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 Setting and context  Timeframe and structure...

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Slide 2 Setting and context Timeframe and structure Style Characters (major) Themes Conflict Events Slide 3 The island of Bougainville is part of Papua New Guinea, situated in the South Pacific Ocean The island was an important military base during WW2 It is mineral-rich and gold deposits led to the establishment of a mine there in the 1970s Disputes resulting from ownership of the mine developed into civil conflict which lasted from 1990 1997. Francis Ona and his rebels declared war at the Laguna copper mine and a blockade was imposed on Bougainville by the PNG Government in 1990 New Zealand contributed to peace negotiations in 2000 Slide 4 We know that Matilda was eleven when her father went to work in Townsville in Australia Matilda is thirteen when Mr Watts begins to read Great Expectations on 10 December 1991 She calculated that Mr Watts would finish reading on 6 February 1992 (they only finish on 10 February) Matilda loses track of time after the redskins (Government soldiers) burn her calendar along with all the other belongings in the village This is important because it shows how the villagers were cut off from the outside world We learn from Matilda that the rambos (village rebels) came to the village nearly three years after the mine was closed The redskins returned seven days later and committed the atrocities that lead to the climax of the book After the climax, Matilda escapes to Australia and finds out that it is September 1993 and she is fifteen years old The rest of the story is like an epilogue giving detail of what became of Matilda after her escape She attends school and university in Australia and then goes on to do post graduate research on Dickens Orphans We presume she is in her early twenties by this stage The narrative is developed as a continuum f her own and the story cannot be divided up into tidy little divisions The climax of the book is where Mr Watts, Dolores, Daniel and his grandmother are killed Slide 5 Lloyd Jones uses a surprisingly blunt tone when he creates Matilda as the nave (unsophisticated) narrator of the story He uses words like black, white and redskin to cross over racial and cultural lines without causing offence He uses the first person narrative perspective this gives us the idea that Matilda is a witness to the truth (as in her witnessing of her mothers rape, the graphic description of the dog and people being chopped up and fed to pigs) Jones removes subjectivity and leaves the reader with a sense of Matilda being a removed observer the purpose of this is to spare the reader the grossness of these events Matilda never states emotion or passes judgment except for accusing her mother of stealing Great Expectations- the purpose of this is to leave readers to draw their own conclusions on events Jones also uses Great Expectations as a parallel text. It deals with real cruelty, poverty and human heartbreak but it has survived as a popular book for such a long time because readers are able to laugh and suffer with the characters at the same time. What is the similarity to Mister Pip? Slide 6 How would you describe Matilda? The novels narrator who lives with her mother in the small, isolated Bougainville community We pick up on her life when she is thirteen years old Her father works away from home in Townsville, Australia. Her name was suggested to her father by an Australian mine manager. Matilda is positioned between her mother who rejects the white world and her absent father who is very much part of that world She is very similar to Dolores they are both strong characters bent on the truth they have normal teenage girl-mother conflicts as she seeks to establish her independence She develops a very close bond with the fictional Pip because she draws parallels between his life and hers Matilda is a strong character, she survives the brutal murder of her mother and by the end of the novel, has grown into a confident and well-rounded young woman (probably largely due to Mr Watts introduction to Great Expectations) Slide 7 How would you describe Dolores? Proud, religious, stubborn and hypocritical she things that she is too strong and that she has driven her husband away she had the blood of the righteous running in her veins Sturdy, she is the counterpoint to the creative and eccentric Mr Watts She mistrusts the power of Great Expectations and the influence of Mr Watts on Matilda. Some white fellas do not believe in the devil, or Godbecause they think they dont have to Dolores She draws strong resemblance to Miss Havisham (for whom time stood still after being betrayed by a man) My mum didnt smile enoughshe appeared to be angry much of the time. Matilda Sees everything from a simple and moral point of view she struggles to maintain her cultural and religious beliefs by imposing them on Matilda and the other children, She thought she could bully us into knowing what she did. Matilda She hides the book and this act is the catalyst for all the subsequent atrocities and later her own death In the end, she redeems herself by being, Gods witness, however, she is given no dignity in death, she dies in a machete execution and is chopped up and fed to the pigs after being raped. She displays courage in the face of evil and sacrifices herself in order to save her daughter. Slide 8 How would you describe Mr Watts? He is initially introduced as Pop Eye, a mysterious local eccentric a white man living in the village with his black wife Grace. He is seen as a saviour because he wants to protect the children from the war and give them something positive to dream about, I want this to be a place of lightNo matter what happens. He tells 3 versions of the story: he reads it to the class, then he recovers it after Dolores hides the book and finally, he becomes an actor as he totally reshapes the narrative in front of the rambos. In the final telling, his performance keeps the rambos off the jungle juice and so, protects the villagers ironically, his greatest performance also leads to his death as the rambos identify him as Pip and he is executed. Matilda later meets his Wellington wife and she retells the story of how Mr Watts and Grace met and how unravels the mystery of the couples odd appearance and behaviour, The director thought Tom should wear a red clowns nose, and the Queen of Sheba should stand in a trolley pulled by Tome to show some meeting of the minds had been achieved. Matilda recalls her memory of Mr Watts, I never saw him once with a machete his weapon was a story. Slide 9 There are many themes in this novel, but here are some to think about: That narrative (stories) help us escape to another place Mr Watts reads Great Expectations to the children in order to provide an escape from the world they live in. The babies in the village are dying of malaria because there is no medicine and everybody fears the war will catch up with them sometime. So, Pop Eye fills their minds with great expectations. The children begin to attach meaning from Pips live to their own. Their imaginations are awakened and this gives them an escape from their miserable lives, We were greedy for that world. Any world other than this one, which we were sick of sick of the fear it held. This theme is important because we begin to understand that this escape from our reality comes at a great price. For Mr Watts, his escape into the character of Pip cost him his life. For Matilda, the escape from her reality meant having to break from the safety of her past. Slide 10 That the horrors of war leave lasting scars Mostly, we hear about the war as a rumour that is whispered about by the adults. But then the redskins come and the horrors steadily become a reality; chickens are beheaded, the old dogs stomach is ripped out, the villagers belongings are burned, then their houses. The horror only escalates: Mr Watts is shot, chopped up and fed to the pigs, Dolores is raped, chopped up and fed to the pigs, Daniel is tortured in the most horrible way and his grandmother murdered. This theme is important, because through it, we come to understand that in times of conflict, people loose their humanity and compassion. In situations of war, people can be driven to commit the most unspeakable acts. However, in the incident of her mothers death, Matilda recalls the officer, making that kissing sound as he smoked. With everything that she had been through, Matilda still found it within herself to think of the officer as human. Slide 11 The loss of innocence As the war escalates, and creeps closer to the village, we begin to see a change in Matilda. Her descriptions (although objective), become more gross in their detail (the incident with Black the dog). She begins to talk in more real terms of the fear and uncertainty around her. Matilda begins to keep snippets of Great Expectations from her mother, because as she wanders more and more into Pips world, she finds that she is at odds with her own. In her loyalty to her mother she becomes more deceptive, and this signals her loss of innocence. What made her blood run cold was this white boy Pip and his place in my life. Matilda We see Matilda become jealous, I didnt like that other teasing girl, Sarah Pocket, either Finally, in witnessing so much death around her, Matilda cannot remain an innocent and nave girl. This theme is important because, we come to understand that in difficult times, we are forced to face realities that we may not necessarily want to. Matilda had to face the reality of her father having another life in another place, and that she was not part of it. She also had to face the reality that Mr Watts was not what his performances made him out to be and that in life, nothing is certain. All these realisations force Matilda to grow up very quickly. Slide 12 Dolores Dolores vs her husband She disapproves of everything he does. Questioned by Ma

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