Jasper Jones By: Ciara Mickle
The Novel Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey revolves around a young boy named Charlie Bucktin living in the small Australian town of Corrigan in the 1960’s. Charlie is exposed to the confronting issues of racial prejudice, injustice and moral duality. He is challenged to question right from wrong, has to come to the realization that law doesn’t always uphold justice and we as readers are positioned to understand that people are capable of holding two conflicting values and remain in confortable harmony. The ideas are portrayed through Silvey’s use of narrative conventions that are used to either challenge or reinforce our values, attitudes and beliefs on the issues explored.
Our morals and ethics is
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Multiculturalism, which is familiar to contemporary Australians, was unheard of in the 1960’s and the concept of people from other countries and cultural backgrounds enriching in Australian life was a foreign concept. This novel explores the racism behind the discrimination towards those from non-European backgrounds such as Jeffery Lu and his family. Silvey’s selection of setting, the context of this novel and the surrounding circumstances such as the Vietnam War provides an understanding of the current attitudes that society may have had towards certain ideas. At the time of this novel, many Australians were resentful for having to go over and fight in the war. Charlie’s best friend Jeffery, who is of Vietnamese background, was subject to discrimination and copped a lot of bullying because of this. A woman whose son had died in the war attacked Jeffery’s mother, Mrs Lu. “She slapped her cup up, right into her chest… scalding her skin” (page 128). This scene positioned me to feel sorry for Mrs Lu and reinforced by belief that everyone, no matter what race, should be treated with equality. Jeffery is often victimized by other kids, like Warwick Trent the teenage bully of the town, because of his race. He’s the boy “who’s always been two years bigger and broader than anyone his age” (page 57). He and the other boys that Jeffery often encounters at the local oval are intimidated by his intellect and his cricket skills. They try to establish