Media's Responsibility For Turning The Kray Twins From Villains Into Heroes

1126 words - 5 pages

Media's Responsibility for Turning the Kray Twins From Villains into Heroes

The title of this essay already assumes that the Kray Twins were
villains and that they were actually seen as heroes. Not all of the
sources say either, that the twins were villains, or that the Twins
were heroes, some are objective. It could be said that the question is
biased towards the twins.

The British media often represented the East End of London as a
somewhat 'glamorous' and 'trendy area'. Photographs, by David Bailey,
showed young men dressed in 'stylish suits', 'narrow ties' and
'stovepipe trousers'. These quotes come from source 3. Later in the
same source the author, Jones, the East End being one of the best and
most prominent settings for thrillers and novels on which to be
written. He describes the 'evil' of the East End and its 'poverty
induced conditions' and how people lived their lives against a back
drop of 'drunkenness, immortality, 'rape' and 'assault' and how gangs
often ruled the streets. In a way Jones is trying to make acceptance
of the Krays behaviour because of their background, and because of the
conditions in which they were brought up and the people who they mixed
with, these were good enough excuses for the crimes, which they

Another source that suggests the media glamorised the Krays is source
4. It shows the promotional front cover of the video of the film 'The
Krays'. The cover shows Gary Kemp, who played Ronnie Kray holding a
gun. Where the contents of the film are rated it suggests that there
is 'violence' and 'strong sexual content' in the film. Both these
factors send out strong brutal messages about the film. This source
both glamorises crime and sensationalises the Krays.

Although some of the sources suggest that it was the media who turned
the Krays into heroes or celebrities, it has also been suggested that
the Krays use the media to turn themselves into heroes. The very fact
that the twins allowed a film to be made about them confirmed that
twins enjoyed being in the public eye. Even when the Krays were in
prison they 'happily minded their notoriety' and there were 'Kray
goodies' for sale. This comes from source 5, it shows that it wasn't
only the newspapers that celebrated the Krays they, themselves,
advertised their lives by openly selling memoirs including videos,
t-shirts, autographed photos and Kray belt buckles. The title alone,
of source 1, tells us that John Pearson was 'commissioned to write
their biography'. This suggests that the Krays 'Firm' wasn't a very
secret business and they wanted to publicise their criminality.

Source 4 backs up ideas from source 3 (from a book about the twins
called 'brothers in arms''). It compares the 'Mafia of Sicily' and the
American 'Cosa Nostra', notorious organised criminal gangs, to the

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