Jasper Jones Character Analysis

Words: 904
Pages: 4

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey is set in the fictional town of Corrigan in Western Australia in the late 1960s. The story is told through the eyes of the 14-year-old protagonist, Charlie Bucktin who forms an unlikely friendship with Jasper Jones, a half-caste who is blamed for much of the crime and other misfortune in the town. Their short but significant association exposes a township grappling with prejudice, ignorance, morality and deceit. The novel is also a coming of age story that explores the challenging transition from childhood to adulthood, gender role stereotypes, and the nature of bravery and courage.

Silvey also interweaves the issues faced by the town’s Vietnamese family, to reflect Australian attitudes towards the Vietnam War
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Charlie likens himself to Atticus Finch in his attempts to support Jasper and gain his respect. ‘He (Jasper) must have presumed me to be genuine and fair. Like Atticus Finch: dignified and reasonable and wise.’ (p.18). As the story develops Charlie also sees his father as Atticus ‘….. By contrast Mad Jack Lionel is seen as the counterpart to Boo Radley who was also a recluse and treated as an outcast.
Silvey also uses intertextual references throughout the text, referring to novels such as Catcher in the Rye and Huckleberry Finn, and comic book characters such as Spiderman and Batman. The main characters of these books provide a benchmark for Charlie in their attempts to pursue strength and integrity, qualities to which he and other characters aspire. Reading these books also provides Charlie with a way to escape, both physically and emotionally from his
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In this scene, Charlie makes a bet with a school bully, Warwick, that if he can sneak into ‘Mad Jack’s’ property and steal more than four peaches, Warwick won’t beat or bully him for a whole year. As a bookish type of boy, this challenge presents Charlie with an opportunity to prove his bravery and be seen as hero amongst his peers; two themes that prevail throughout the novel. The children are unaware that Charlie has already formed an association with the town’s recluse, and they look on in eager anticipation as Charlie cleverly orchestrates the encounter where he is seen to boldly ‘steal’ the fruit, whilst Mad Jack chases after him with a shotgun in hand. Even though the theft of the peaches is contrived, Charlie must still face a real fear: the bees and ants that are crawling over the rotting