After the “redskin” soldiers left, Matilda and the village were in a daze. Daniel was eventually found crucified in a tree. Matilda woke up that night and wandered in a strong wind, listening to heavy thunder. She wanted to visit Grace’s grave to tell her what had happened to Mr. Watts, but she never made it beyond the river, which was rushing and wild in the vicious storm. Flirting with the idea of allowing the river to end her life, she was suddenly swept up in its current and thrust beneath the surface, at which point she decided—in a reflexive way—that she wanted to live. She found a floating log and clung tightly to it, floating atop the rapids until finally flowing out into the coastal waters, which were calmer. This log was her savior, and so she took to calling it Mr. Jaggers, “the man who had saved Pip’s life.”
Once again, fiction has a tangible relationship to the real world in Mister Pip, proving itself to be a survival tool; even in times of extreme strife, Matilda looks to Great Expectations for solace and perspective, stepping into its imaginative world in order to better accept her own reality.
After floating on Mr. Jaggers in the rainy night, Matilda came upon Mr. Masoi’s fishing boat. After hoisting her aboard, Mr. Masoi told her to be quiet as he paddled her (along with the entire Masoi family) out to sea. Later that night, Matilda safely awoke on a much bigger boat, which then took her to the Solomon Islands, south of Bougainville. In the Solomons’ capital, a doctor inspected her and asked where her father was.
In her escape, Matilda travels to the Solomon Islands, which take their name from King Solomon of the Bible. As such, she charts the Queen of Sheba’s path from her homeland to Solomon’s kingdom. Taken with Mr. Watts’s comparison of Grace to the Queen of Sheba, Matilda’s journey is symbolic of the merging of two cultures, which takes place in the Bible when the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon share their beliefs. By drawing this parallel, Jones suggests that Matilda is not fully leaving Bougainville behind, but rather taking its culture with her as a representative in foreign lands.