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AS and A Level: Willy Russell

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 1
  1. Peer reviewed

    Compare how Willy Russell portrays the two mothers in "Blood Brothers". Account for the different reactions the audience will have towards the two women

    3 star(s)

    Before Mrs Johnson finishes her sing, the milkman interrupts her demanding his money "...you owe me three pounds, seventeen and fourpence an' either you pay up today, like now, or I'll be forced to cut of your deliveries." Mrs Johnston is not quite sure how to reply and tires to reason with him to pay next week. The audience feel sorry for her because she cannot afford to pay her bills. Will Russell portrays Mrs Johnston as a single parent living in a social housing estate with many children and another on the way.

    • Word count: 874
  2. Educating Rita general overview. Russell depicts the initial struggles that people who have not had a private school start to the education system. He uses both stagecraft and dialogue to present the changes that a person such as he and Rita can face.

    Russell depicts the initial struggles that people who have not had a private school start to the education system. He uses both stagecraft and dialogue to present the changes that a person such as he and Rita can face. Rita starts off the play with an outsiders view to education. The stage notes show Rita, standing at the door, hesitating to enter this new path she faces. Stage notes, show that Rita is finding to enter Frank's room difficult. She cannot open the door, the door being a metaphor for the leap from her normal life, to her start on the course - that she feels like she doesn't have the upper hand in.

    • Word count: 3209
  3. Educating Rita

    By the end of the play she is able to tell them when they are speaking nonsense and join in their conversations as an equal. Success in her literature course has thus given her greater confidence in the wider world. Willy Russell shows that for Rita, education involves a move out of her original social class and away from the values of her family and friends. This could be seen as a loss for her, but in moving beyond her working class background she gains in self-respect and self-confidence so that she is better able to handle the challenges of life.

    • Word count: 1003
  4. Focussing on the scene where Mrs Johnson agrees to give one of her unborn babies away to Mrs Lyons, explain how you would direct this section of the play so that the major issues Willy Russell was concerned about are made obvious to the audience.

    Mrs Lyons would be wearing full make up, a fashionable pink silk dress with a matching coat and gloves, she would be wearing high heels and be holding a leather handbag. Her hair would be styled in a bob above her shoulders and you would be able to see her pearl necklace glistening against the spotlight. The scene is set in Mrs Lyons' living room. The wallpaper would be fashionable for the time; there would be an emerald green sofa with matching cushions that looked expensive but uninviting.

    • Word count: 3331
  5. How liberal was Russell's administration of 1846-152?

    The liberals saw the political system superior to those of the European countries and the democratic excess of USA. In addition they wanted a restriction on the monarchs use of power and similarly they put less emphasis on the importance of the Church of England, and felt that religion did not matter; they had sympathy towards the nonconformist denominations, valuing equality. The Whigs passed the Great Reform Act in 1832; It extended franchise and in the process removed a large amount of the rotten boroughs, making the political system slightly less corrupt. This had quite a big impact, which also leads to the repeal of the Corn Laws, both Liberals and Whigs were for those acts.

    • Word count: 1028
  6. The women in Willy Russell's plays

    Or Mrs Johnston will tell Eddie that he is her child and belongs to her. Mrs Lyons becomes obsessed with the situation and moves away from Mrs Johnston. Unfortunately, for Mrs Lyons, Mrs Johnston wants a fresh start and is re-housed to the same place. Mrs Johnston's ambition is to provide for her children and to have a life without debt. However hard Mrs Johnston tries to provide a good life for her children she is stopped by numerous bills and her children getting into trouble with the police for example, Sam goes down for robbing.

    • Word count: 2182
  7. "And do we blame superstition for what has come to pass? Or is it what we, the English, have come to know as class?"

    Even though the narrator tells the audience to "Come judge for yourselves", they have already been influenced by the narrators description. The style of language the narrator uses is also very persuasive, as his speech is in an effective rhyming poetic form. He also talks to the audience instead of just narrating what is going on. "An' did you..." is a quote showing that the narrator is talking as a friend to the audience. This is an effective technique because it makes the play more interesting and helps the audience stay in tune with what is going on.

    • Word count: 3203
  8. Explore the ways in which Willy Russell makes use of language differences in act 2 scene 2.

    They then went on to produce the world premieres of many of his plays, most of which transferred successfully to the west end. Throughout this play dramatic irony is used, this is where the audience knows something one or more of the caracters on stage don't know. Willy Russell uses this to emphasize the differences between the classes more. Stage directions are very important for somebody who has not seen the play and is just reading the play, this is because they help you create mental picture of whats going on in the play.

    • Word count: 585
  9. Which of Billy’s three girlfriends is best suited to him?

    This is Billy's Grandmother, Alice's mother. She is extremely racist and also forgetful. She is forgetful. She is almost senile and throughout the play she is found rambling to herself. She blames Alice for Billy being spoilt. At the beginning of the play when Billy is discussing Barbara with Arthur, he seems unbelievably sexually frustrated. He has had a plan to seduce Barbara by using a 'passion pill'. Barbara is a girl of about nineteen who is large and well built. This gives the impression that Barbara is relatively old fashioned and prudish. Barbara has strong morals and refuses to have sex before marriage.

    • Word count: 1997
  10. How far do you consider Frank to be the comic focus of the play "Educating Rita"?

    Russell utilises this initial characterisation and continues to create humorous scenes in which Frank?s apathetic temperament and almost callous character becomes so captivating, even though you would imagine his cynicism as a trait associated with the antagonist in any story. Russell?s grim worldview and his opinion on the education system, a common theme of the play, comes through with Frank?s alcoholism and what he says about his position; ?To get the sack, it would have to be rape on a grand scale.

    • Word count: 1493
  11. To What Extent do you agree with Rita that Frank is A good Teacher

    Toward the beginning of the play Rita enjoys learning within Frank's classroom and is tremendously enthusiastic towards the learning process. The enthusiasm that is described here can be clearly seen in several parts of the play. A first example is seen by her clear desire to learn which is portrayed dramatically when Rita claims "everything" after answering Frank's question, asking his student what she would like to learn. This bold answer plainly shows Rita's yearning and magnitude of the amount that she is expecting to learn.

    • Word count: 1228

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