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Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

            The novel Jasper Jones written by Craig Silvey and published in 2009, was set in a country town of Western Australia in the summer of 1965. The setting was influenced by novels that Silvey had read as a youth. This is why many features of the novel have similarities to novels such as TKAMB and TAOHF. Silvey develops the idea of character identity through specific characters such as Charlie, Jasper Jones, Jeffrey and the women in society. By using context and techniques, Silvey shows how a characters racial background or social status may impact on their acceptance in society. These people are known as the 'outsiders' or 'the other'. .
             There are many characters that are portrayed as 'the other' in the novel. Each one of these characters are constructed to stand out from the normality of the people of Corrigan. In order to fit in one must portray the characteristics of having power, having European ancestry (Caucasian race), have a passion for sport or being a dominant male. If anyone does not fit into these categories they are shunned or viewed differently in society. During the 1960's in Australia, succession was based on a persons excellence in sports. If anyone did not follow this way of life they were secluded and looked down upon, which is what happened to Charlie Bucktin. .
             Charlie is more interested in reading his fathers novels, which teach him about good beliefs and values. Coincidentally these novels of Charlie's are also the ones that influenced Silvey when writing his book. These novels change Charlie's perspective on society, therefore making him challenge the 'normal' attitudes and values. Charlie's superior intellectual skills and his understanding of situations is abnormal to the anti-intellectual culture in Corrigan. Craig Silvey has constructed Charlie in a way that allows us to grasp a deeper understanding on issues that happen in society from 1965 and relate them to our current issues.

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