Everyone Called Him Mister Pip: Great Expectations and Postcolonialism in Lloyd Jones’s Mister Pip

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Even though Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations was published roughly 150 years ago, it still has a great impact in literature today. An example of this is the 2006 novel Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones. The novel uses Great Expectations in a unique way. Children on the island of Bougainville read Charles Dickens’s work in school, and the novel starts to play a very large role in the small community, which is being torn apart by a brutal civil war. To answer the question how author Lloyd Jones uses Great Expectations to reflect on postcolonial issues in his novel Mister Pip, it is important to look at several recurring themes that fall under the umbrella term postcolonialism. This thesis will focus on the subjects of mimicry, intertextuality, oral storytelling, rewriting history, and migrating characters. The characters in the novel Mister Pip will be the main focus in the discussion of all of these themes. This thesis uses these elements to answer the previously mentioned research question.
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