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Ned Kelly, An Analysis Of Sister Kate And The True History Of The Kelly Gang

2246 words - 9 pages

Analyse two works of historical fiction from the same period of history and compare the strengths and weaknesses of these two works for our understanding of that historical period

Analyse two works of historical fiction from the same period of history and compare the strengths and weaknesses of these two works for our understanding of that historical period.

- What are the sources of conflict between different groups in society?

- How did groups attempt to resolve conflict during this period?

Australia, during the 19th Century, was a place of corruption, conflict and crime. Two books that extensively focus on this historical period include The True History of the Kelly Gang, By Peter Carey and Sister Kate, written by Jean Bedford. These novels centre on the lives of the notorious Kelly Family, focusing primarily on the life of a bushranger Ned Kelly, (1854 - 1880) and his sister, Kate Kelly (1863 - 1898). These novels explore groups in society during the 19th century, conflict experienced and methods of resolving difference. These books have similar foundations, such as the principal focus on the infamous Kelly family and similar writing time period but structure, purpose and detail sequestrate these books. Peter Carey's lengthy, descriptive novel delves into the lives of the Kelly with extensive detail and Jean Bedford's fragmented and undemanding novel, written primarily for entertainment and enjoyment, still gives a great insight into Australia during the 19th Century, grappling with similar ideas of conflict, corruption and crime.

There are numerous factors that alter the accuracy and reliability of these novels. These factors influence the interpretation and impression given to the reader, and therefore understanding of the historical time period. They control the accurate information that we obtain about the groups in society, conflict experienced and methods of resolving difference. These factors include; the perspective the book was written from, the changing of detail for dramatization including the insertion of innuendo as well as the structure of the novel and determined either an accurate reflection of the time period indicated, or result in deceptive development in the novel.

The True History of the Kelly Gang written by Peter Carey, is from the perspective of the legendary Ned Kelly. Ned's extensive involvement in crime and conflict is a clear strength when attempting to understand this time period accurately, namely groups and sources of conflict. Ned Kelly's participation as bushranger, meant not only was he part of a group but he also had close contact with other groups such as law enforcers, government bodies and other members of society during holds-up or robberies. Ned Kelly experienced conflict on a regular basis and therefore by following his life, we are given a great insight into these experiences. Jean Bedford novel, Sister Kate, alternatively follows Ned's sister....

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