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 our understanding of what we believe is right or wrong. Reading this novel we come to realize that the people of Corrigan are hypocrites, cable of holding two conflicting values or beliefs. Jasper Jones does not deny that he is a “thief, a liar, a thug, a truant”, but despite this, he says “I never stole a thing I dint need… and all my life so far, sh*t’s bin taken off me, so I’m evening the ledger a bit” (page 34). My attitude towards stealing is that its wrong, but Jasper’s character has challenged this belief and suggests that stealing is okay and can be justified in this case because he did it to get the things he needs “because its never gonna get offered”. When Jasper asked Charlie to help him hide the body of Laura Wishart, he was not only asking him to break the law but was making Charlie go against his morals and he had to reconsider what the “right thing” to do was. He knew that tampering with her body was illegal but he did it anyway to help Jasper stay out of trouble and find the truth of what had happened. Craig is trying to show us that we all hold conflicting views on things and that sometimes we can think one way and act in another. It has made me realize that I too may contradict my own values and positions me...
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