We are introduced to the story by a letter.
The piece is marked with honesty and bluntness. After explaining he knew and understood what it was to be brought up on lies he says "this history is for you and will contain no single lie may I burn in Hell if I speak false." The speaker is Ned Kelly, an Irish immigrant in Australia. His life is anything but easy. His family is quite poor and his father is rarely there and if he is there he is causing some sort of uproar with the police. The police relentlessly harass the family expecting, or, as it seems, hoping for them to take a false move.
It is very entertaining although the subject matter is less than happy. The way the he recounts episodes of harsh language is hilarious. For example, his mother says to his father as they are fighting "O you adjectival worm." It also at points illustrates the racial strife of the time, where he evidently has bad feeling s about spelling out the word "fuck" but uses "nigger," for example, "Look at them effing niggers" and resents them because they have boots and he has no shoes. It is ironic because he complains about "micks" being considered a notch below the English.
Ned's emotional state is one of continual turmoil. He faces continual harassment from the police, a mother who is quite dependant on him and demanding of him, peers who tease him about his lack of necessities. He also must deal with the fact his father is in prison and his mother is having another child. He helps his mother as she's in child birth and says she felt so close to the new born sister he felt as if she could be his. Through emotional turmoil he does not become emotionally callous.
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