Mister Pip

Context and Compassion in Mister Pip 11th Grade

The conflict between Papua New Guinea and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army between 1988 and 1998 has been described as the largest conflict in Oceania since the end of World War II. The novel Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones examines the impacts of war on the island of Bougainville in the early 1990’s. Through the eyes of an innocent teenager, Matilda, Jones explores the subject of war and provides personal connections to both the destructive and heroic acts in the conflict. Through the use of language features such as juxtaposition, first person narrative and symbolism, Jones portrays the important idea that though war brings destruction and devastation, it also proves selfless acts of humanity during dire and desperate times.

Jones uses juxtaposition throughout the text to emphasize that war divides society. For example, when Matilda describes a white man in contrast to herself, she uses the words "and white as the whites of your eyes only sicker”. The word “sicker” emphasizes Matilda's perspective on the white population as ill and diseased and paints a distinct picture that Matilda views the white population to be dissimilar to herself and the native population. She sees herself and the native population as ‘normal’ whereas she...

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