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Jasper Jones Language Features Essay

In the Novel Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, Silvey uses language features such as first person narrative, Allegory and symbolism for the purpose of helping the reader understand Charlie Bucktin’s journey from innocence to experience. Craig Silvey Uses First person narrative in the Novel Jasper Jones, The story is completely told though the eyes of Charlie Bucktin, an unassuming bookworm who is woken up one night when Jasper Jones comes to his window to ask him for help. As the reader we fully experience Charlies journey and because Charlie is depicted as a very bright young man the narrative is very descriptive and bears a whole host of colourful language that depicts, so clearly, each and every step that Charlie takes.

Silvey writes Jasper Jones as an allegory to Harper Lee’s To kill a Mockingbird. It is through the intertextuality that provides the source of the action, thematic development(the journey of innocence to experience) and parallels between Charlie Bucktin and Scout’s narration in the respective texts. The repeated refrences that Charie makes to To Kill A Mockingbird also gives insight into Charlie’s character and the reasoning behind his actions. “I try to reason with him, like Atticus might”

The Use of symbols in Jasper Jones is very effective as symbols are used to mark turning points and changes in Charlies life. The first symbol that is quite important is The collection, or library, of books belonging to Charlie’s father, Wes Bucktin. Wes’ library symbolises the beginning of Charlie’s journey to experience. Charlie is only granted access to this library when he refers to Jasper Jones as a “half caste” but once Charlie enters into this completely new world of literary immersion he begins to gain a lot of knowledge of the world and constantly uses reference to many titles in his narration such as: “Huckleberry Finn” and “To kill a Mockingbird”. Another Symbol used by Silvey is the symbol of the hole that Charlie is forced to dig by his mother. Charlie’s mother Ruth, makes Charlie dig a large hole in the backyard after Charlie comes home very late one night and has the whole town believing that he has been kidnapped. Although it isn’t apparent at first, the hole symbolises Charlie’s mothers own transgressions and her attempt to blame Charlie for everything is only her way of trying to make him “fill it in”.

The Author uses the language features of first person narrative, allegory and symbolism for the purpose of helping the reader understand Charlie’s journey from innocence to experience. The use of first person narrative gives us inside access to Charlie’s thoughts and experiences and this allows the reader to be able to see Charlie change as the story continues. The Allegory helps us unserstand Charlie’s journey from innocence to experience by modelling his behaviour and actions against the characters from another classic novel with similar themes and plot and finally the use of symbols helps us to see when and how this journey begins to truly take place, when Charlie finds his mother having an extramarital affair he realises what she has been doing and when she tries to place it back on him he won’t allow it “you dug this hole, you fill it in” In The novel Jasper Jones By Craig Silvey, The Author uses the language features of first person narrative, allegory and symbolism for the purpose of helping the reader understand Charlie’s journey from innocence to experience.


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