Stage 2 EnglishSACE Number: 684562FHow have prejudicial societies been used to explore the theme of justice in Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker and Rachel Perkins’ Jasper Jones?Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker and Rachel Perkins’ Jasper Jones share some similar themes, one of these being the theme of justice. A common way which this theme has been explored throughout both of these texts is through the idea of prejudicial societies. This is done mainly through different uses of characterisation, imagery and language. The Dressmaker is an Australian gothic novel written by the Australian author Rosalie Ham, published in the year 2000. Jasper Jones is an Australian mystery ?lm directed by Rachel Perkins, Australian ?lm and television director and producer, and released in 2017. Each of these texts are set in small Australian towns where the communities are prejudicial of particular characters throughout the story. Both The Dressmaker and Jasper Jones include differing target audiences yet present some similar themes, the main one being justice. Jasper Jones may be more of a coming of age movie and more appropriate for young adults than The Dressmaker while The Dressmaker is more for mature audiences. These two texts are both set in small Australian towns with prejudicial societies, this leads to the two texts making the audience consider how times have changed, as these texts were set in the past, along with how we treat others today. One of the ways which Ham and Perkins explore the idea of prejudicial societies and the theme of justice is through characterisation alongside structure. Jasper Jones and The Dressmaker incorporate a main character who is on the outside, one who is judged by the majority of the rest of the town and their prejudicial societies. Jasper Jones and Tilly Dunnage are these characters and then other characters join them throughout the texts. Jasper Jones is often considered insigni?cant in society because of his Indigenous background. He is then blamed for any concern of trouble in the town. The society’s prejudicial racist attitudes towards indigenous people are re?ected in this text; Jasper says the police will blame him and nobody will believe him because he is different to the rest of them. The town’s pre-judgments of Jasper lead him to be blamed for crimes which he did not do. He is then unfairly judged for the death of Laura when the town immediately assume it was him. Tilly Dunnage in The Dressmaker was also unfairly blamed for a crime she did not do however in her case she was a young school girl and did not realise until later when she came back to the town many years after she was sent away. Throughout the text Tilly becomes more con?dent in herself leading some members of the town to alter their judgments on her. Both of these texts are set in small , narrow-minded country towns in Australia with Jasper Jones being set in the 1960s and The Dressmaker being set in the 1950s. Imagery and sentence structure are important style based features which are also utilised in The Dressmaker and Jasper Jones to further present the prejudicial societies with the theme of justice. Rosalie Ham and Rachel Perkins use a variety of text convention features to further impact the audience and to further present this idea within their texts. When Tilly arrives back in Dungatar she returns to “the house on The Hill”, joining her mother, Molly Dunnage, sometimes referred to as ‘Mad Molly’, she cleans her and her mother up after Sergeant Farrat says to Tilly “Your mother … doesn’t get out these days”. (pg. 8). It is evident from the start of the novel that Molly had stopped valuing her
Stage 2 EnglishSACE Number: 684562Fpersonal hygiene and housekeeping and members of the town had stopped checking in on her much. “Molly’s house was dank and smelled like possum piss.” (pg. 8). Molly later describes the town folk to Tilly and Teddy saying; “They’re all liars, sinners and hypocrites.” (pg. 175). This can further make the audience believe that the society in The Dressmaker is prejudicial towards Molly as well as Tilly. Language is another technique which is used in The Dressmaker and Jasper Jones in order further portray prejudicial societies to explore the common theme of justice. The creators of both of these texts use a range of stylistic features in their choices of language and design to make their pieces unique. Rachel Perkins uses Jasper Jones to show the importance of justice towards each other and that justice is not always dealt out fairly. This is largely shown as Charlie learns through piecing elements together that obtaining justice in a prejudicial society is not particularly a straightforward matter. Justice is predominately for those wishing to be fair and truthful but is contradicted by those within the society choosing to be uninvolved when their personal state of serenity is at risk. The Jasper Jones text presents this idea through portrayal of silent bystanders within the prejudicial society which in?uences the injustice events. Eliza Wishart would be one of the silent bystanders in this text as her family is a principal part of the towns society causing her to be more silent in the injustice. The Dressmaker is written in third person, this allows the readers to have an unbiased opinion and interpret the story from the narrator’s perspective. Rosalie Ham and Rachel Perkins both successfully use this idea of prejudicial societies to explore the common idea of justice which has been done primarily through different uses of characterisation, imagery and language structure. Through this, both of these two texts successfully achieved the intended purpose by producing captivating interpretation of the characters, imagery along with the language. The target audience was also successfully engaged by both producers through the incorporation of complex issues and relationships within the small country towns.Despite these two texts, The Dressmaker and Jasper Jones, having slightly different target audiences and purposes, Rosalie Ham and Rachel Perkins both successfully managed to present and explore the like theme of justice mainly through the prejudicial societies within their texts. This was predominately done through characterisation with the use of language and structure techniques as well. The main idea of justice was largely explored through the setting of the small towns with the narrow-minded, prejudicial societies often unfairly accusing others who are different.