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True History of the Kelly Gang is the story of the voiceless trying to find a voice.

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Introduction

True History of the Kelly Gang is the story of the voiceless trying to find a voice. Lucy Fitzpatrick Ned Kelly's life, and all that it represents, has always been high profile. As a bushranger he was the most well known man across all levels of society in Victoria and New South Wales. Today his larrikin, anti-establishment attitude and defence of the under privileged and disadvantaged are firmly part of the Australian psyche. The ironclad Ned Kelly has been the subject of interpretation and recreation in all forms of media whilst he has been mythologised and elevated to the status of an Australian cultural icon. One such reconstruction, Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang, is the story of the voiceless trying to find a voice. We are presented with the voiceless on an historical, cultural and social level. Cary gives Ned Kelly a voice, and within as a result he gives a voice to the poor and underprivileged and voice to colonial Australia. True History of the Kelly Gang presents its self as being Ned Kelly's truth, the only truth. ...read more.

Middle

'Them scholars was all proddies they new nothing about us...They new our patter were in the logs and when we come to school each day they learned form Mr Irving that all micks(Catholics) was a notch beneath the cattle.' (pp.29). As a result of this discrimination, the Catholics were left with the dregs that society had to offer and turned to crime, alcohol and promiscuity. This further entrenched the voiceless nature of the Irish Catholics as it gave the institutions of society evidence to support their prejudices. Kelly is giving the voiceless a voice, not just by exposing the injustices and discrimination that his class faced, but by also exposing their drinking, promiscuity and crime for what it really was, desperation. By giving the impoverished Irish Catholics of colonialism a voice, Ned Kelly tells the story of greater colonial Victoria. He exposes the nature of the society he lived in, the harshness of the land and the economic and social situation. He exposes the extreme poverty that many people faced, the high infant mortality rates and nature of a living off the land. ...read more.

Conclusion

His mother, brothers and sisters are all given a voice that we have not been presented with before. Ellen Kelly, Ned's mother, is presented as a promiscuous lady but there is no moral judgement made; she is a widow who must make sacrifices to provide for her family. Kelly is able to give his mother's turbulent life and extreme sacrifices a voice, '...you have never heard such grief she ever suffered it contained Bill Frost and George King all them lost children every loss and hurt she ever suffered it would wrench your guts.' (Pp.257) The background voice of each member of Ned's family is an integral part of True History of the Kelly Gang. True History of the Kelly Gang is the story of the voiceless trying to find a voice on every level. Ned Kelly is a voiceless man who, through letters to his daughter, is able to tell his own story. Within this story, Ned Kelly is able to represent a voiceless class within a voiceless British colony. True History of the Kelly Gang is a complex social and historical commentary that is extremely significant to Australian literature and broader cultural identity. ...read more.

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