stealing and hiding Mr. Watts's Great Expectations book, an action that causes immense trouble when redskin soldiers enter the village and find Mr. Pip's name carved into the sand.…