At the start of the exam, we were given a large piece of sugar paper with characters names written on them. We were then asked to write down some personality traits of the character in front of us, and then move it around the circle so we all ended up with a different character in front of us. After a few times of repeating this, we were asked to then write down some things about their appearance. It was interesting to see what the stereotypes given to certain characters. For example, because Mickey is part of the lower class, we assume that he is dirty and scruffy, but we also stereotype Mr. Lyons as being very neat and clean because he is of the upper middle class.
Mickey Mickey is the son that Mrs. Johnstone kept. He is quite scruffy and attends a public school. He is quite unsuccessful in the things that he tries to succeed in, but finally his dreams come true when he finally marries Linda. He has a common Liverpool accent and where he is part of the lower class, finally turns to crime to support his family.
Eddie Eddie is the twin that Mrs. Johnstone gave away to Mrs. Lyons. He is very neat and proper, but finds all the naughty things that Mickey does very exciting. He attends private school and does not have a Liverpool accent. He does not know that Mickey is his real brother.
Mrs. Johnstone Mrs. Johnstone is mother to Sammy, Edward, and Mickey. She did have a job as a cleaner, but lost this when the twins were born. She tries her hardest for her children but cannot seem to get off of the housing estate. She is very superstitious and protective over Mickey.
Mrs. Lyons Mrs. Lyons acts as Edward’s mother. She is quite wealthy and very prudish. At the beginning of the play we feel sorry for her, as she cannot have her own children, but shortly after she stars to become mental with her wanting to be ‘safe’ from Mrs. Johnstone. She is eventually driven to insanity and tries to kill Mrs. Johnstone.
Mr. Lyons Mr. Lyons acts as Edward’s father. He does not know that Edward is not his own son, and cannot understand why Mrs. Lyons is becoming so crazy. He seems to be quite smart and hardworking for his family, and always puts the needs of others before his own.
Linda Linda is a childhood friend to both Eddie and Mickey. She has a Liverpool accent and lives in council estates. She does get married to Mickey, but is driven away when he becomes addicted to prescription pills. She has an affair with Edward and could be the person to blame for the tragic ending to this play.
Sammy Sammy is the rogue of the Johnstone family. He is always up to mischief and doesn’t seem to get anywhere in his life. Mickey wishes to be like him at first, but as Sammy gets older he seems to get more and more out of control.
Tensions between characters The lines between names represent tension between the characters Mickey Eddie Sammy Linda Mrs. Johnstone Mr. Lyons Mrs. Lyons After completing this exercise, we were then asked to stand at one end of the room and were asked various questions. We then had to go and stand at the name which we felt w s the answer for the question. Who do you feel the most sorry for? For this question the most common answer was Mickey, as obviously he has had a very hard life. He has lead a very under privileged lifestyle and no matter how hard he tries he never seems to get anywhere. Personally I felt sorry for Mrs. Lyons, as her want for a baby led to her mental downfall. She let her paranoia get to her so much that she didn’t feel safe. Not only that, she had to hide a huge secret from her husband for many years.
Who is the most secure? I think that Mr. Lyons is the most secure as he doesn’t know about any of the lies and superstitions that have been created in the play. He also has a good job, house and a seemingly loving family. He is oblivious to everything that goes on behind scenes, which perhaps could make him the least secure in the truth, but seems to be the most secure in his happiness
Who is the most successful? I think that either Eddie or Mrs. Lyons is the most successful. Eddie is the most successful in an academic manner. He attended a good school, has a good job and is well looked after. Mrs Lyons however, is the most successful in happiness and what she wants. She has managed to manipulate everyone into giving her exactly what she wants. This unfortunately causes her downfall in the end.
Who is the most intelligent? Again, I believe that the most intelligent person in this play is Mrs. Lyons. She is very good at manipulating people, and is very smart at cover stories. She also manages to trick Mrs. Johnstone into believing in a superstition that she invented herself. This helps her to gain a son. She also makes Mrs. Johnstone swear on the bible, knowing she is superstitious and unable to break her word. Who is the wisest? In my opinion Mrs. Johnstone is the wisest as she has the most life experience. She has had her ups and downs, and has still managed to raise 8 children, pretty much by herself, even when she is unemployed in lower class Liverpool. She may not have the highest intelligence of all the characters, but in my opinion I think she is wiser than everyone else.
Who is the most deprived? I personally think that Eddie is the most deprived in the sense of the truth. He has been brought up all his life thinking that Mr. and Mrs. Lyons were his real parents, when actually Mrs. Johnstone is his mother. Although Mickey has been deprived of materialistic things, Eddie has been deprived of his whole family. He has been living a lie his whole life, which is why I think he is the most deprived. Family is more important that material goods.