Peter Temple the Broken Shore Views and Values Essay

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Peter Temple's acclaimed crime fiction novel 'The Broken Shore' chronicles the unfolding of a murder investigation on the rugged Victorian coastline through the eyes of a morally flexible small town cop. The novel showcases the complex social structures apparent in contemporary rural Victoria, particularly focusing on the often shaky relations between anglo and indigenous Australians. It also addresses the segregation between the have's and the have not's within society and the institutions that separate the social classes and explores the intricacies of the arguably broken Australian/Victorian legal system. Temple uses Joe Cashin, his lone-crusader type protagonist, to assert his view that the justice system
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Through the commentary of characters like Cashin and Cecily Addison, who are both relative outsiders in Cromarty, Temple is able to convey a fictional first hand view of the insular society that holds in high esteem the likes of Charles Bourgoyne and Helen Castlemen, as they are moneyed, educated and challenge the stereotypical country hick labels that are often collectively placed on citizens residing in rural areas. Through the use of Cashin and Cecily, Temple is also able to construct an unbiased observation of how these same areas discriminate against the, often indigenous and/or low socio economic, down trodden members of society and ostracise them both physically, through the demarkation line that tells indigenous Australians where they can and cannot live, restricting them to the "Daunt settlement", and also intellectually, through the copious use of words like "coon" and "nigger" in regard to the "blackfellas". Surprisingly it is not only the bogan-esque beach bums who assert their politically incorrect and blatantly racist attitudes towards the indigenous residents. Members of the working class like Hopgood and his team for example also exhibit prejudice against the Aboriginals and contrary to the traditional 'innocent 'til proven guilty' notion it seems to be more of a 'guilty 'til proven innocent' situation when the young "coons" are suspected of robbing and murdering Bourgoyne. This is perhaps the product of how the parochialism of small
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