The enigmatic character of Mr Watts starts to catch the imagination not just of the main character Matilda but also her mother who is confused and scared by the teachings of the white man.
A classic clash of ignorance and knowledge reverts to a more tangible one of God against the devil with the non-believer of Watts becoming a target for Matilda's mother. That anger spills over into theft and when the village is raided by one of the sides in the civil war the pebbled tribute that the young girl has made to Dicken's character Pip from Great expectations leads to complications.
Who is Pip is the question the fighters demand? Showing them the book would settle it but the book has gone missing. Of course the question who is Pip is the fundamental one for all of the children in the school as well as for Watts himself. Is Pip, a boy who left his roots to chase great expectations an inspiration, for Watts is the world of Pip's London an escape from the island. Who is Pip is more of a fundamental question than the one the fighter's initially pose.