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The Function of the Narrator in Blood Brothers

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Introduction

The Function of the Narrator in Blood Brothers The narrator's role in 'Blood Brothers' is quite unusual. The convention of the narrator in most plays is such that they are usually brought on to introduce the next part of the play and then move offstage and the play continues. However, in Blood Brothers the narrator is a physical character and is on stage all of the time. At the beginning of the play the narrator says, "So did y' hear the story of the Johnstone twins?" This indicates that he is the storyteller. His presence at every scene thereafter shows that he is telling us about that part of the story. The narrator is on stage all the time, watching the characters and often lurking in the background, and this makes him seem a sinister and threatening character, which contrasts with other plays where the narrator is usually neutral. Also, as the narrator already knows the end of the story and is telling it back to the audience he can also suggest what is going to happen in the future which has a disquieting effect. ...read more.

Middle

the past was tightly locked away" The imagery of this speech is quite threatening with undertones of criminality in phrases such as "locked away, "debts to pay" and "reckoning day". This reinforces the narrator's malevolent nature and creates an atmosphere of foreboding to which Mrs Lyons reaction is one of fear. The narrator also speaks or shouts directly at other characters and although they can't see him they often move to face him. This suggests that they can hear what he is saying. The narrator often mirrors the thoughts of the characters signifying that he may be acting as their subconscious. One example of this is when Mrs Johnstone begins to feel regretful after giving away one of her sons. As she has sworn on the bible, she cannot turn to God and, as the narrator says, there "Ain't no point in clutching At your rosary". Here the narrator seems to be telling of Mrs Johnstone's thoughts and the echo of her earlier conversation with Mrs Lyons in "And you can't tell anyone" also seems to be doing this. Mrs Johnstone knows that she cannot tell anyone that she has "sold a son" because Mrs Lyons has stated that if they ever find out the truth they will both "immediately die". ...read more.

Conclusion

The repetition of "And only" shows that there is regret that it can't stay like that but also that the change is inevitable. This is a turning point in the play and the language of the speech shows that the three young characters have reached their prime, and that from now on there can only be a downward slide towards the tragic ending that the narrator foretold at the beginning of the play. In conclusion the narrator acts as a pivotal character in the play. He demonstrates some traits of a usual narrator such as bridging large gaps of time with his speech and beginning and concluding the play. However, he is also a far more important character than most narrators because he seems able to influence the characters, which is not seen in other plays. The audience also never know the identity of the narrator and his character does not develop like the other actors, which makes him more isolated and, although there is a dramatic relationship between the audience and the narrator, does not allow the audience to create empathy with him. David Thompson English Coursework ...read more.

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