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blood brothers

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Introduction

Despite the many comic elements in the play, Blood Brothers essentially deal with the theme of hardship. With close reference to Russell's language and dramatic methods, say to what extent you agree with this statement. The dictionary definition for hardship defines it as adversity: a state of misfortune or affliction; "debt-ridden farmers struggling with adversity"; "a life of hardship", asperity: something hard to endure; "the asperity of northern winters". The Blood Brothers play was written by a Willy Russell who lived a life in some ways familiar to both blood brothers Micky Johnston and Edward Lyons. Willy Russell was born in Whiston near Liverpool in 1947. There was a strong tradition of storytelling in his family, who were 'thinking' working class. His school career in the 'D Stream' was undistinguished at fifteen he left school with one 'O' Level, in English Language, with little idea of what he wanted to do beyond a vague notion of wanting to become a writer. He was unsure of how to enter that world, so he drifted into hairdressing. ...read more.

Middle

Another effective dramatic device used by Russell is the timing/flow/pace of the play. Russell keeps the flow constant with very few breaks within the play from scene to scene. Marilyn Monroe has a huge influence on the play and on the characters as she mirrors the character of Mrs Johnston as she was also good looking and also Mickys character has a life similar to Marilyn Monroe as he gets a slight drug addiction. Marilyn Monroe's life was full of hardship as she was Hollywood's most popular sex symbol and was constantly bothered by the media. Marilyn Monroe is a big influence throughout the play as Willy Russell compares her to the characters especially Mrs Johnston. Examining the hardship within the play I notice that a lot of it is mostly affecting the Johnston family more than the Lyons although Mrs Lyon's superstition acts up on her and she then suffers. The first main episode were Russell portrays hardship is the scene when Micky and Edward meet for the first time. In this scene Micky and Edwards different use of words and their vocabulary shows their different backgrounds. ...read more.

Conclusion

Russell also uses the theme of superstition to exacerbate Mrs Johnston's hardship a lot. He mainly does this most effectively by using the narrator mainly singing the song about the devil. Then effectively he uses the same effect of the narrator singing to play upon Mrs Lyons superstition. 'An' they've been watchin' you,'. Another thing done well by Russell is in the scene of the two schools when he practically places them beside each other and how both Mickey and Edward get suspended at the same time in trying to emphasis how although the have different lifestyles they are still alike. Eg. Edward "You can do exactly as you wish sir. You can take a flying fuck and a rolling donut! But you shall not take my locket". Teacher (in Edwards school) "I'm going to ...I'm going to have you suspended, Lyons." Teacher (in Mickeys school) "Your both suspended" Overall I think that Russell added certain aspects of comedy into the play but only to grab the attention off the audience and keep them interested. Mainly I think that he intends the play to be about hardship and about the troublesome times that he grew up in and the influence of Thatcherism on these times. ...read more.

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