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A Theme of Discrimination in Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

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Jasper Jones is a novel written by Craig Silvey; it was set in the 1960s in Australia within a town called Corrigan. In Jasper Jones being the ‘other’ in a small-town results in discrimination towards characters. Bullying was one, it was demonstrated in the novel through the character/s actions and expressed words. Jasper Jones was bullied and discriminated against by the people in the town blamed for any event without even knowing the truth or reality. The town was being racist to Jeffery and Jeffery’s family, throughout the novel. Mad Jack Lionel was rumoured to have killed a woman and is a figure of fear amongst the children of Corrigan.

Jasper Jones was alone a ‘half caste’ making him an easy target to discriminate against. Within the town he’s described as “a Thief, a liar, a Thug, a Truant. He’s lazy and unreliable.” Jasper was getting criticised and blamed for Laura’s death which got him arrested without any evidence against him, ignoring that he might actually be innocent. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with being a half-caste, but the small town makes it so, Jasper is aware of and could not think of any other ideas which led him to run away to seek help. “In families within Corrigan, he’s the first name to be blamed for all manners of trouble”, this further proves that he’s used as scapegoat for the troublemakers. The townspeople of Corrigan have designed their own way of how their community should look, not accepting the Jasper Jones for something which he can’t change.

Jeffrey Lu and his family faced a great amount of discrimination from the town of Corrigan, for one reason which was there background. “It requires some special sort of pathology to give it the kind of devotion that Jeffrey shows”. Charlie’s best friend Jeffrey is Vietnamese hence is mistreated for this reason, but Jeffrey is extremely talented at cricket as told by Charlie. Jeffrey gets bullied at school by the boys but “Maybe he’s bravest out of all of us”, he copes with bullies really well though, ignoring them and keeping a strong face. Jeffrey isn’t the only one in his family that gets the discrimination, it’s the whole Lu family! But Jeffrey Lu is uncanny, Jeffrey can manage to be intimidating. He’s not so affable with the pads on and the bat in hand. He’s like an animal, aggressive and focused. You can’t put the ball anywhere when his eye is in. 

Mad Jack Lionel was rumoured to have killed a woman and is a figure of fear amongst the children of Corrigan. Charlies gives a statement of Jack Lionel, “I think of Mad Jack Lionel. I imagine his face as a composite of Albert Fish and assorted movie villains.” p.108 the author shows what most kids think of him, and ‘the villain’ is one of the most petrifying characters known to children. Jack Lionel is treated as someone who doesn’t get invited to any town gatherings due to the rumours. However, Charlie later realises that he was wrong, “Mad Jack Lionel isn’t a criminal. He’s probably not even mad. He’s just old and sad and poor and lonely”. Even Jasper Jones doubted Lionel for murdering his girlfriend Laura Wishart later finding out he’s related to this rumoured murderer, who supposed killed his mother. ‘Jack Lionel is his father’s father. Jasper’s grandfather”. The town has created these rules that make only some characters the ‘outcasts’, whether or not its justified.

In Jasper Jones there are multiple events when characters face discrimination within the town. Jasper Jones was one of the victims to face discrimination as he was a half-caste. Jasper Jones gets blamed for everything that he is not involved in. The town has an imaginary image for Jasper and pays no respect to him in any way hence all this Jasper fells disheartened but he does not show the pain from the inside. People from Corrigan discriminate Jeffrey Lu and his family for only one reason which was there background as he is originated from Vietnam. 

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A Theme Of Discrimination In Jasper Jones By Craig Silvey. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from
“A Theme Of Discrimination In Jasper Jones By Craig Silvey.” GradesFixer, 06 Aug. 2021,
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