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    Social and historical context of the play Essay

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    Analyse how Russell presents the brothers first meeting act one p22-27 what does the meeting reveal about the social and historical context of the play and how does it prepare us for the rest of the play. One of the reasons that Willy Russell created this play to show us the difference in class difference that existed in Liverpool at the time 1980. He shows the difference by showing us the contrasting lives of both of the mothers and boys.

    Mrs Johnstone has a hard life having to work hard for a living and Mrs Lyons has an easy life and this also applies to the boys Mickey lives a hard life and Edward lives an easy life. He shows us that education, living conditions, housing and wealth can be affect someone’s class and social background. This is shown by their education is different Edward’s education is better than Mickey this is shown by Mickey not knowing what an dictionary is I know this because he says “course I do it’s a, it’s a thingy innit which implies that he doesn’t know what it is”.

    Willy Russell is the author of the play ‘Blood Brothers’. ‘Blood Brother’ is set in Liverpool which influences the storyline of the character Mickey’s family live in a rough area of Liverpool then go on to move away from there house and go to live near his brothers family Edward. The setting of the play influence the way Mickey speak he has a Liverpudlian accent. Edward doesn’t have a Liverpudlian accent. The play was first performed in Liverpool. ‘Blood Brothers’ is about two twin brothers who are separated at birth because of their mother not being able to keep both of them.

    The audience know from the prologue that they are brothers and have been separated at birth and the die when they are told they are brothers. The stage direction in the boys’ first meeting shows the difference in personality of the boy’s Mickey is described as ‘bored and petulant’ which shows that he doesn’t get that much attention because he has a big family, which also link with the stereotype of working class people having lots of children and Edward is described as ‘bright and fourth coming’ he gets a lot of attention because he’s an only child. Mickey is frustrated at being the youngest, which I think Russell is stereotyping working class people having lots of children.

    They first meet when they are just seven and become good friends at the start of the play. Before they meet the mothers of the two boys tell them not to play near each others house because Mrs Lyon’s doesn’t want Edward playing with the rough kids and also doesn’t want him to be near his brother in case they find out they are brothers. Edward goes to Mickey’s house because his see’s Mickey playing near his house and I personally think he want to make friends with him Mrs Johnstone was told by Mrs Lyon’s if the boy’s are ever told they are brothers they will both die because Mrs Johnstone is superstitious she doesn’t tell them that they are related. They grow up not knowing they are brothers. When they did eventually find out that they are brothers when there mother Mrs Johnstone tells them that they are related at the end of the play they tragically die and the superstition becomes true in this case.

    When Mickey first meets Edward he says “hello” to him first and Mickey say’s “hello” back suspiciously because he is not use to people being nice to him because he tend to have lots of strange people taking items from his house. The audience reactions at that stage are if the boy’s are going to find out about being brothers and they might be shocked because they know they are brothers from the prologue. When Mickey says “do you live up in the park” that conveys that he’s a higher class Mickey always refers to his mom as ‘Mam’ and Edward say’s “mummy”. When Edward say’s “well my mummy doesn’t let me play down here” which also conveys that he’s middle class because up generally mean that better higher than something else. When Mickey says “gis a sweet” in my view is rude because he doesn’t ask for a sweet he demands one off Edward.

    When Edward say alright to Mickey having a sweet Mickey react shocked because he doesn’t usually get any sweets. Mickey suspiciously takes one of Edwards’s sweets because he is used to people tricking him because in his area are the rough children who play tricks. Mickey takes a handful of his sweets because he doesn’t usually get many sweets because his mom can’t afford it .Mickey say’s “y’ have to ask about twenty million times” which is a hyperbole. When Edward say’s you can take as many as you want Mickey isn’t used to people being nice to him. Mickey always using slang because he say’s if y’ and Edward using formal English he say’s you rather than y. Mickey always using swear words which shows that he is from a working class background and a lower class . He uses word ‘like dead careful’ which is slang which means very careful.

    Edward uses word ‘like super fun’ which shows he’s posh. Edward also says fantastic which shows he’s posh. Mickey doesn’t know what a dictionary which shows he’s a lower class. Mickey exaggerates because he say’s you have to ask about twenty million times. When Mickey tells him about Sammy usually weeds on the sweets before giving it you he explodes in laughter because he isn’t use to playing joke’s this also show’s the bond of the brother’s their age bond’s them and what they find humorous like the plate in Sammy’s head.

    The boy’s don’t know anything about class but Sammy does we know this because Sammy refers to Edward as a “friggin poshy”. Mickey say’s Sammy has a plate in his head Mickey and Edward think that he seriously has got a plate in his head. Edward say’s a dinner plate suggesting that Mickey has a big head. Edward also say’s mam which is slang which shows he’s a lower class. The effect of this is that Edward is well educated, but they both find it funny even though Mickey doesn’t understand what a side plate is.

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    Social and historical context of the play Essay. (2017, Oct 05). Retrieved from

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