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GCSE: Blood Brothers

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 4
  1. Peer reviewed

    How is the character 'Mrs Johnstone' portrayed in the play 'Blood Brothers'?

    4 star(s)

    The character 'Mrs Johnstone' is also portrayed as an extremely poor woman. I know this because at the end of the play she says to Mickey (before shooting Edward) 'I couldn't afford to keep both of you'. This shows the readers that she is trapped by poverty and reinforces the idea that it is difficult for her to take care for her children and is ultimately the reason why she gave Edward away to the middle-class 'Mrs Lyons'. Russell suggests that she is 'old before her time'. This indicates that she had to sacrifice any youthful enjoyment and financial security to care for her children - she cannot gain financial security because

    • Word count: 612
  2. Peer reviewed

    HOW DOES WILLY RUSSEL BUILD UP DRAMATIC TENSION AT THE END OF THE PLAY 'BLOOD BROTHERS'

    4 star(s)

    This event spurs Mickey on to seek revenge against Edward because he feels betrayed by him and Linda. Mickey reacted by ''comb the town, breaking through groups of people, looking, searching........ going to do''. It shows that he is out of control and he is counting to kill Edward. This is evident when the writer uses the words like searching, looking, desperate.....''. He doesn't even know that what is he looking for or what to do further. The words that the writer uses to show Mickey's agitated mood, heightens tension to the audience. Additionally, playing loud music intensifies tension too.

    • Word count: 880
  3. Peer reviewed

    Blood Brothers

    3 star(s)

    At 20 years old, he returned to college and became a teacher in the Toxteth area of Liverpool. Around this time he met his wife, Annie, and became interested in writing drama. As Willly Russell was brought up in the working class its not surprising that he left school with just one O - level. Also it's not surprising that he wrote a play write showing the digression of growing up in the working class. "Class" is central to the story as it is a theme that exists throughout the play. Willy Russell has shown the class affects people's lives by having 2 families in the play, the Johnstone family (working class) and the Lyons family (middle class).

    • Word count: 872
  4. Peer reviewed

    Compare how Willy Russell portrays the two families in 'Blood Brothers' and account for the different reactions of the audience to the Johnstones and Lyons' throughout the play.

    3 star(s)

    From the very beginning of the play we can see that the mothers are very different. You can really tell that Mrs Johnstone is a working class lady and she has aged a lot since her first child, people used to say she looked like Marilyn Monroe, 'they said the bride looked lovelier than Marilyn Monroe'. Mrs Johnstone has to work hard to feed all of her seven children, 'It's such a lovely house and it's a pleasure to clean'. Mrs Johnstone is also in a little bit of debt with her catalogues and milkman, 'you owe me three pounds, seventeen and fourpence'.

    • Word count: 1252

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Compare how Willy Russell portrays the two mothers in Blood Brothers. Account for the different reactions the audience will have to the two women throughout the play.

    "In conclusion, one the one hand, sometimes Willy Russell portrays Mrs. Johnstone to be the 'real' mother and induces the audience to be attracted to her. Russell than portrays Mrs. Lyons to be the 'false' mother and sways the audience to find her unsympathetic and snobbish. He portrays her as a cold woman who does not show much emotion. We see her as over-protective of Eddie as she fears his bond with the Johnstone family. Yet on the other hand, Willy Russell tends to make the audience to believe that Mrs. Lyons and Mrs. Johnstone are equally sympathetic. He portrays both mothers to be loving and caring mothers who make the best of things. In general, Willy Russell does portray Mrs. Johnstone to be the 'real' mother seeing that she understood the tender relationship between Mickey and Edward. Willy Russell portrayed Mrs. Lyons to be a very selfish woman because of her previous actions like sending Edward to boarding school and showing Mickey that Edward and Linda have been unfaithful. The audience will also feel very understanding and sympathetic towards Mrs. Johnstone throughout the play whereas they may have felt hatred for Mrs. Lyons."

  • Compare how Willy Russell portrays the two brothers in Blood Brothers. Account for the different reactions the audience have to the two characters throughout the play.

    "I really enjoyed reading the play, after having studied it in great detail. Although a sad ending it is a brilliant play throughout and never a dull moment. There are lots of creative moments in the play which always keep you interested. I especially like the way Russell compares and contrasts the two classes between Eddie and Mickey during childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Humour is also brought into the play as you can see that Mickey just doesn't have a clue and isn't ever going to get anywhere and you also see that Eddie is so different and has the brains but starts to throw it away due to his love for Lisa and Mickey's bad influence. For me Russell did a great job despite vastly exaggerating the difference of upper and lower class society."

  • Discuss the influences on the lives of Mickey and Eddie in Blood Brothers.

    "In conclusion, I can divide the influences on the lives of Mickey and Eddie in four main sections. The differences between Mickey and Eddie in the family, the social class they are, the education they have and the religion of the family. They are identical twins but they have got a very different life, I think it is because these things that I have mentioned before influenced them."

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