Truth and Justice are Instrumental in Creating Different Perceptions of the World

The novel Jasper Jones, written by Craig Silvey, is a coming of age, a post-modern gothic mystery novel set in an Australian rural town in the 1960s. The novel outlines the story by centering around the protagonist, Charlie Bucktin, who finds himself amidst a crime, which highlights the importance of truth and justice in formulating human experiences and shaping the understandings of oneself and the world. It displays that events are not always positive, and justice is not dealt out fairly, with the truth always remaining a burden.

The deficiency of morality in the town is significant in influencing the assumptions of people’s identity and in propelling a negative community culture. It is described, “..they will notice now because something has been burned,” that Jasper Jones is marginalized as a scapegoat until the end due to the prejudice prevalent among the townsfolk.

Silvey suggests that people’s response to a disclosed truth can empower or diminish their supremacy, creating a clearer comprehension of their true, human nature.

The repetition of “and’ highlights a change in charlie’s behavior…Consequently, this novel supports the idea of immortality through the portrayal of uninvolved bystanders as an overall force that powers the events of injustice that takes place in Corrigan.

The text illuminates that human “justice” systems are innately corrupt and will use their privilege to employ unjust methods to seek justice. This is expressed when Jasper Jones leaves “Corrigan behind for good.” Charlie states that “No spotter planes. No searches. Nothing stirred…and nobody noticed.” The repetition of “no” denotes that Jasper Jones was not given equal opportunity when he disappeared, in comparison to Laura Wishart, due to his identity as being “different”. Additionally, Charlie describes Jasper Jones as, “too smart and too fast…too clever and canny” The repetition and usage of “too” displays irony emphasizing that the searching of Jasper Jones would only be small because the unknown truth has already been solved, with the culprit as Jasper who committed arson.

In contrast to the powerful authorities, the test elucidates that powerless people who seek justice utilize unconventional and unlawful methods, as fairness will not be achieved. An example of this includes Eliza when she commits arson. Charlie describes Eliza as a, “hard-faced girl standing on her own, staring at the remains of her house without shock or sorrow.” It parallels to the story of Eric Cooke’s explanation as to why he murdered others, stating, “I just wanted to hurt somebody,” both of whom choose to denote their anger and highlight that crime has a much more deeper layer, and people perhaps are not fully personally held accountable for crimes. Moreover, the usage of “murmuring” highlights the rumors and gossip that spread around, ultimately displaying that sometimes a crime remains unsolved, because people are unwilling to see the truth, and instead, concur with the judgment that is based with prejudice and racism. The novel portrays that crimes can be committed by different people, and occasionally, the only way to achieve justice is through unsafe and non-traditional means including arson committed by Eliza.

Justice, truth, and crimes are intertwined as individuals are influenced by several factors and experiences which results in a preconception of certain individuals. The relationships between friends, family, and neighbors in the town, shape the view of the truth. Charlie’s compelling attitude to discover the truth before judging places characters in their authentic form, resulting in allowing him to perceive the hidden Corrigan beneath the façade. Craig Silvey poignantly completes this novel by revealing human nature and underscores that truth and justice are instrumental in creating different perceptions of the world. It ultimately leads readers to reflect on the corrupt and flawed world. 

07 July 2022
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