Dolores Laimo (Matilda’s Mother) • Dolores is a central character of the novel in as much as she typifies the high moral ground of the fundamentalist Christians of the village. She is feisty and will not give way in an argument even if she may be losing it. She has a frightening authority when she visits the classroom. First Impressions of the Character • She is a bitter and hostile woman who is ‘angry all the time,’ possibly because her husband is safely tucked away in Townsville, protected from her lonely and uncertain life. • Harsh and protective of her daughter Matilda “Stout! Where’d you get that word from girl?” page 22 • Dolores can also be childish and stubborn at times too.” what would you do, girl? If a man was hiding in the jungle and he asked you to steal me. Would you do that?” page 23 • She strictly believes the content of “Good Book”, and goes to church. • Doesn’t take others opinions into account. She is very self opinionated. “ Relationships with Others • Dolores is friends with the ladies at the church, she is capable of having very normal ‘friendly’ relationships. Relationships with Others However, the relationship between Mr Watts and herself have a somewhat strange friendship. She does not seem to particularly like him very much, due to the book he is reading to his daughter. Also, it is the fact that he does not believe in the devil. Her other issue with Mr Watts was that he was a white man and white men had stolen her husband. Relationships with Others • Dolores and her daughter, Matilda, have a very strong bond. They both love each other very much, however, like most typical mother and daughter relationship they do have their ups and downs. Her relationship with Matilda is so strong that she would sacrifice her life for the rape of her only daughter, as she says to the redskins; • “Please. Have mercy. See. She is just a girl. She is my only girl. Please. I beg you. Not my darling Matilda.”(P.177). Relationships with Others • It just goes to show how the relationship between a mother and a daughter can have such a strong bond anywhere in the world. • Dolores is most certainly capable of having normal relationships with any other person on the island, it is just due to her stubbornness that she doesn’t have as many friends as you would think. Status/Job • • • • • • Dolores has a few different roles on the island: She is a mother to Matilda Wife Member of the church Teaches the class room about her beliefs. Village member Beliefs • Dolores faith was an intensity of belief and her beliefs could not be shaken. • It is slightly confusing that she is more concerned with believing in the devil than anything else. This may be because she as seen the devil with her own eyes. • When she came to speak at the school her subjects were faith and prayer so when Mr Watts confessed to not believing in the devil she stormed to the classroom, believing she could bully him into accepting what she believes. • This is also when she speaks of this devil women which she has seen. • “Well, the first devil I met was back then. I’ll tell you kids this just in case I am intersected by a redskin bullet because you need to know what to look out for, and maybe in this specialist area Mr Watts is no blimmin’ good. This women\, she live by herself, and one day she saw us kids hanging about she came over and started shouting ‘’Hey! If you fellas pinched the church money I will pluck your eyelashes out. People will see a plucked chicken and you know what you did, that you shitty kids stole the church’s money. ” She was scary. We heard she knew magic. She once turned a white man into marmalade and spread him on her toast. So when she asked us kids if we stole the church money we said, “No”, but that was the wrong answer. We could tell that because she looked grumpy. She was thinking what she would say next or maybe she was bored-we couldn’t tell, and ”(P.75) Strengths and Flaws • She has love for her daughter, Matilda, but tries to restrict her from the white world. “ • She will not admit she is wrong, she will argue for arguments sake. • Dolores can be too strong with her beliefs. • She pushes her daughter away by being grumpy and embarrassing at school. • She realises her mistakes and speaks up for Mr Watts’ death ; “Sir. I saw your men chop up the white man. He was a good man. I’m here as as Gods witness”. Whether your Impressions of the Character Changes as the Novel Progresses • As the novel progresses, my opinion of Dolores changes. • Although she is religious she does sin by lying and stealing Great Expectations. This act lead not only to her fellow villagers houses to be burnt down, but ultimately her death. • Warm to her when she sacrifices her life for Matilda, proving that she does love Matilda and is a responsible mother. Matilda recognises her mums act. “‘My brave Mum had known this when she stepped forward to proclaim herself God’s witness to the coldblooded butchery of her old enemy, Mr Watts.’ (p181) • She is more humble with her religion at the beginning of the book. When she came to speak at the school her subjects were faith and prayer so when Mr Watts confessed to not believing in the devil she stormed to the classroom, believing she could bully him into accepting what she believes. “ “ Discuss the relationship between Matilda and her Mother. It is considered one of the most important in the novel. Do you agree? • The relationship between herself and her mother is a very important relationship. Although the mother and daughter have fall outs and have hidden secrets, they share an unbreakable bond. A beautiful example of this is when Dolores sacrifices her life for Matilda’s rape “Please. Have mercy. See. She is just a girl. She is my only girl. Please. I beg you. Not my darling Matilda.”(P.177). Jones’ use of short sentences makes each word of Dolores’ have meaning and emotion.