Jasper Jones

Year 10 English
English Portfolio Assessment Task 3, Term 1
Unit of Work: Novel Study, Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” - Oscar Wilde. This quotation articulates that people have trouble accepting the truth about their culture and society and may not want to hear what is correct because it can be damaging to their personal view. The truth holds a dual effect in our lives it can either broaden our perspective of the world through open minded thinking or it could perplex us as it becomes more confronting and difficult to accept. These ideas about the nature of truth are explored in Craig Silvey’s 1960’s Australian novel, Jasper Jones. The story, told from the perspective of Charlie, the main character displays to the reader through his experiences, how truth can have its various effects on society and the value system that we hold. The manifestations of truth are explored in this novel, specifically its negative expression, the real truth being hard to accept because it may bring understanding to our self view or attitudes that bring them into a negative light, the truth that people want to be told as to satisfy their inner selves against what is the actual truth and the truth being a burden to carry.

The novel displays how the correct truth may be difficult to accept because it may bring illumination to people’s self-views. The novel explains this through the characterization of the town as a community. They are unwilling to accept the facts presented to them because it may bring the values that they have into contradiction. Jeffrey Lu, Charlie’s best friends mum is attacked in the town hall. The town’s people watch on in silence with no one speaking up. The attacker Sue Finlay pits here sons death in Vietnam on her family based on their Vietnamese heritage. ‘She screamed until her face was red … She slapped her cup up, right into her chest … scalding her skin … her...