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Blood Brothers Coursework The theme of hardship

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Blood Brothers The definition of hardship is "that which has to bear, suffering, privation" which basically means when a person goes through a hard time due to a split up or a person dying often leading to a series of unfortunate events. Willy Russell's music interests started at about the age of 13 when he would leave school for lunchtime sessions at the cavern and during that time discovered the Beatles. He made an early movie script called 'Wings' written for Paul McCartney although it was never made, Russell said that he wasn't sad about it as he said 'there was no hope of making a movie when the script had been specifically written around the notion of an already existing band. At the time Blood Brothers was written there was unparalleled turmoil within the Tory government as 'Thatcherism' ruled everyone. The chaos spread and elevated as many public sector workers were laid off in an effort to thwart inflation however in doing this Margaret Thatcher made the unemployment rates skyrocket. Many think that Russell wrote his play in order to lash out at Thatcher in order to send some sort of subliminal message to her. Blood Brothers is a story of hardship, struggle and emotions amongst the economic decline of Liverpool from the 1950s to the1970s. ...read more.


The chorus evolved thereafter but song was not used. Sometimes the message was spoken to try and illustrate it better, and help people understand the play as sometimes it can be hard to follow as it can be fast moving or just plain complicated. The chorus could contain up to 50 members but this changed over time and this number receded. In the Sophoclean chorus the narrator or leader of the chorus would sometimes interact with characters in the play. Russell uses a combination of these as he is only using one narrator. He doubles up as a chorus but also uses Sophocles' idea of getting the narrator to interact with characters in the play and take things on and off the stage. Some of the main examples of hardship in Blood Brothers are portrayed in Act Ane when we learn that Mrs Johnstone's husband left, unable to cope with the children, meets another woman. These consequences essentially kick-start what is about to unfold with the twins this decides that she will have to give one of them away as she can't afford to support the family on her own, as she is unemployed at the time of the recession which in England hit the north particularly badly this is where the play is set; in Liverpool. ...read more.


The ultimate hardship for Mrs Johnstone, losing both of her sons on the same day it isn't fair to her and to think that it could have been avoided if she had heeded Mrs Lyon's prophetic warning. She then thinks it's her fault, as at the start of the book we read about Mrs Lyons saying that if two twins separated at birth are ever to find out that they were once part of a pair they will instantly die and this is illustrated very well in the way both boys are shot almost instantly after she says that they are brothers. This rapid downhill session in the play leads to Mickey shooting Eddie. The reason for this is his mother telling him that they were brothers, in his shock he doesn't know how to control himself, Shoots Eddie, the police that had surrounded them as this was occurring, open fire on Mickey and seal his fate. The pain then that Mrs Johnstone has to go through is excruciating, as she has to live with the shame of bringing about the deaths of two of her sons which could have been prevented so easily. In conclusion I think that this play does essentially deal with the theme of hardship despite the many comic elements to it, it is a very fast moving play and at some points hard to follow but overall a very good musical. Myles Gray S1B ...read more.

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