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Jasper Jones English Assignment

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Chloe Tomlinson

on 13 June 2013

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Transcript of Jasper Jones English Assignment

Jasper Jones
By Craig Silvey
Vietnam War:
The Composer's Context
Craig Silvey born in 1982, he grew up on an orchard in Dwellingup in the south-west of Western Australia. Before his family moved to Dwellingup, they lived in Armadale, on the outskirts of south-east Perth, where Silvey attended a primary school built within the grounds of a replica early-settlers' goldmining town called Pioneer Village. It had Clydesdale horses, street theatre and gold panning. ''It was an amazing and delightful community-driven place to go to school,'' he says.
In early 2008, Silvey completed his second novel Jasper Jones with the aid of an Australia Council New Work Grant. Jasper Jones was published in 2009 by Allen & Unwin Australia and has since been sold in thirteen countries around the world. The film rights for the novel have been sold to Australian director Rebecca O’Brien.
I am not going to say anything about the plot, I will simply try to convey how vivid and alive the book is, how brilliant it is to meet Charlie Bucktin, Jeffery Lu and Jasper Jones, these three living, breathing people that will forever stay in my heart, the fantastic and witty dialogue between the three before- mentioned characters, the marvellous story, rich and so full of wisdom, the plot's well judged and impeccable conclusion, and above all else, the creation of Jasper Jones himself, so charismatic, so cleverly used by his maker, sparely so that you long for his every appearance.
- Annette (Timeless Books and The Ravens Parlour Bookstore, SA).

I like to think that I'm various portions of my character have led into these three boys and being extrapolated and very much exaggerated. It was a joy to write all three of them, but I guess I feel the biggest kingship was with Charlie simply because his voice echo's mine the strongest at that age and because we become to know him so well and I think the older I get the more I like to sort of become Jasper Jones, as he's a lot more quitter, independent and a thoughtful figure.
- Craig Silvey.
'Impossible to put down… There's tension, injustice, young love, hypocrisy… and, above all, the certainty that Silvey has planted himself in the landscape as one of our finest storytellers.'
-Australians Women Weekly.
'Jasper Jones is a riveting tale, studded with laugh-out-loud and life-affirming moments yet underpinned by clear-eyed examination of human weakness and misdemeanours.'
- Adelaide Advertiser.

‘A finely crafted novel that deals with friendship, racism and social ostracism…Saluting To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Silvey movingly explores the stifling secrets that lurk behind the most ordinary of facades.’
- Marie Claire UK

In the year of 1959, war broke out between communist North Vietnam and democratic South Vietnam. In an effort to stop the spread of Communism, America and her allies, including Australia, sent thousands of troops to Vietnam. In total, approximately 50 000 Australians served in the conflict between 1965 and 1972. The majority of them were conscripted, which means that their military service was compulsory. Australians became divided over the issue of conscription and whether or not Australia should be involved in the war. Towards the end of the decade, thousands of people demonstrated against the government and some protests became violent.
Influences On Novel:
The 1960's was a really dark period for the many people whose race was noticeably different. Indigenous Australians, in most states were deprived of full citizenship of the new nation on grounds of their race. Restrictive immigration laws were also in place at the time to preference "white" European immigrants to Australia. However, people's perceptions were slowly beginning to change in the late 1960's. A 1967 Referendum regarding Aboriginal rights was carried with over 90% approval by the electorates. These rights allowed the Indigenous peoples to be counted as a part of the Australian population.
Influences On Novel:
Location and time period of the novel-


Issues, attitudes and values-

Language devices-

Location and time period of the novel-


Issues, attitudes and values-

Language devices-

During the 1960’s there was much fear that communism would undermine Australian plans for a peaceful and secure future. The outbreak of the Vietnam War was seen as further communist aggression, and additionally inflamed the fear of the "domino effect" (e.g. if one state in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow). As a result, the fear of communism became major political issues.
Racism throughout the1960's influenced the characters in the way that it enhanced certain characteristics, and got the readers to further understand the characters themselves, as well as feel certain emotions towards them. Racist attitudes and actions are evident all throughout the novel. For example, the Lu family are repeatedly discriminated due to the fact that they are Vietnamese immigrants. A quote from the novel regarding this is; "Jeffery's parents are Vietnamese, so he's ruthlessly belted about by the boys at school." This is all further evident in the novel when the Lu family receive omnipresent racist comments, and encounter physical abuse regarding their race. Another character in the novel who receives racial torment, is Jasper Jones who is Aboriginal. He is completely shunned and looked down upon by the town of Corrigin. Much of the racism towards him was driven by ideology that Aboriginals were not considered citizens. A quote from Jasper Jones himself relating to this is; “They rekon I’m just half an animal with half a vote.” Until 1967, Indigenous peoples were counted as part of the flora and fauna, hence why Jasper’s reference to ‘half an animal’.
Racism influenced the location and time period of the novel, as Western Australia was home to many Indigenous and multicultural peoples facing daily discrimination, therefore making it a believable and appropriate setting.
Racism influenced the language used throughout the novel, with certain comments being made towards characters, which we wouldn’t usually hear nowadays. Some of the comments include; “Fuck off. Cong”, (Cricket player to Jeffery), and; “He’s a red! Fucking rat! He’s got a fucken card. I know it. He’s probably killed that young girl. Go back to Hanoi, rats”, (directed at An Lu and his family). The use of these racist comments, enables the reader’s to feel sympathy and compassion towards the characters. Therefore, the reader is able to understand the significant aspects of racism in the novel, but also in general. In relation, imagery is created through the use of racist language, further allowing the reader to feel a certain way towards the characters and situations presented. Imagery is made evident in this quote from the novel; “It’s like watching a puppy crossing a busy road”.
The idea of racism in the novel allows us to contemplate racism in our own world. By highlighting past injustices and discriminatory ideologies, a novel like Jasper Jones can show us how far we have come and why we must keep striving to make our world a better place for all.
Due to the Vietnam War being of such a dark and violent period in time, it added to the overall intensity of the location of the novel. Furthermore, aiding in the whole ordeal macabre events in a mysterious desolate setting. The Vietnam War also influenced the time period of the novel, as the 60’s were a time when the War was in absolute full action adding to the tension of the overall novel.
The Vietnam War influenced the characters as it created interest and gripping scenes which the Lu family, who are Vietnamese immigrants, associated with. Throughout the novel, this family are constantly outcast by conservatives because of their Vietnamese heritage. A scene which clearly demonstrates this, is where a member from the town, Sue Findlay, physically abuses Mrs. Lu because her son was balloted through to Vietnam. Not one member of the town bothers to help Mrs. Lu, as they all foresee this mistreatment to be a fair act, believing that the Lu family should just bear the brunt of the burgeoning anger about the war.
Issues, attitudes and values throughout the novel are all influenced by the Vietnam War, as numerous situations uprise, especially with the Lu family, which are all directly instigated by the war itself. The majority of attitudes associated with the people whom live in Corrigan, are that of bias beliefs towards the Lu family. This is due to the fact that the Vietnamese were specifically targeted during the time of the Vietnam War. The idea that families, such as the Lu family, could actually enrich the Australian life, was a completely foreign concept at the time.

Particular parts of language displayed in the novel, can be said to have been influenced by the Vietnam War, such as the dialogue expressed when Mrs Findlay attacks Mrs Lu; “She screamed until her face was red, the stomped over to Mrs Lu. She slapped her cup up, right into her chest and chin, staining her thin summer blouse and scalding her skin. The cup smashed. Mrs Lu, stunned, had bowed slightly and backed away. But Sue Findlay hadn’t finished. Jabbing her finger, she screeched the most horrible words, the nastiest things imaginable, her voice uneven with tears, her eyes crazy.”
Influences On Novel:
Location and time period of the novel-


Issues, attitudes and values-

Language devices-
Throughout ‘Jasper Jones’, communism can be seen to influence the characters, as the fear of it seems to further conflict Charlie in his struggling campaign, standing up for “what is right”, when witnessing the unremitting maltreatment of his friends and their families. The fear of communism also influences the members of the Lu family, as they’re continuously looked down upon by the small town of Corrigan, whom view them as a threat. The majority of these townspeople basically associated the Lu family with being communist, simply because they were Vietnamese.
Communism influenced the location and time period of the novel, as during the 60’s, the fear of communism was staggering. The possibility of communism spreading to Australia from Asia was regarded with increasing seriousness as political change came to the region. This influenced the desolate location of Corrigan, as it is a place beset by the fear of the unknown, much like the way people viewed communism.
Connecting The Contexts
When relating the author's context to the historical context of the book, Craig Silvey was always attracted to southern gothic fiction. As he says himself; “There's something very warm and generous about those regional American writers like Twain and Lee and Capote, and it seemed to be a literary ilk that would lend itself well to the Australian condition. So I finished up with this strange little amalgam: a coming-of-age, regional mystery novel, stuffed inside a nervous little love story, garnished with family drama and adolescent escapism and anguish. And then there's Jeffrey Lu, who, I have to say, I wish were my best friend. I think Jeffrey might well be my proudest literary creation.”
Craig Silvey also says; “I wanted to explore a lot of things with this book, but one of my primary areas of consideration was the sloughing of innocence that is growing up, that moment where the bubble is burst and you're suddenly exposed to the real truth of things and the blind trust of childhood dissolves. What I try to address in Jasper Jones is that some folks learn to live as adults, but never quite grow up. They live without that critical filter, still inside that bubble, protecting its thin skin by still subscribing to the same myths that they've always abided by. And it's an insular way to live: fearful and insecure. And so there's this kind of dichotomy, where you can choose to know, to learn and challenge and question, which can be a sad, lonely and isolating thing, but ultimately a brave act; or you can never challenge that status quo, which invites the fear of the unknown, and allows myth and tradition to flourish. It's really that point that I wanted to test Charlie with: the burden of knowing, and the comfort of not-knowing. One being ultimately powerful, the other very fragile. And so one of the reasons I set the book in the sixties, other than the fact that it dovetailed well with the southern gothic angle, was that the mid-sixties were supposed to be that watershed moment where Australia truly grew up. But one of the reasons that the period is so easily identifiable and recognisable in the book is because, well, maybe we really didn't. Maybe we just learned to be adult, rather than to really come of age”.
Throughout the novel, issues, attitudes and values were majorly influenced by the fear of communism. These were all mostly presented when the Lu family were in the scene. The town of Corrigan viewed them as un-Australian. Furthermore, the way the people of Corrigan associated the Lu family with being communists, simply because they were Vietnamese, shows the issues of stereotyping against other races by the people of the 1960’s. The fear of communism created issues of prejudice also, further demonstrating the values of certain characters.

Language in the novel; ‘Jasper Jones’, was partly influenced by the fear of communism, as numerous threats and comments were made to the Lu family (who are Vietnamese migrants). These comments were related to the fact that the people of Corrigan loathed their Vietnamese heritage, believing that they were a direct threat to Australia.
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