Silvey's Novel "Jasper Jones"

Topics: Novels

Michael. Jones English

The award-winning book, Jasper Jones, written by Craig Silvey is set in a diminutive Australian town called Corrigan in 1965. The protagonist, Charlie Bucktin, must recline and collaborate with Jasper Jones on a reluctant journey to scrutinize the diabolical murderer of Laura Wishart. As the novel progresses, discrimination of race substantially occurs in surrounding characters with different racial backgrounds. These characters also agreeably have less “power” in society. As “power” can enable an individual to have a capability or incapability in a variety of activities, it can lead to dissensions.

There is a magnitude of characteristics that can define an individual’s power such as appearance, race, popularity and heritage. Therefore, Silvey demonstrates the unbalanced disempowerment between racial individuals on both an individual and systemic level. The author pessimistically criticizes racial power through his characterisation of Jasper Jones and Jeffery Lu’s family.

As Silvey uses the character, Jasper, and his reputation in society to demonstrate the varying power between characters of racial parties.

An individual exemplification of racial influence on Jasper’s reputation is when the community comes to a unanimous consensus that he is “a thief, a liar, a thug, a truant” (pg.6). Charlie is lead to a predicament as the parents/caregivers blame Jasper for all problems that arise. Charlie’s thoughts of parents in their society are detrimental and he believes that they criticize Jasper for criminological activity occasionally due to his reputation and race. As Charlie enforced “no matter how clear their own child’s guilt, parents ask immediately: Were you with Jasper Jones? And of course, more often than not, their kids will lie.

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They nod, because Jasper’s involvement instantly absolves them. They’re been waylaid by the devil.”(pg. 7). Charlie’s judgemental tone and imagery is clearly inflicted through the use of the word “devil” towards Jasper. The compassionate parents always turn a blind eye to their child’s involvement, leading to a disempowerment of race as Corrigan’s children and parent’s authority will oversee other racial parties. In addition, the instant assumption from the parents of whether the child was “with Jasper Jones” leads to the ideology that every misdemeanour involves Jasper. Leading to the detrimental cessation of Laura Wishart. Causing Jasper to emphasize “Bloody hell. Listen, Charlie, we can’t tell anyone. No way. Specially the police. Because they are gonna say it was me. Straight up. Understand?” (pg.18). Causing to collaborate repetition into his sentence to influence Charlie that he is a misjudged person. The commonality of short phase and “slang” have been demonstrated throughout numerous words such as “gonna” in suggestion Jasper has diminutive education causing Jasper having a voluntary tone of powerlessness. As Jasper develops a camaraderie alliance with Charlie, the investigation continues leading to the local constabulary offensively harassing Jasper in return hopefully earning valuable information. Jasper emphasized to Charlie “They don’t need a reason, mate. Besides, who am I going to report It to anyway?” (p.g 178), this creates a sense of pungent power between the progressional racial barriers, as Jasper exclaimed “They don’t need a reason” leading to Jasper emblazoning disempowerment, causing him to face horrendous contingencies. In addition, the collaboration of a rhetorical question has been imputed for further powerless confirmation of asking himself “who am I going to report It to anyway?”. Leading, Jasper taking an occasional forceful penance from the police.

Forms of Vietnamese discrimination have been taken in consideration with Jeffery’s surroundings. As Jeffery Lu and his relatives are Hanoi expatriates, they face profuse stereotypical representations over the narrator’s perception. As described as a “puppy been watched over a busy street” (pg.76), he is referring to Jeffery as a diminutive and delicate compared to his peripherals in the bowling area which eventually leads to continental profanity. As someone exclaimed “Fuck off, Cunt Eyes” (p.g77), the usage of profanity was predominantly aimed towards Jeffery been exclusive due to his asian nationality, leading to the figure pacifically emphasizing “Cunt Eyes”. This reinforces his power of discriminating an accustomed asian trait; persisting miniature slanted eyes, coincidentally making everyone in Corrigan to come to an unanimous consensus, leading to Jeffery and his close companions sentiment disempowerment. As Jeffery gets deteriorated “angrily pushed and rebuked- sometimes among all the bowlers, who shove him around like a pinball, trip him up, kicks his ball away.”(pg. 77), causing Charlie using personification and imagery to describe his “angry” perception he has towards Jeffreys belligerent peripherals and the correlation between a pinball game towards Jeffery’s accustomed experiences as Charlie emphasizes the struggle and bulling occurrences, as Jeffery in Charlies ideology is perceived as the “ball”. Furthermore, they are also perceived on the television of Laura Wishart’s death which lead to Charlie questioning the uninformative enquiry about the Vietnam war on Corrigan news and deems to be “shocked” (p.g156). As Charlie emphasized “I’m expectant. Hoping to hear something about Jeffery’s relatives. Some kind of outrage.” (pg. 156). Substantial amount of emotive speech is shown for Silvery to convey Charlies aggrieving perspective towards the reader. Due to Laura Wishart’s death been impeccably inferior then millions of deaths in Corrigan. Other vulnerable scenes such as the night wreckage on An Lu’s impeccable garden have taken consideration. As the intruder, Mick exasperatedly approaches in inebriation; described by Charlie ‘” he might be drunk” (pg. 269). Other characters such as Charles father, Harry Rawlings and Roy Sparkman assisted by producing an inoperative automobile, leading Mick emphasizing twice “He’s involved. He’s red. He’s a red! Fucking rat!” (p.g269,268). Mick creates anaphora to reinforce the issue continuously when he uses “He’s”, leading to Mr Lu feeling self-judged in Corrigan society with exclamation marks collaborated into his vocabulary to insure Mr Lu heard to insure power. Precedingly, resentfully saying “He probably killed that young girl. Go back to Hanoi, rats.” (p.g 269). Consequently, suggesting that they are communist captivating land from fleeing the Vietnam war. Usage of animal metaphor, controversial language and provocative tone has shown dramatically towards racial differences. As Mick expressed “Go back to Hanoi, rats.” Which Imputed the hatred and antagonism from “stealing” his job as an engineer. Leading to An Lu’s family emblazoned without prerogatives in society. Throughout, effectual usage of aesthetic features and stylistic devices, Silvey conveyed racial discrimination throughout the book.

Overall, Silvey’s literature in Jasper Jones; novel demonstrated an inequal distribution of racial discrimination in a magnitude of characters, including Jasper Jones, Jeffery Lu in different types of themes and quotes accumulated with a verity of textual features and aesthetic devices.

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Silvey's Novel "Jasper Jones". (2019, Nov 27). Retrieved from

Silvey's Novel "Jasper Jones"
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