Jasper Jones

1117 Words5 Pages
Bigotry and stubbornness are perceptible attitudes of small-town communities in 1960's Western Australia. The notion that the inhabitants of the tight-knit community of Corrigan are racist, prejudiced and ignorant is explicated in Craig Silvey's coming of age novel, Jasper Jones. The bildungsroman is narrated by Charlie Bucktin, an adolescent from the small town of Corrigan. Charlie becomes unexpectedly involved with a local indigenous boy, Jasper, as they set out to discover the truth about the death of a young girl from their community. Throughout this quest, Charlie comes to many realisations about life, ultimately, that society can be very cruel. The prejudism and ignorance of the tight-knit community of Corrigan manifests in the…show more content…
Charlie articulates how he “never understood why you would ever feel the need to shoot the fish in the barrel… (if) they’re in a barrel, you’ve already caught them… they can’t escape... why bring guns into it?” Silvey’s use of characterisation and first person point of view portrays Charlie’s realisation of the community’s racial prejudice towards ‘the other’. The “fish” is symbolic of Charlie and how he is different to the people of Corrigan; who are like vultures – constantly seeking the chance to attack those that are considered the ‘minority’. Charlie’s close friend, Jeffrey Lu, is a gifted and committed cricket player who persistently tries to get himself in the local team, however, due to his Vietnamese background, “he’s ruthlessly bullied and belted about by the boys at school.” The emotive imagery and alliteration of “bullied” and “belted” further depict Charlie’s internal conflict in addition to his realisation of the community’s racial prejudice towards the peripheral of society. The use of emotive imagery positions readers to realise the extent to which powerful words can have; causing readers to recognise how crude and harrowing humankind can be towards the marginalised. Thus, Silvey effectively conveys to the reader how the indigenous race were isolated from ‘white Australian’ society; how intelligent individuals were ostracised; and, how groups of people with racially different backgrounds were isolated from mainstream Australian society. Society

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