Jack Maggs: A Novel [Peter Carey] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda returns to the. The year is and ex-convict Jack Maggs has returned illegally to London from Australia. Installing himself in the household of a genteel grocer, he attracts . In Jack Maggs, Peter Carey has written a twentieth-century, post-colonial Dickens novel, in an imaginative and audacious act of appropriation.

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Maggs is a strong man with certain weaknesses.

What in his background might have caused the tendency toward romantic fantasy about Phipps, for example which is so much at odds with his general clear-sightedness?

What makes him violent; what makes him kind and tender? Tobias Oates is possessed of an “unholy thirst for love” How does this thirst shape and prter his life? Does he turn it to a strength or a weakness? Is it this thirst for love that inspires his equally strong thirst for power? Looking at Maggs, Oates reflects that he himself “would be the archaeologist of this mystery; he would be the surgeon of this soul” How is hack hubris punished—or is it? Percy Cardy has many admirable characteristics: What turns him sour and fills him with hate?

What weaknesses in his character allow this hatred to take over his soul? There is much speculation by the characters in Jack Maggs about the “Criminal Mind. Has Maggs been made a criminal by his nature, or by his environment?

Is Oates, in your opinion, a criminal? Is there in fact any such thing as a criminal mind? When Maggs dreams that he kills the Phantomwhat does this fantasy catey Why do you think he persists in his love for Phipps at the expense of his own children back in Australia?


Great extrapolations

Maggs says that he determined to “weave [Phipps] a nest so strong that no one would ever hurt his goodness” How would you describe Mary Oates: Just how astute is she about her husband? This sentence implies that earlier, she was neither slow nor dim-witted. What do you think? Is Maggs justified in believing this? If so, is such theft an inevitable part of the creative and transformative process? Maggs is never a “gentleman;” Phipps is. What changes were occurring in the class system at that time, and how are these changes illustrated by the novel and its characters?

Tobias and Buckle look on Maggs as a servant, themselves as masters: Mercy says that although he had two children of his own, Maggs “had an aim to find a better class of son” Two of the themes Jack Maggs returns to again and again are those of guilt and shame. For what crimes, real or imagined, do Oates and Maggs feel the most guilt and shame? What betrayals has each of them committed?

Jack Maggs – Wikipedia

Is their shame justified? Are there any characters in the novel who seem to be without guilt or sin? Maggs tells Mercy that he was flogged by “a soldier of the King,” to which she replies, “Then it were the King who lashed you” What does Carey mean to imply about the social ills of England, and of the Australian penal colonies?

What would not have been lost on Oates—what, that is, do the twin deformities symbolize? Which ending is more artistically appropriate: How do the character and life of Dickens himself differ from that of Oates?


What elements of the plot of Jack Maggs could be called “Dickensian”? What are the implications of a contemporary Australian novelist harking back to nineteenth-century English traditions?

This thrilling and original story, part historical novel and part literary fantasy, is one of the most exciting, erudite, and compulsively readable works of fiction to come along in recent years.

Jack Maggs, a foundling trained as a thief, betrayed and deported to a penal colony naggs Australia, has reversed his fortunes. Masquerading as a footman, Maggs places himself in the rather eccentric household of Percy Buckle, Esquire.

Introduction From the Booker Prize-winning author, a vivid and robust novel of Dickensian London—a place and a story teeming with mystery, science, and passion. The time, the s.

Great extrapolations | Books | The Guardian

Jack Maggs, a foundling trained in the fine arts of thievery, cruelly betrayed and deported to Australia, has now reversed his fortunes—and seeks to fulfill his well-concealed, innermost desire. From this volatile milieu emerges a handful of vividly drawn characters in the dangerous pursuit of love, whether romantic or familial—each of them with secrets, and secret longings, that could spell certain ruin.

And as their various schemes converge, the captivating figure at the center is Jack Maggs himself, at once frightening, mystifying, and utterly compelling.

Questions and Topics for Discussion 1. Learn More About Jack Maggs print. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Read it Forward Read it first. Stay in Touch Sign up. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later.