Studying Characters and Relationships within the Text
As you will already be aware, observing and discussing individual characters and
Their relationship with other characters is vital when gaining a thorough knowledge of a text. Seeing the characters brought into realisation on the stage is an excellent way of gaining familiarity with these characters â€“ and unlike many other film or stage productions, Blood Brothers has not been altered by the adaptation process, as it was written as a musical by Russell. There are two main character relationships within the text where we can note a contrast between two characters. We of course see the immediate bond between Mickey and Eddie, and the ...view middle of the document...
Rather than viewing Mrs Johnstone as a cruel character, we tend to sympathise with her dilemma. We see her handle her house full of children with endless patience and tenderness. Despite being trapped by her social position and her lack of funds, she is down-to-earth and does not see money as the answer to all of her problems. We see her refuse money from the desperate Mrs Lyons â€“ MRS LYONS: Thousandsâ€¦ Iâ€™m talking about thousands if you want it, and think what you could do with money like that. MRS JOHNSTONE: Iâ€™d spend it. Iâ€™d buy more junk and trash; thatâ€™s all. I donâ€™t want your money. Iâ€™ve made a life here. Itâ€™s not much of one maybe, but I made it. In contrast, Mrs Lyons is very conscious of her social position and the above scene indicates that she sees money as a solution to the problems of Mrs Johnstone. Mrs Lyons is also portrayed as a cold woman who doesnâ€™t show much emotion. She is very over-protective of Eddie and fears his bond with the Johnstones. Later in the play this fear becomes more evident and she appears as a neurotic, obsessive character who appears to be losing control â€“ this is evident when she attempts to attack Mrs Johnstone with a kitchen knife.
Mickey and Eddie
For the reader/audience, the delight of watching Mickey and Eddieâ€™s friendship blossom is the knowledge that they are brothers, the fact of which they are unaware. This sense of dramatic irony is a point of humour throughout the play, but also a reminder of the superstitious curse that Mrs Lyons has inflicted â€“ and the foreknowledge of what is going to happen. In the first half of the show, Mickey appears as a childhood ringleader and a hero-figure for Eddie, who is in awe of Mickeyâ€™s unrestrained energy. We watch as their natural bond unfolds, and as their inhibitions fall away, we notice that they appear more alike. In contrast, we see Eddie becoming the role model towards the end of the show. We appreciate him more for his foundations â€“ he holds a good job and is considerate of Linda when Mickey rebukes her. We see the brothers grow apart again, as Eddie prospers and Mickey faces imprisonment and falls into depression.
The Role of the Narrator
What purpose does the narrator serve? On stage he appears dressed in a black suit â€“ this gives him a neutral status, as we cannot identify anything about his character. It gives him a sense of anonymity throughout the show, and the fact that the other characters do not acknowledge him gives him a ghostlike quality. His main role throughout the show is to act as a constant reminder to us of the brothersâ€™ tragic fate â€“ exemplified in the musical number â€˜Shoes upon the Tableâ€™, which is repeated throughout both acts of the show. It is also notable that as the show commences with the scene of the finale, his attire is like that of somebody who is attending a funeral â€“ and it seems that he is dressed for for such an occasion throughout the entire play.