Representation Of Ned Kelly In Texts

1741 words - 7 pages

This essay explores the varying representations of the Ned Kelly gang in differing texts, investigating how the context and motive for composition has been reflected in the varying representations.Representation of Ned Kelly in TextsSister Kate, Ned Kelly and the documentary Outlawed: The real Ned Kelly vary in their representations of the truth surrounding the events at Stringybark Creek, the Jerilderie robbery and Glenrowan. Ned Kelly and Sister Kate position the responder to sympathize with Ned Kelly and his gang, portraying their actions as reasonable responses to police persecution and hence depicting them as rebel heroes. Alternatively Outlawed: The real Ned Kelly attempts to present both sides of the argument. The way the controversy of how these truths are perceived and portrayed s affected by the composers bias, purpose, context and the context of the responder.Sister Kate was written by Jean Bedford. It is a fictional novel, written in the form of a diary, by Kate Kelly Ned Kelly's younger sister. As such her experiences influence the way in which the Kelly Gang and the police force are represented. Kate Kelly portrays the Kelly gang as rebel heroes justifying their reactions as merely larrikin.It is trough the use of emotive language and selective telling that Jane Bedford positions the reader to admire their heroism as defenders of Aussie battlers. We see Bedford romanticizing the gang in her statement on p.8 that the other boys "[wanted] to be the equals of their hero Ned Kelly" in this, the is labeling Ned as some sort of hero. On p.31 with the statement that "sudden appearances in town could never [be verified], [Ned] being miles away before [the police] even heard of it". As such, she is suggesting that Ned is too smart for the dull witted police.We are witness to the selective telling of Bedford in her complete absence to comment on the Jerilderie robbery. By leaving out such a main part in the story of Ned Kelly, we are not placed in a position to have a full understanding of his character. As well as this, there are frequent times throughout the book where details are omitted with the justification that 'I Wasn't there" or assumed with the qualification that "I suppose..."She describes their actions as reasonable responses to police persecution, which had driven them to a life of crime. The police are portrayed as law breaking, slanderous, corrupt opportunists out to serve themselves and destroy the Kelly's. "Everyone knew that Flood [a policeman in the area] and his men stole horses and sold them over the border..." p.6.Their persecution of the Kelly's is made evident in her analogy on p.4, likening the Kelly's to wombats and the police to dogs, in "we were drawing in on ourselves, like a wombat attacked by dogs, burrowing quietly and desperately out of sight."Whilst Kate was not present at the shootings at Stringybark Creek, she still manages to justify their actions as self defense with a quote of Ned on p. 47 "I did not...

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