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    Language contrasts Essay (1085 words)

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    Their language, accent and ability to use language contrasts greatly. Mickey appears to have a posh accent, or just a lot more posh than Mickey’s. When they first meet the language differences are highlighted. Mickey: …..”because I’m pissed off”. Eddie (awed) “Pissed off! You say smashing things, don’t you?” Mickey says things like pissed off and he later says ‘the F word’. He doesn’t know what they mean but has probably heard them being said around the house or estate by older people who he wants to be like.

    Eddie obviously hasn’t heard words like this before as he was brought up in a well-spoken family and environment and compared to Mickey has had very little taste of the outside world. He also says words like smashing which you would never hear Mickey say. He’d probably say something like great or any much simpler word and when he’s older he would probably swear somewhere in the sentence. Their accent obviously isn’t heard but it is extremely likely that Mickey has a broad Scouse accent whereas Eddie probably has a normal slightly posh accent.

    Mickey is a lot less educated than Eddie is. This has much to do with the wealth of their parents and the time that they have for their child. Mickey is the last of 8 children in total, so he will have had a lot less time with his mum in a single parent family. “With seven hungry mouths to feed and one more nearly due.” Eddie looks up words that he doesn’t know in a dictionary. Just after Mickey tells him the F word he says “Fantastic. When I get home I shall look that up in the dictionary”. Mickey responds with “In the what?” This highlights the difference in intelligence between them. Eddie knows what a dictionary is and also how to use it and Mickey doesn’t know either.

    Eddie is also very polite to most people, especially Mickey’s mum, and doesn’t tend to do as many bad things as Mickey. For example Mickey talked about how he dealt with policemen and Eddie appears to have never spoken to one, or at least respects them and the law a lot more. Later on in their lives, Eddie achieves a lot more financially that Mickey does. This is almost purely due to do with his family because he takes over the job from his dad. Mickey later finds out that the job that he has at the moment is only his because Eddie got it for him, otherwise he would probably be unemployed. However, Mickey is married and has lot more friends that Eddie.

    For example when they are talking in the factory:  Eddie: …..”What’s wrong?” Mickey: “Look it’s …… its the other lads …. They’re looking”. Here, Mickey doesn’t want to be seen with Eddie because he’s the boss and his friends don’t like him talking to him. Generally, Willie Russell puts over his views about the nature/nurture debate very clearly. Mickey has a poor upbringing and becomes poor whereas Eddie has a good upbringing and becomes very successful. Then when the boys grew up and were seven, it was shown by the clothes they were wearing and the way in which they spoke.

    Then once they were old and at secondary school it was shown by the fact that Edward was going to a private school and Mickey to a local state school. Once they were much older it was shown by the fact that that Edward went to university and became a local councillor and Mickey went to work in a factory and eventually went to prison. This was in my opinion the main theme of the play and so is why it was so well developed and there were so many references to it. The interventionist’s narrator role was to tell the story of the play and to add thought into the audience’s mind and to really make them think about what is happening. He is trying to play the two mothers off against each other and try to make the audience decide between them. His job is also to add things to the play, for example add props, costumes or to speak about the characters.

    He appears to be watching the whole story, that’s why he is always seen on stage somewhere looking onto the performance and making decision about the characters and their actions. He is a very effective dramatic tool to make the performance really hard hitting and to make the audience look further into the performance than what they would otherwise. Dramatic effects that were used in the play were things like Action Before Narration. This was used at the start of the play, it had to the two bodies on stage covered over. This was very effective because it showed that the play would end in tragedy, however it did not give too much away about the story. Other techniques used were soliloquy’s, which were used in the form of the songs, and symbolism. Symbolism was used in several ways, physical and spiritual.

    An example of spiritual symbolism is the fact that Mrs Johnstone always referrers to Marilyn Monroe as her idol. An example of physical symbolism is the locket that Mrs Johnstone gives to Edward as he moves away with a picture of him as a baby but she tells Edward that it is her and Mickey and he does not know that it is actually him. This backs up the theme of innocence and is also an example of dramatic irony. The songs in the play acted as a way in which the character could express their true feelings. They could, in the song say what they thought, felt and wanted without other characters knowing. They added another layer to the performance without making it a musical.

    The songs enhanced the production because they made it much more interesting as opposed to normal soliloquy which does not involve singing and music. Based on the performance at Cathkin High School in 2002 The lighting in the play was very effective. For example the lighting at the beginning of the play (action before narration) was effective, the red patches on the wire curtain with the while light shining through the curtain. This I felt was very effective and showed that something tragic was happening. Other lighting effect were when spotlights were used for when the interventionist narrator was speaking. The stage lights dimmed and a bright white spot light was used on the narrator.


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