Outlaw, criminal, victim, hero, he is part of the spirit and character of Australia.
He is Australia's most infamous bushranger. While time progresses and culture changes, the fascination with the Kelly story remains. Ned has, through his trademark iron helmet and his impassioned rhetoric, an extraordinary ability to hold our attention. The Kelly story has been told and re-told, elaborated and argued over and over again. The question is, is he a hero or a villain? .
For some people, he was a villain. He killed people. He destroyed lives. He was a thief and a murderer. The reasoning behind the acts does not excuse the crime. The fact, he killed in cold blood, remains. .
For others Ned Kelly was a hero. An Australia's equivalent of Robin Hood. He was the victim of corrupted police and was forced to become an outlaw.
In the first article, "Sydney Morning Herald", Ned Kelly and his gang are described as villains, "diabolical", cold-blooded, cruel murderers.
In "the Jerilderie Letter", Ned Kelly explains the reason and circumstances that leads to the actions such as the Mansfield's events.
First of all, the first article was written after Kelly's capture by the Herald. It is clear to see what side the newspaper is taking in this case. Ned Kelly was a villain. He killed many cops and robbed many towns. The words were carefully chosen to talk about him and his gang. It seems as if they were counting a story, a tale about the worst criminals ever. They tell you how much Kelly did not feel anything for the people he killed. In the first two pages, you learn what terrible event happened at Mansfield and how trapped the poor police officers were murderer. The episode is precisely described from the point of view and the eyes of the cops there.
In the Jerilderie Letter, the same story is explained very clearly but in a completely different prospective. Indeed, Ned Kelly told us his version of the story. The fact, he did not have a choice.