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With particular references to two main characters, show how the way they change and develop during the course of the play demonstrates Russell's attitudes to power and opportunity in society - Blood Brothers.

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Introduction

Thomas Hudson With particular references to two main characters, show how the way they change and develop during the course of the play demonstrates Russell's attitudes to power and opportunity in society "Blood Brothers" is set in Liverpool in the early eighties. The play follows the life of two main characters: Eddie Lyons and Mickey Johnston. and has proved extremely popular with audiences of all ages. Willy Russell is very successful in sustaining the audiences attention and involving them with his characters due to the effectiveness of his writing. The plotlines are simple yet captivating, and the characterisation is vivid and imaginative. It is easy to empathise with the emotions experienced by his characters which makes us care about what happens to them. Russell is also highly successful in building dramatic tension and the conclusion of the play is both shocking and thought provoking. In Blood Brothers the characters fall into two stereotypical groups: the working class Johnstones and their associates, and the middle class Lyons. It seems ironic that although the Johnston family live on the breadline they start off cheerfully, compared with the Lyons who never seem content. This makes the audience aware of what is wrong with the lives of both families and creates dramatic tension. ...read more.

Middle

The varied scene changes in the play work to keep the audience captivated, as does the upbeat, fast pace of the play. Music could create a dramatic atmosphere and keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Willy Russell is very successful in sustaining the audiences attention and involving them with his characters due to the effectiveness of his writing. The plotlines are simple yet captivating, and the characterisation is vivid and imaginative. It is easy to empathise with the emotions experienced by his characters which makes us care about what happens to them. Russell is also highly successful in building dramatic tension and the conclusion of the play is both shocking and thought provoking. The development of characters is fascinating: Mickey is undoubtedly one of the main characters in the play-he is also a victim. He has a twin brother of which he has no knowledge of until a few seconds before they are both killed. He could also be portrayed as a victim because of his upbringing in a lower class household where he had little chance of educational success. Peer pressure led him to do dubious things so that, for example, he could treat Linda to a night out.... ...read more.

Conclusion

For example when Eddie finds Mickey a job in the factory, the outcome is opposite to what Eddie intended. "Yeh we both work in the same place, but you own the place Mr Lyons" The play makes a statement about contrasting ways of life, but essentially it demonstrates how class, background and upbringing affect and define the outcomes of people's lives. There is a certain inevitability about the way the lives of the Johnston family develop and the difficulties they face trying to change. Mickey says: "Eddie, we've been trying to get moved for five years-you fix it up in five minutes" In other words, middle class people can make things happen. Eddie has gained confidence (by attending a public school rather than a state school) and Mickey has not. The experience has given Eddie a "leg up" as far as life opportunities are concerned. The Lyons family broadly represent middle class people who appear to have material privileges and life opportunities. Mickey's family on the other hand demonstrate, at an extreme level, the difficulties faced by large, working-class, single parent families who cannot rise above the poverty and deprivation in which they live. I think "Blood Brothers" is powerful, moving and thought provoking in the way that it deals with the issues I have tried to consider in this essay. ...read more.

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