Mister Pip

Mister Pip is definitely a story that needs to be read slowly and savoured as you take this journey. This is a story of Mr. Watts, the only white man on an island that is at war. Mr. Watts takes it upon himself to teach the children in the village and reads each day from Great Expectations. Along the journey, some wonderous and heartbreaking moments happen and I’ve written out a few of them…. “In the days that followed we all worked hard to produce scraps of a vanished world. Of course I did not tell mum about our project. She was liable to say “That won’t hook a fish or peel a banana” And she was right. We weren’t after fish or bananas. We were after something bigger. We were trying to get ourselves another life.” “You cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in the book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames. For me, Mathilda Great Expectations is such a book. It gave me permission to change my life.” Finally, perhaps one of the best little sections and one where you understand that Mr. Watts became “Mr. Jaggers” to Mathilda’s “Pip”. He gave the children of island the imagination to take themselves to another life and away from this island where you see once again how the human spirit can be so torn apart and crushed by other human beings. Mr. Watts gave Mathilda the power and permission to change her life after great adversity. Of course Mr. Watts didn’t exactly have an easy go of it – the adults on the island were none to impressed with how he took over the minds of the children. And also the great, great consequence of beliving in Mister Pip and Mister Dickens. “I only know the man who took us kids by the hand and taught us how to reimagine the world, and to see the possibility of change, to welcome it into our lives. Your ship could come in at any time, and that ship could take many forms. Your Mr. Jaggers might even turn out to be a log.” An excellent read. But take your time reading it.

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