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Billy Liar - The characters in the play display very negative attitudes towards Billy. He upsets his family, his friends, his girlfriends, andhis employers. Explain how Billy is presented in the play, and writeabout your reactions to the character.

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The characters in the play display very negative attitudes towards Billy. He upsets his family, his friends, his girlfriends, and his employers. Explain how Billy is presented in the play, and write about your reactions to the character. Billy Liar is a book written by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, which is set in the early sixties. The main character is a young man of nineteen years called Billy Fisher. He lives with his parents, Alice and Geoffrey, and his grandmother Florence, in a small terrace house in a working class area. The play starts at half past nine in the morning with Billy still in bed. Geoffrey and Florence find this appalling, as this is not acceptable by their standards. Geoffrey shouts at Alice for not getting him up as he says to her "Go up to him. Go up and kick him out", he thinks that she doesn't teach in any discipline. Florence thinks that both Alice and Geoffrey let him do just as he likes as she repeats this a number of times. Billy's lifestyle, attitude, and morals are very different to those which Florence grew up with and so she complains a lot about him. Geoffrey shouts at Billy and complains at everything he says and does. ...read more.


His mother refers to their family as ordinary folk in a letter addressed to a radio station, however Billy objects to being ordinary folk to Arthur. He considers ordinary folk to be the kind who don't get into grammar school and have normal boring jobs. He doesn't believe he fits this category, even though he did get into grammar school he obviously didn't leave with anything to prove for it in terms of exam results. Billy's only male friend mentioned in the book is Arthur. He works with him for a funeral furnisher called Shadrack & Duxbury's. He tries to do as little work as possible, which seems to correspond with his attitude to work in school as well. He lies to get out of doing work; for example he took three Saturdays off and said that he had forgotten that he was meant to be working, when he really knew. He has a lack of commitment as he doesn't want to work where he does. He wants a perfect job, but he doesn't want to work to get to this position. He was forced to get a job by his father because he had left school and was doing nothing and making no contribution or effort towards their family. ...read more.


He is also tired of having to cover for Billy at work and so he breaks friend with Billy and goes off with Rita. However he may have been jealous of Billy going to London and so he was never a loyal friend. Billy also is not shown to be a loyal friend, but he could be if he put more effort in and showed more care and respect. I believe that Billy is treated a little harshly. He does deserve what he gets just he irritates people and so he is punished more severely than is necessary. He doesn't work hard enough and he doesn't respect people enough as he shows through constant lies. He is frightened about leaving home and standing on his own two feet. He is not a very independent person, possibly due to his parents, mainly his mother, being to protective of Billy. He has the opportunity to follow his dreams of living in a big city but he does not take them. He needs to grow up and become an adult. My reactions to Billy is that of sympathy as he is constantly lying to get out of previous lies and messes about with all of his friends and family. I feel that he has wasted a lot of chances in his life due to idleness, i.e. his grammar school education. He has ability but he doesn't use it. He needs to have some respect for people. ...read more.

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