Ned Kelly hERO, VILLAIN OR VICTIM
bY kATHERINE pham
Ned Kelly’s story has many amazing elements. There has been much debate about Ned Kelly if he was a hero, villain or victim.
He is seen as a hero in different ways to certain people, a villain to most and a victim of the police at the time. Below I will explain why Ned Kelly is seen as a hero, a villain and a victim of the police and the legal system.
He was a hero to the Shelton Family after saving their little boy Richard ‘Dick’ Shelton from drowning. Ned Kelly risked his own life to save this little boy. As a reward, the Shelton Family gave him a green sash complete with gold bullion fringes at each end.
Ned Kelly was also a hero to the people because he wrote a quote "I will never back down and I will always fight for my rights". This quote inspired many adults and children alike to stand up for what they believed in.
Ned Kelly's final defiant stand against the Felons Apprehension Act and his pleas for justice to end discrimination against poor Irish settlers did end up opening the eyes of people. Ned Kelly came to symbolise a fight by a flawed hero, a convicted criminal, for 'justice and liberty' and 'innocent people'.
Ned Kelly was certainly a villain because he was a thief, a bank robber and a murderer. He was in trouble with the law from the age of 12. He stole hundreds of horses and cattle. He robbed two banks: The Euroa Bank and The Jerilderie Bank in N.S.W. He murdered three police officers at Stringybark Creek and this is why he is a villain.
There are serious doubts as to the way the authorities dealt with Ned Kelly and his family. He was a victim of the police. He seemed to have been picked on because of his father’s criminal record and because he was Irish. The police were always arresting him and putting him in prison and then often had to release him because of lack of evidence. This shows that the police had it in for him and wanted to frame him.
So in conclusion Ned Kelly was all kinds of things a hero, a villain and a victim.