Jasper discovers the word “sorry” written in two different places: on the tree where Laura died, and on the side of a car on Mad Jack Lionel’s property. Jasper believes that this proves that Jack is responsible for Laura’s death, but in the end, he realizes that the repetition of the words is only a coincidence. Jack wrote “sorry” on the car because he blames himself for killing Rosie Jones, Jasper’s own mother. Eliza, not Jack, wrote “sorry” on the tree, because she blames herself for Laura’s death. Charlie often wonders what “sorry” accomplishes. On one hand, verbal apologies communicate sympathy and regret from the guilty party to the offended party. Yet there is something shallow and unsatisfying about apologies of this kind, he acknowledges. “Sorry” can never entirely repair the damage caused by a crime. Ultimately, the word “sorry” symbolizes the inadequacy of remorse and redemption in the novel. Characters try to forget and atone for their crimes, but their efforts are never entirely successful. What’s done is done, and no amount of apologies or tears can change this.
“Sorry” Symbol Timeline in Jasper Jones
The timeline below shows where the symbol “Sorry” appears in Jasper Jones. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...back to Corrigan, thinking about the carved tree. Charlie doesn’t know how to interpret the “Sorry”—it is an apology for Laura, for Laura’s family, or for Jasper? Charlie realizes that whoever... (full context)
...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 forgives Charlie, though she wishes... (full context)