Jasper Jones Racism Quotes

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Through the perspective of a rural small-town community in 1960’s Australia, Craig Silvey's novel ‘Jasper Jones’ explores culpability and racial divide. The protagonist, Charlie Bucktin, marks innocence’s end when Corrigan’s outcasted scapegoat, Jasper Jones, places him in a dire situation, testing his morality. Consequentially, Charlie uncovers prejudicial parallels built between Jasper and the Lu family, who are targeted due to their ethnicity. The themes of prejudice, culpability, and scapegoating are prevalent throughout the novel. Silvey contends racism stems from ignorance – to overcome prejudices, people must strive to display empathy. Silvey asserts that every society has a scapegoat, to whom they assign collective blame to absolve …show more content…

This perspective gives the reader insight into how minorities at that time were regarded in relation to scapegoating – consequentially leading to the persecution of minority characters, including Jasper Jones, who is half-Aboriginal. Described as a ‘half-caste’, Jasper’s reputation among the Corrigan population is firmly established. “Jasper Jones has a terrible reputation in Corrigan. He’s a Thief, a Liar, a Thug, a Truant. He’s lazy and unreliable… In families throughout Corrigan, he’s the first name to be blamed for all manner of trouble. Whatever the misdemeanour, and no matter how clear their own child’s guilt, parents ask immediately: Were you with Jasper Jones?” Jasper’s ostracization and reputation implement negative stereotypes, which are projected onto children by their parents. These ideologies imbue Jasper with a multitude of flaws - fortifying the idea that Jasper is used as a scapegoat for the community’s wrongdoings. This explicates the notion that many of Corrigan’s residents are prejudiced, racist and ignorant, and allows the reader to reflect upon the discrimination within the context of a small-town community in 1960s

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