In the novel, “Mister Pip” by Lloyd Jones, the three central characters, Mr Watts, Matilda and Dolores are flawed characters in challenging environments. In this essay, I will explore these three characters. Mr Watts, Matilda and Dolores, the narrator who have character flaws which, because of the hostile environment, leads to ultimate tragedy.
Mr Watts is an alien in Bougainville. He started in New Zealand in comfortable circumstances, but when he moved to Bougainville, he experienced extreme tragedy. He dies in conditions of complete barbarity. Mr Watts is a flawed character, because of his emotional weaknesses. He has not been strong enough mentally to overcome the effect of his child’s death. His first wife, June, tells Matilda, “I married a weak man… Tom was not a brave man.” However, in his last weeks, Mr Watts shows real bravery as he faces certain death but still tries to protect the villagers. Ironically, Matilda describes him as a God like figure with his long hair and beard. He says, “We know the devil because we know ourselves. And how do we know God? We know God because we know ourselves.”
Matilda is a clever and observant girl. She is also a flawed character, because she refuses to speak up and reveal her mother’s theft. Matilda says, “We did nothing… we were abandoning Mr Watts.” This quote shows that she betrays Mr Watts through not revealing the truth to the Red skins. Matilda faces many difficulties in her life. She lives in Bougainville for the duration of the Civil War. The Civil War is the most challenging and dangerous event in the novel. Many people were murdered, raped or simply disappeared. The whole country experienced extreme tragedy. The shocking facts of the war meant that no-one could experience the calm and peace; we take for granted until they disappear. She does not understand the culture and her father becomes more distant as he starts a new life with his new wife. Matilda’s real dilemma was that she had to betray one of...
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