a) Character: The way you constructed one of your characters Jasper Jones, was it to show the reality of the crucial judgement made upon Indigenous people back in the 1960s?
Yes, this novel was written to show readers how unfairly Indigenous people were treated. They weren’t even considered as people, they were considered as flora and fauna. Like Jasper says himself: “They reckon I’m just half an animal with half a vote.” (pg. 22-23) Voting rights weren’t considered necessary for them as it was for the other citizens- which refer to when Jasper says “half a vote”. Beyond this resentment lied the vague perceptions made towards Jasper Jones. In the small town of Corrigan, it’d be easy to understand how bigoted and judgemental town folk can be, especially when no boundaries are fixed to show what’s really right and wrong. Jasper explains to Charlie how he’s never stolen anything people couldn’t go without. He states: “..it’s these people who expect three meals a day, pressed clothes.. a car and a job, it’s them that look at me like I’m rubbish. Like I’ve got a choice. They don’t know shit about what it is to be me. They never ask why. They reckon it’s just my nature. Like I don’t know any better. And you know what else, Charlie? I never once bin caught. They all just suspect it. They expect it.”
b) Setting: Does the setting of ‘Jasper Jones’ have any significance to where you were brought up?
Yes it does. The idea of Corrigan wasn’t a random work of my imagination; it originated from the surroundings of the town I was brought up in called Dwellingup. Dwellingup is the name of an Aboriginal word which is believed to implicate a “place of nearby water”. The whole situation of Dwellingup being a small town and its incorporation with the Indigenous culture had come hand in hand when I wrote this novel. The only difference I made with the towns would be the people living in it. Being raised in Dwellingup I was extremely lucky to be surrounded...
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