Jasper Jones Prejudice Quotes

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Prejudice, or the negative treatment of people based on preconceived ideas about their race, gender, background or religion, is a central idea explored in both Jasper Jones and Hidden Figures. Both texts are set in the 1960s, a period during which many groups in Australian and American society were pushing for equal rights. Craig Silvey and Theodore Melfi offer unflinching portrayals of the ways in which their characters face prejudice in their everyday lives, and how they are impacted, physically and emotionally, by it. However, the novel and the film come to very different conclusions about the capacity of people to overcome their prejudices. Silvey relies on characterisation and intense descriptive language to highlight the often insidious …show more content…

While both texts certainly contain stark and shocking examples of highly racist and sexist incidents, they also demonstrate the everyday, grinding nature of prejudice for the characters. In Jasper Jones, the titular character Jasper has faced a lifetime of prejudice and poor treatment because of his Aboriginal heritage. We are told that Jasper “has a terrible reputation in Corrigan”. Silvey’s choice of the word “reputation” is particularly important in showing how Jasper’s everyday existence is affected by prejudice because a “reputation” is something that grows over time and builds on itself. Silvey’s powerful descriptive language, and particularly the list of Jasper’s supposed crimes, written in short bullet-like phrases with capital letters for each noun, work to show how definite and unbending the opinions of Corrigan’s townsfolk are. To them, Jasper is and will always be “a Thief, a Liar, a Thug, a Truant.” While the experiences of the protagonists in Hidden Figures are not as acute as Jasper’s, they still experience racism as a way of life. For example, the scene in which the women are approached by a police officer after breaking down shows how ingrained mistreatment by the police is in their lives. All

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