Jasper Jones

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Pete Wishart Character Analysis

Laura and Eliza’s father. Pete Wishart is an alcoholic, abusive man who nonetheless serves as the president of the shire (county) that contains the town of Corrigan. Wishart is skilled at hiding his cruelty and abusiveness from others, even after he rapes and impregnates his own daughter. By the end of the novel, Pete’s crimes remain unknown to the public, though Eliza has taken her own revenge on him.

Pete Wishart Quotes in Jasper Jones

The Jasper Jones quotes below are all either spoken by Pete Wishart or refer to Pete 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 7 Quotes

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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Pete Wishart Character Timeline in Jasper Jones

The timeline below shows where the character Pete Wishart appears in Jasper Jones. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...that her sister is missing. She adds that her mother can’t stop crying, and that her father is drinking and yelling. Charlie notes that Eliza is very calm as she explains this,... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...immediately yells at her for leaving the house without permission. Eliza insists that she asked her father if she could leave, and pretends that Charlie bought her the copy of Breakfast at... (full context)
Chapter 5
Fear Theme Icon
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...making up for the fact that they’ve found no evidence. Jasper also tells Charlie that Laura’s father , the president of the shire (the rough equivalent of a country in the United... (full context)
Chapter 6
Fear Theme Icon
Racism and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...shirt, and Charlie compliments her dress. Then, unexpectedly, Eliza mentions Laura. She tells Charlie that her father acts like Laura never existed. She begins to cry, and Charlie, after much thought, gives... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...they usually 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... (full context)
Chapter 7
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...else either. Later, when Eliza found Laura’s letter to Jasper, Eliza discovered something: Laura and Eliza’s father , the shire president, would drunkenly abuse Laura, and had done so since Laura was... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...for the first time, Eliza tells Charlie, there had been an argument in Eliza’s house. Eliza’s father was drunkenly yelling at Laura. Eliza’s mother was calm and oblivious, as usual, and Eliza... (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 house. Eliza didn’t... (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 had raped Laura many times—now, she was in... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...the clearing, Laura wouldn’t have hanged herself. Charlie insists that this isn’t the truth—it is her father who is responsible. He apologizes to Eliza for moving Laura’s body. Eliza says that she... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...Eliza why she didn’t come forward with Laura’s letter, and if she was afraid of her father . Eliza says nothing, which Charlie takes as proof that she was. Charlie starts to... (full context)
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...will do with their information about Laura. They could keep silent, thereby saving Eliza from her father ’s anger. But even if they say nothing, Charlie thinks, it’s possible that the information... (full context)
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...Charlie that Jasper is right. She says that she’s going to tell “everyone” about what her father did to Laura, and how Laura died. Charlie tells Eliza that this is impossible: if... (full context)
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...the way, a car pulls up by them, and a man asks Eliza if she’s Pete Wishart ’s daughter. Eliza shakes her head, and the man drives on. Only a few minutes... (full context)
Chapter 8
Fear Theme Icon
Escape, Guilt, and Writing Theme Icon
...sat in silence for hours until they let her go. A few weeks later, when her father is out of the house for work, she gives her mother Laura’s letter and tells... (full context)
Chapter 9
Fear Theme Icon
Understanding, Innocence, and Sympathy Theme Icon
...Eliza sitting outside the house, completely unharmed. Charlie also sees Eliza’s mother, also unharmed, and her father , in an oxygen mask and bandages, but still alive. (full context)