Jasper Jones Study Notes

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* ‘This late, the architecture is desolate and reached of colour’’ symbolic, suggests of life having been washed out in the town-devoid of colour. •“She swipes the curtain back, pleased to see me. She even has sunflowers on the windowsill” – Pathetic Fallacy * Miner’s hall – The hall is full of people for the new years fireworks. “There’s an enormous bonfire in the pebbled car park of the Miners hall, a pyramid of old railway sleepers feeding the flame. Against the wall of the hall, there are crates of fireworks”. “Behind the hall they’ve shovelled coals into a long hole”. “People spill out of the hall like wasps from a hive”. Pg 296. * Inside the cottage- “The inside of the cottage is dim. Its strange light the colour of egg yolk. The wallpaper is split and faded. Everything smells of dust and turpentine. On my left is a wall hanging of butterflies with pins through their bodies. They don’t look very colourful. The hall mantle is full of photographs and trinkets and doilies” pg 300 – 301. His furniture is very bad “He gestures towards to ratty coaches by the window” pg 301 * From the outside it is described as “The yard beyond is scruffy and dilapidated. Along the border closest to the river, where the bush meets the property thick thatches of blackberries press through the rusted wire fence. On the other side towards the cottage, I notice a goat tethered to a star picket and lying on its side”. Pg 300. * “He’d come in from the back, ducking through his wire fence and started snooping around.” * The wire fence was there as Jasper described himself invading Lionel’s property, symbolising that Lionel may have some secrecy or something he does not want anyone else to see. 3.

* “And so Corrigan remains a town of barnacles” – Metaphor, relates to Miner’s Hall incident. The town of Corrigan is close knit; therefore they cling onto each other – relating back to barnacles. * Pete Wishart, Laura and Eliza’s father, is probably the most hypocritical character in the novel. Whenever Charlie mentions him, he almost consistently remarks that he is the “Shire President”. Mr Wishart lives in the posh part of town in a lovely home and is a man of influence. Yet he is a drunkard and an abusive, sexually violent man. He has impregnated Laura but savagely beats Jasper Jones in the confines of the jail cell as if Jasper is responsible for her disappearance. In an echo of Charlie’s mother’s misplaced guilt Jasper tells us ‘...he was sticking the boot in most of all. Pissed as a rat and twice as angry. Screamin at me, spittin. Where is she? What did you do? Stinkin of turps, worse than my old man’ (pp. 136-137) * Charlie repeats town gossip that Jasper Jones is a ‘half-caste’, which angers Charlie’s father. When it becomes clear that Charlie doesn’t understand the term his father ‘softened and explained’. (p.6) 4.

Like Jasper, Jeffrey Lu’s family are racial ‘outsiders’. They are Vietnamese Australians during the Vietnam war. Australian men, including those from Corrigan, are being drafted to fight in the war (e.g. p. 125). An – Jeffrey’s father – is an engineer who is sponsored to work on the Corrigan mine. The Lus are subjected to a casual and universal racism. Jeffrey is called ‘Cong’ by the cricket team and his ancestry mimicked ‘Ah, me so solly’. ‘Communist’ is an all purpose slur, also used by Jeffrey. Perhaps it is in an effort to demonstrate their ‘Australianness’,. * The Lus poke fun at the communists too. Their cat is named Chairman Meow and their (swearing) budgie Chairman Wow. * Despite their attempts to assimilate, the Lus are blamed for the impact the war has on the town. Sue Findlay attacks Mrs Lu after her husband is killed in the war and her son drafted (p. 128. Mr Buktin’s explanation p. 130). Yet the An family are victims of the war too. Jeffrey’s uncle and aunt are killed in a bombing raid in the war (p.114) leaving behind orphaned children that the Lus cannot remove from the...
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