Jasper Jones

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Wesley Bucktin Character Analysis

Charlie’s father and Ruth’s husband, Wesley Bucktin is an immensely calm, patient, and intelligent man who loves Charlie enormously. Ruth’s family resents Wesley for eloping with Ruth, and at the time when the book begins, Ruth has begun to hate Wesley for moving to a small, dull town. Though Wesley is usually honest and frank with Charlie, Charlie notices that he keeps secrets from him as well: for instance, he is secretly working on a novel. Though he respects his father enormously, Charlie dislikes that he hides his true beliefs and convictions, usually at Ruth’s urgings.

Wesley Bucktin Quotes in Jasper Jones

The Jasper Jones quotes below are all either spoken by Wesley Bucktin or refer to Wesley Bucktin. 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 5 Quotes

I look over at An Lu, who is returning to his home, his hands behind his back, his chin on his chest. I wonder what he’s thinking. There’s something about his posture that convinces me he’s judging me poorly. I feel so ashamed, I feel like everyone in this town is disappointed in me. And that’s when I resolve it, with my father’s hand on my back. When Jasper Jones goes, when he leaves town after this mess is over, I’ll be going with him. I’ll be leaving too. Leaving Corrigan behind. For good.

Related Characters: Charlie Bucktin (speaker), Wesley Bucktin, An Lu
Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:

Charlie has just returned from a late-night meeting with Jasper--he's disobeyed his parents' orders to stay in the house. Charlie reunites with his mother and father, both of whom were worried that Charlie--like Laura Wishart (or so they think)--had been kidnapped. As he embraces his parents, Charlie notices that a good chunk of his community has turned out to search for him. The sight of Jeffrey's father, An, among other disappointed neighbors, then convinces Charlie that he wants to leave his hometown as soon as he can.

Although Charlie has just learned that many people in the community are invested in his safety, he seems to take an entirely different conclusion from this. He's exhausted with the constant surveillance of small-town life: he has the sense that someone (whether it's his mother, his father, or Jasper) is always watching him and judging him. Charlie wants to go far away and behave like a free-wheeling character in one of his beloved American novels, such as On the Road or Huckleberry Finn. The more smothering his parents' attention becomes, the more strongly Charlie feels the need to get away from his family altogether.

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Chapter 6 Quotes

Mostly, I spent the time writing. Almost obsessively. Every day and every night. It’s the thing that gave me company. Along with reading, it’s what got me out of the house without them being able to stop me at the door.

Related Characters: Charlie Bucktin (speaker), Wesley Bucktin, Ruth Bucktin
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:

After being caught sneaking away from the house, Charlie is forbidden from leaving the house at all. Because he has no alternative, Charlie spends his time in his room, reading books and writing. Charlie's love for books allows him to escape from the smallness and dullness of life in his town--he can imagine going elsewhere even when he's imprisoned in his bedroom. In a similar way, Charlie's writing abilities continue to keep him sane. He hasn't forgotten the gruesome spectacle of Laura Wishart's corpse. It's only by writing about his experiences that Charlie avoids becoming wracked with guilt; by putting ink to paper, he establishes a safe distance between himself and his own trauma.

“Go home!” my father explodes. He stands up, tall and intimidating. He glares with real anger. And I can’t help but feel a blush of pride, seeing it. I’ve been wrong about him.

Related Characters: Charlie Bucktin (speaker), Wesley Bucktin
Page Number: 211
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, a group of townspeople attack the Lu family's house. They destroy An Lu's prized garden and beat him up--partly because of Jeffrey's success as a cricket player earlier, and partly because of their general hatred for Vietnam (the novel takes place during the Vietnam War). To Charlie's surprise, his father, Wesley, bravely defends An from harm, fighting the gang of townspeople and ordering them to go home.

Charlie is surprised with his father's bravery; based on Wesley's behavior around Charlie's mother, Charlie has imagined that Wesley is generally meek and submissive. As Charlie struggles to summon the bravery to act in his own life, he's inspired by his father's example. Thanks to Wesley's behavior in this passage, Charlie has a new role model.

Chapter 8 Quotes

It’s so smart and sad and beautiful that I’m not even jealous. And I have a warm feeling in my belly that says someone important is going to believe in it. That one day I’ll see my father’s name on a straight spine on a bookstore shelf, standing proud and strong and bright.

Related Characters: Charlie Bucktin (speaker), Wesley Bucktin
Page Number: 292
Explanation and Analysis:

Wesley, Charlie's father, has been working on a novel for a long time. After he's finished with it, Wesley shows his work to Charlie. Although Charlie has previously been jealous of his father's writing, he's proud of his father for writing such a tremendous book, and even hopes that someone will publish it soon.

Charlie's pride in his father shows that he's become more secure in his own identity as a writer. Previously, Charlie was afraid that Wesley was competing with him for literary success; Charlie didn't trust his own literary abilities enough to support any writing other than his own. Now, though, Charlie has the self-confidence to be confident in other people, as well. He has a story of his own to tell, and so he's not concerned about his father finishing his book first.

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Wesley Bucktin Character Timeline in Jasper Jones

The timeline below shows where the character Wesley Bucktin appears in Jasper Jones. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
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Appearances and Secrets Theme Icon
...looks nice, a remark that she treats with great suspicion, eventually snapping, “Thank you.” Charlie’s father finds this exchange amusing. Charlie’s mother gives him coffee, which Charlie accepts silently. (full context)
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Charlie’s father asks him what he was doing last night. Charlie explains that he was up late... (full context)
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...dinner with his parents, and afterwards he goes to his room with Pudd’nhead Wilson. His father asks him if he’s all right, but Charlie only says he feels like reading. In... (full context)
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Charlie suspects that his father is secretly working on a novel of his own. He goes to his library and... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...Charlie is angry with his mother for always winning arguments. He’s also angry that his father remains silent during these arguments. Charlie remains silent, and his mother takes this as an... (full context)
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...of the Vietnam War—more Australian soldiers are being shipped there to help the Americans. Charlie’s father has wanted to protest the war, but Charlie’s mother always tells him that it’s a... (full context)
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...Monster, a criminal who was hanged last year, to the pleasure of everyone except Charlie’s father. Charlie goes to the newspaper section of the library to find information about this subject.... (full context)
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...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)
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...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)
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When Charlie returns to his house, his mother slaps him and calls to Charlie’s father, whom she addresses as “Wesley,” telling him that Charlie is all right. Charlie thinks that... (full context)
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...warmth and kindness they once held. Everyone can see that she hates Corrigan, except for Wesley. She and Wesley moved to Corrigan shortly after they married. This fact suggests that they... (full context)
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Charlie keeps thinking about his family. His mother comes from “old money,” while his father’s family lacks any money at all. His father was the youngest, and he showed great... (full context)
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A few hours later, Charlie is almost finished refilling the hole. Wesley walks into the yard and tells Charlie that he can stop digging. Charlie continues to... (full context)
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Wesley muses that the world is changing, and Laura’s disappearance proves as much. He tells Charlie... (full context)
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Wesley informs Charlie that he’s spent the afternoon at the Miner’s Hall, organizing a search party... (full context)
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A few hours later, Charlie’s mother has left for bridge, and Charlie and his father are carefully cutting food so that Charlie’s mother won’t notice that he’s eaten anything. As... (full context)
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...night. He wonders where the search party will look first. He also notices that his father’s light is on in the study. This saddens Charlie, since it reminds him that his... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...but says he’ll talk to Charlie later. Charlie arrives home, where he notices that his father is out helping with the search for Laura. Charlie’s mother asks if he wants lunch,... (full context)
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Later in the evening, Charlie sits and watches television with his father and mother. There is a news story about Laura’s disappearance. Wesley expresses his surprise that... (full context)
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Alone, Wesley reminds Charlie to be diplomatic, adding that he already tells Charlie more than enough about... (full context)
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In his room later that night, Charlie thinks about Vietnam, and wishes he’d asked his father about the matter. He realizes that the bombing in Vietnam seems like one of the... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...make the Country Week cricket team, which surprises no one, Charlie’s mother is irritable, his father is calm, and Charlie himself finishes Pudd’nhead Wilson and moves on to Innocents Abroad. The... (full context)
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...was killed in Vietnam, and her son was drafted to fight in the war. As Wesley explains all this, Charlie becomes angry—he says that it wasn’t right that Sue accosted Mrs.... (full context)
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Charlie notices that Jasper has a black eye, and asks him if it was his father who gave it to him. Jasper shakes his head and tells Charlie that his father... (full context)
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...see that there is a search party on his lawn, and both his mother and father are there. Jasper whispers to Charlie to make something up, and not to mention Jasper.... (full context)
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As he hugs his mother, Charlie looks around and sees that Wesley and a large crowd have gathered. Keith Tostling, a sheep shearer, grabs Charlie and inspects... (full context)
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The “Sarge” tells Wesley that he’d like to speak with Charlie, and Wesley nods. Charlie, Wesley, and Charlie’s mother... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...that he’d be grounded until the end of the year. Afterwards, Charlie’s mother yelled at Wesley, accusing him of being a neglectful father who didn’t pay attention to his own wife... (full context)
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As Charlie’s mother yelled at Wesley, Wesley remained calm and quiet. Charlie’s mother said that Corrigan was destroying her life and... (full context)
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...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)
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...she and Jeffrey bicker playfully. Then, Jeffrey asks Charlie for a ride home, pointing to Wesley, who’s standing near the cricket courts. Charlie wonders if Wesley saw him kissing Eliza, and... (full context)
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Jeffrey and Charlie walk to Wesley’s car, laughing about Superman and Lois Lane, as they usually do. In the car, Wesley... (full context)
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...thinking about Eliza, and Charlie’s mother seems lost in thought. Charlie makes eye contact with Wesley, and he reminds himself to be diplomatic. Instead of complaining to his mother, he compliments... (full context)
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...Charlie sees Jeffrey and Mrs. Lu running outside—at this point, Charlie yells for his dad. Wesley comes out of his room, followed by Ruth, and, when he sees what’s going on,... (full context)
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Wesley takes on the four men attacking An, skillfully ducking their punches. Charlie notes with pride... (full context)
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Three assailants now lie on the ground, along with An Lu. Wesley, Charlie, Harry, and Roy stand on the lawn. Jeffrey runs toward one of the assailants,... (full context)
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...climb into the car and drive away, muttering that the “rats” are destroying the country. Wesley yells “Go home!” after them, and Charlie feels proud—he was wrong to imagine that his... (full context)
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After the men drive away, Wesley tells An Lu, “I’m sorry.” Harry greets Jeffrey and compliments him on his cricket match... (full context)
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Wesley and Ruth walk Charlie back to their house, and Wesley says he’s sorry Charlie had... (full context)
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After playing cards for an hour, Wesley, Charlie, and Ruth get up to go to bed. Wesley asks Charlie if he’s all... (full context)
Chapter 7
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In the evening of New Year’s Eve, Wesley knocks on Charlie’s door and asks him if he’s going to go see the fireworks.... (full context)
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Charlie takes Wesley’s manuscript and goes to read it in his room. Just as he’s beginning, he hears... (full context)
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...his loyalty to Jasper, Charlie decides to follow him to Mad Jack’s house. He tells Wesley he’s going to see the fireworks with Jeffrey. Wesley is clearly disappointed that Charlie isn’t... (full context)
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...to turn around—behind him, there are three photographs, which Jack identifies at Jasper’s mother, his father, and Jasper himself. Jack tells Jasper that he is Jasper’s father’s father—Jasper’s grandfather. Jack reveals... (full context)
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Charlie reveals everything Jack told Jasper. Jack was the father of Jasper’s father, whose name is David—he showed Jasper David’s old room, which was full... (full context)
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...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 a... (full context)
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...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)
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After Eliza saw her father driving away, she heard her sister crying and walking out of the house. Eliza didn’t... (full context)
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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)
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...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)
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...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 ask... (full context)
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...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 will... (full context)
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...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)
Chapter 8
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...Corrigan. However, his mother leaves the night after Charlie discovered her infidelity. Ruth yells at Wesley, rips his manuscript to pieces, and hits him. In response, Wesley does nothing. Ruth storms... (full context)
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...gone to live with her family, who provide her with a luxurious house. She calls Wesley only once, to tell him that she isn’t returning. Wesley doesn’t protest, but tells her... (full context)
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Wesley takes care of Charlie without Ruth’s help. In Ruth’s absence, he’s grown out his beard,... (full context)
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...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)