Jasper Jones

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Eliza Wishart Character Analysis

A beautiful girl in Charlie’s grade, and the sister of Laura Wishart. Eliza Wishart is the object of Charlie’s desire throughout the novel. She is intelligent, poised, and witty. Charlie often struggles to say witty things around her. He is elated when he discovers that Eliza is attracted to him. For most of the novel, Charlie senses that Eliza is carrying a secret about Laura’s disappearance, though it’s not until the end that he learns what this secret is. Ultimately, Eliza represents a puzzle for Charlie. Despite her appearance of calmness and composure, she is capable of acts of enormous destruction, which lie outside Charlie’s full comprehension.

Eliza Wishart Quotes in Jasper Jones

The Jasper Jones quotes below are all either spoken by Eliza Wishart or refer to Eliza Wishart. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fear Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Ember edition of Jasper Jones published in 2012.
Chapter 3 Quotes

I think about Eliza’s manner. So dry and centered. So matter-of-fact amid the panic. I watch her climbing the garden steps to their front door, holding her weeping mother. Someone is there to meet them with an outstretched hand and a look of concern. I shrink behind the branches. And then, swift as a knife, it occurs to me. A rash of sparks coats my skin. My heart almost leaps from my chest, and my brick slides.

Eliza Wishart knows something.

Related Characters: Charlie Bucktin (speaker), Eliza Wishart, Mrs. Wishart
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quotation, Charlie thinks about Eliza Wishart. Eliza is the sister of Laura—the young woman whose body Jasper and Charlie found at the beginning of the novel. Charlie has a massive crush on Eliza, and wants to tell her all that he knows about Eliza’s sister. He struggles to withhold his secret from Eliza, remembering the promise he made Jasper to say nothing. As Charlie thinks about keeping his secret from Eliza, he comes to the surprising realization that Eliza is also keeping secrets from him. Her calm, complacent manner parallels Charlie’s own—both teenagers are concealing a big, terrible secret.

The fact that Charlie and Eliza have so much in common—they both seem to be wracked by a guilty conscience—foreshadows the romance that will arise between them. More to the point, though, the passage suggests Charlie’s struggle to understand people who are—he believes—unlike him. Eliza Wishart seems completely different from Charlie in every way—she’s pretty, popular, well-spoken, etc. Thus, it’s a surprise for Charlie when he comes to realize, here, that he and Eliza aren’t so different after all.

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Chapter 7 Quotes

This is what happened. And I’ve got to get it out quick, I’ve got to loosen the valve on it and let it go, fizzing and spraying, because it’s too hard, it’s too heavy, it’s too much. I can’t hold on to it for too long because it’ll burn. Do you understand? It’s the knowing. It’s always the knowing that’s the worst. I wish I didn’t have to. I want the stillness back. But I can’t. I can’t ever get it back. So. Thisiswhathappened.

Related Characters: Charlie Bucktin (speaker), Eliza Wishart
Page Number: 258
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Charlie frantically tries to write down everything he's just learned. We can feel his anxiety as he repeats the words "this is what happened."

Charlie has just discovered that Laura Wishart's father--a respected member of the community--was raping his daughter, and even impregnated her before her death. This piece of information, along with many others, is almost more than Charlie can bear. But where a weaker, less intelligence teenager would be traumatized, Charlie uses his writing to cleanse of himself of some of his trauma. By writing down the horrors of his community, Charlie establishes a firm distance between his self and his horrifying experiences. Put another way, by writing everything down, Charlie seems to say, "I've experienced a lot, but I am still me."

I also have a suspicion that Eliza might be less concerned with what’s right, less concerned about uncovering the truth, than she is about ensuring that she and Jasper Jones, and maybe her father, too, are meted out the penance that she feels they each deserve. I think she wants to do something with all this blame and hurt. I think she just wants to tie rocks to all their feet.

Related Characters: Charlie Bucktin (speaker), Jasper Jones, Eliza Wishart, Pete Wishart
Page Number: 282
Explanation and Analysis:

Jasper and Charlie find out the truth about Laura Wishart's death--she hanged herself after being raped by her own father--by talking to Eliza, Laura's sister. Eliza explains that she witnessed Laura's suicide; instead of intervening, she just watched. Eliza insists that the only "right" thing to do is tell the police about her father's actions, ensuring that he'll be arrested for rape and child molestation. Jasper angrily points out that going to the police will implicate him in Laura's death, since he moved Laura's body. But Charlie realizes that Eliza wants to punish herself and punish Jasper for their roles in Laura's death.

The passage reiterates Charlie's abilities to understand people's reasons for doing strange things, while also making an important point: sometimes, people do the right thing for the wrong reasons. While Eliza's decision to go to the police might seem like the only moral action, it's also clearly motivated by a desire for revenge.

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Eliza Wishart Character Timeline in Jasper Jones

The timeline below shows where the character Eliza Wishart appears in Jasper Jones. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...Mad Jack. Besides Jeffrey, Charlie’s only competitor for being the cleverest student in school is Eliza Wishart—and he has a crush on her. (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...almost as if she’s sleeping. Charlie thinks that Laura looks a lot like her sister, Eliza, and wonders what will happen when Eliza finds out about Laura’s death. As Charlie thinks,... (full context)
Chapter 2
Fear Theme Icon
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...to death. Charlie finds the question silly, but Jeffrey presses on, and teases Charlie about Eliza Wishart. This reminds Charlie of the sight of Laura Wishart’s body. He feels nauseous, and... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
As Charlie and Jeffrey argue about superheroes, Jeffrey points out Eliza Wishart walking toward them from down the street. Charlie notices that she looks redder and... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...Warwick, just as Warwick beats up Charlie. As Charlie thinks all this, he notices that Eliza Wishart is walking by the cricket court. She waves, and Charlie waves back at her,... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Just as Charlie resolves to walk over to Eliza, Warwick yells out. Charlie turns and sees that he’s pulled out his penis and is... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...Ali’s bicycle, he would never have learned how to box. He also tells Charlie that Eliza has been following Charlie around town, probably because she likes him. (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Charlie thinks about Eliza Wishart. He wonders if she’s wondering where her sister is. Perhaps the police have already... (full context)
Chapter 3
Fear Theme Icon
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...allowed to listen to the radio or go outside. He tells Charlie to go find Eliza, and teases Charlie for being “queer,” which Charlie finds ridiculous. (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...Sylvia, but finds that he can’t. Then he hears a voice, and realizes that it’s Eliza asking him if he’s all right. He forces a smile, knowing that it must look... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Charlie walks Eliza home, frantically wondering what he should say, and whether or not he should hold her... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
As they walk, Eliza tells Charlie that her sister is missing. She adds that her mother can’t stop crying,... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Charlie and Eliza reach Eliza’s house, where Eliza’s mother, who is waiting outside, immediately yells at her for... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
...what the hole could be used for—perhaps a tree. His mind jumps to Laura and Eliza, and he feels a strong desire to ask Eliza more questions about what she knows.... (full context)
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Charlie reads Mark Twain and feels himself falling asleep. He imagines himself talking to Eliza, saying all the right, witty things. (full context)
Chapter 4
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Charlie gets in bed and thinks about Eliza. She is his only comfort when he’s feeling anxious about Laura. He imagines the Wicked... (full context)
Chapter 5
Fear Theme Icon
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...hanging, then the townspeople, eager for any excuse, could lynch him. He imagines living with Eliza in New York, or living with Jasper in Brooklyn. At this moment, either option sounds... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
...the first time that it’s terrifying not knowing where one’s family is. He thinks of Eliza not knowing where Laura is, and feels deep sympathy for his mother. Still holding his... (full context)
Chapter 6
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...Charlie discovered that he enjoyed lying. He told the Sarge that he was “fond” of Eliza Wishart, and that he’d wanted to go see her, in order to comfort her. To... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...he was “a lucky boy,” and that he couldn’t keep sneaking out, even to help Eliza. Charlie marveled that this calm, fatherly person was the same Sarge who beat Jasper Jones. (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, whose protagonist reminded him of Jasper. Charlie also thought about Eliza during his time indoors—he wished he could comfort her, and smell her. (full context)
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...his grounded period, Charlie spent long hours writing. He daydreamed about living in Manhattan with Eliza, talking about his latest novel with Ernest Hemingway. (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Charlie notices that Eliza is watching the game from a hill. She waves to him, and he waves back.... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Eliza and Charlie watch the cricket match, and Charlie secretly rejoices whenever Warwick Trent misses a... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
As the game goes on, Charlie asks Eliza more silly questions, and she continues to laugh. They notice that it’s the Corrigan team’s... (full context)
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Jeffrey returns to bat for his final set of hits, and Eliza grips Charlie’s hand with excitement, much to Charlie’s delight. When the bowler throws the ball,... (full context)
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...of the inning, and that Corrigan must be within a few points of a victory. Eliza moans that she can’t watch, and the crowd and Corrigan team yell encouragement to Jeffrey.... (full context)
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Eliza and Charlie watch the players walk off the field. Eliza tells Charlie a secret: she’s... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Charlie and Eliza continue to kiss on the hill. Suddenly, a voice calls out, and Charlie and Eliza... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...do. In the car, Wesley congratulates Jeffrey and mentions that he ran into Pete Wishart, Eliza’s father, who was drunk, but had seen Jeffrey play and was eager to praise him.... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...his hits, but neither Charlie nor Ruth pays much attention. Charlie can’t help thinking about Eliza, and Charlie’s mother seems lost in thought. Charlie makes eye contact with Wesley, and he... (full context)
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Charlie writes a poem for Eliza. The poem explains that a tree doesn’t know how beautiful it is, and doesn’t recognize... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
...He can’t understand how his parents can forget what happened so easily. He thinks about Eliza, crying over her sister’s disappearance, and wishes he’d shown more bravery and kindness in comforting... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
...his father. He contemplates Jasper, wrongfully bullied and beaten for Laura’s disappearance, and realizes that Eliza will hate Charlie if she ever learns that he knew about Laura. It’s only a... (full context)
Chapter 7
Fear Theme Icon
Lately, Charlie has found it difficult to eat anything—he’s been too obsessed with Eliza Wishart. He also feels anxiety in his stomach because he hasn’t heard from Jasper in... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Charlie and Jeffrey trade insults—Jeffrey teases Charlie about kissing Eliza, and Charlie says that Jeffrey is “a volcanic eruption of stupidity.” They mention the upcoming... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...He’s reluctant to go to the fireworks display that night for fear of running into Eliza—he’ll be too tempted to break his promise to Jasper and tell her about Laura. Charlie... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...house, noticing the children laughing and playing. He hears his name and turns to see Eliza, looking beautiful. She tells Charlie she’s glad he came to see the fireworks, and that... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...his confrontation with Jack. On his walk back from Jack’s house, he didn’t run into Eliza. Instead, he walked silently with Jasper. Once they’d reached Charlie’s room, Jasper told him that... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
...meeting Jack, Charlie is sitting in his room. He hears a tapping at the window—it’s Eliza. When Charlie opens the window, Eliza demands to know why Charlie didn’t meet up with... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
...out of his window, his mind full of possibilities: he has no idea how much Eliza knows. It’s possible, he thinks, that it was Eliza who Jack saw following Laura. Eliza... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Eliza leads Charlie to the river, on the same path that Charlie takes with Jasper. By... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...he says the words, he feels as authoritative as Jasper. With this, he turns, takes Eliza’s hand, and walks away. Ruth calls after him, but he doesn’t listen. (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
As Eliza and Charlie walk away from the river, Eliza tells Charlie that she’s sorry, and these... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Eliza and Charlie arrive at the glade. Eliza looks at Charlie and says that he’s been... (full context)
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Charlie explains what Eliza told him about Laura’s death. He notes that he needs to “get it out” quickly,... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Eliza knew that Laura and Jasper were in a relationship, Charlie explains. Their relationship charmed Eliza—it... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
On the night that Jasper took Charlie to the glade for the first time, Eliza tells Charlie, there had been an argument in Eliza’s house. Eliza’s father was drunkenly yelling... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
After Eliza saw her father driving away, she heard her sister crying and walking out of the... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
In the glade, Eliza watched Laura as she bent over her lap, seemingly writing a letter. Then, Laura climbed... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
As Eliza stood in the glade, hypnotized by the sight of her dead sister, she heard a... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
The day after Laura’s death, Eliza read the letter Laura had left, even though it was addressed to Jasper. Eliza learned... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
By reading Laura’s letter, Eliza learned why she’d been arguing with her father the night she killed herself. Pete Wishart... (full context)
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Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
As Eliza reads Charlie her sister’s letter, her voice is sad yet unflinching. Charlie realizes that Eliza... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Eliza then reveals the final piece of the mystery to Charlie: it was she who carved... (full context)
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Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Eliza mutters that it’s her fault Laura died: if she’d spoken to Laura while she was... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Charlie asks Eliza why she didn’t come forward with Laura’s letter, and if she was afraid of her... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Still alone in Jasper’s glade, Eliza leads Charlie toward the hollow under a tree. In the hollow, there are tins of... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
As Charlie lies in the hollow with Eliza, he hears a noise, and looks up: Jasper is in the glade. Jasper demands that... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
When Jasper jumps into the waterhole, Eliza and Charlie are shocked. Instead of standing still, however, Charlie removes his shirt and jumps... (full context)
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...and Jasper swim to the side of the waterhole and climb out. In silence, Charlie, Eliza, and Jasper look at the water, which leads directly to the river. Eliza says, “She’s... (full context)
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Eliza, Jasper, and Charlie lie in the glade and look up at the stars. Suddenly, Charlie... (full context)
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Jasper, Eliza, and Charlie fall asleep in the glade. The next morning, they walk back to Corrigan,... (full context)
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Charlie and Eliza make their way toward Corrigan. Along the way, a car pulls up by them, and... (full context)
Chapter 8
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Charlie reports that Eliza did not say anything to the police when they brought her into the station—she just... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Lately, Charlie has spent much time with Eliza. Often, they go to the glade together, and Eliza brings her sister small gifts, which... (full context)
Chapter 9
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
Jeffrey, Eliza, and Charlie walk close together, followed by schoolboys. Charlie longs to kiss Eliza, but he... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...is hanging back—clearly, Charlie has beaten him. Charlie plans to give Jeffrey three peach pits, Eliza one, and then keep one for himself. As the students slap Charlie on the back... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...runs toward the source of the fire. He realizes that the fire is coming from Eliza’s house. Neighbors and firefighters run around the house, yelling and screaming. With enormous relief, Charlie... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Charlie realizes that Eliza is looking at her house with completely calmness. He thinks about the murderer he’s read... (full context)
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Charlie walks up to Eliza, who continues to look calmly at the flames. Thinking that he finally has “the right... (full context)