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Billy's Relationships with women of his own age in the play 'Billy Liar' - Why does each of them ultimately fail?

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Billy's Relationships with women of his own age in the play 'Billy Liar' Why does each of them ultimately fail? In the play 'Billy Liar', Billy manages to engage himself to two women simultaneously whilst having an affair with a third at the same time. In this essay I will focus on each individuals characteristics and their reactions to different aspects of Billy's actions. For starters I will monitor each characters responses to Billy's consistent lying, their individual motivation and who has more control over the relationship in hand. The three women's attitudes to sex and marriage and lastly the issue over whether the individual relationships will succeed or fail in the future to come, will be in addition thoroughly looked over. From Rita's attitude we can see that she comes from a poor background or at least a lower class to Billy's rank in society. She is able to see straight through Billy's lies with a casual ease picked up from the regular nights spent with 'friendly airmen', she is also streetwise in a way quite different from the other two. Barbara on the other hand is entirely on the other end of the spectrum to Rita. Billy's lies commonly deceive her and she only manages to spot the blatant remarks that are too obvious to mistake for anything else. When she realises the joke put upon her she reacts with pity and sorrow "you haven't been lying to me Billy have you?" ...read more.


Interestingly Billy receives a lot of criticism from his parents and piers over his choices [Liz is considered undesirable by most of his friends and acquaintances] yet he still is not put off by this factor: BILLY: What? Liz? ARTHUR: Yea-scruffy Lizzie. I bumped into her in Sheep-gate. Mucky as ever. It's about time someone bought her a new skirt. Rita maintains control throughout this relationship by her use of crude expressions and clich�s picked up from regular visits with friendly American airmen. "Ooh! Look what's crawled out of the cheese." Many of these terms are in response to Billy's childish lying, unable to deceive Rita who can pick them out with a casual ease. The reason for her apparent effortlessness is due to her streetwise quality unbeknown to the other two allowing her to pick up Billy's deceiving lingo and replying with sarcasm or criticism. "Pull the other one its got bells on it." The only way Billy manages to control Rita is by using a physical response to calm her vocal harassment. Due to his lack of control Billy is usually defending himself from Rita's judgements which regularly include Billy's own family [Rita shows a definite lack of respect for her elders coming from a poor and uneducated background] Billy likes to dominate the relationship with Barbara because of its unique context. He usually fails as Barbara whips out her famous oranges as defence mechanism used to passively distort Billy's plans. ...read more.


She is quite surprised and confused when she realises what Billy has accomplished during the period of their relationship. "Have you been untrue to me Billy? I've got to know." Once more, Liz is the 'middle man' because of her median views. She is not Virgo intactica nevertheless she doesn't use her views to her advantage or to gain materialist objects like Rita. On the other hand she would never wait to find a husband to discreetly have a child when no one is looking, views common to Barbara's puritan beliefs. Despite her loss of virginity she is happy to "make babies - lots of them" with Billy after a small amount of urging and influential advice. The relationship between Rita and Billy is undoubtedly going to end extremely quickly. The reason for this short-lived affair is down to the grounds that the motivation in tact between the two characters is only skin deep. Its point was only for each individual's personal gain and not for the couple as a whole. The same fateful end is imminent for Barbara and her idealistic, old-fashioned relationship. The reason for this well-chosen ending is that the context for the whole relationship was to be a form of entertainment or sport providing Billy a gateway to pass on all his troubles created by work and his other relationship with Rita. Liz yet again is separated from the other two. Seeing as she was the only one Billy really cherished, it is most likely that this couple will unite themselves as part of the new-formed generation. ...read more.

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