The past few weeks I have been reading the play Blood Brothers written by Willy Russell.It is the story of twin brothers who are separated at birth.Wealthy Mrs Lyons, who is not able to have her own children, blackmails her maid, Mrs Johnstone into giving her one of her new born twins.
Mrs Lyons says all Miss Johnston’s other children well benefit, as the Johnston’s have little money. The women agree that it should be their secret and no one else will ever know the truth. The play explores many themes, some being, superstition, friendship and social class.
This essay will discuss the changes in the relationship between Edward and Mickey, while also looking at the conveyed themes. The first time Edward and Mickey meet is when they are seven. “My best friend always had sweets to share. ” Mickey is describing Eddie as his “best friend. ” When the brothers first met Edward shared sweets with Mickey, this small gesture started their friendship. If Edward had not shared his sweets the brothers might have never became friends. When they find out that they were born on the same day Mickey asks Eddie to become his ‘blood brother’.
The boys both made a small cut on their hand, then linked the cuts together, making the blood from the boys join. Both mothers find out about their friendship and are fast in telling their sons to break it up. Edward tells Mickey, ‘My mum says I haven’t got to play with you’ Mickey replies ‘Well, my mum says I haven’t to play with you’. Both mothers are trying to get the twins to stop communicating. By this time the brothers are good friends and blood brothers. Against their mothers wishes the brothers continue to have a friendship until Mrs Lyons even decides to persuade her husband to move the family away.
Soon after, the Johnston’s are moved to a house in the country – unknown to them it’s the same area in which the Lyons moved to. The brothers meet again in a field at the age of 14, not knowing who the other is. After the move the Johnston’s life has improved, Mickey still has a crush on Linda but doesn’t know how to ask her out. This is another part of fate, they live close by and were both excluded from school at the same time. The twins go to the cinema together, then they finally realise who the other is and meet up with Linda.
Mrs Lyons spots Mrs Johnston and tries to kill her. The boys friendship is still strong but the time gap has left a toll. Edward’s vocabulary is not as posh/strong. Also the contrast in backgrounds shows. Mickey smokes, while Edward doesn’t. Edward lives in a ’posh’ area Mickey lives in the estate. Also Edward attends a private school while Mickey goes to the county school. The next time Edward and Mickey meet is when they are 18. ‘If I was Mickey I would have asked you years ago. ’ Edward is jealous of the feelings Linda has for Mickey.
He knows Mickey feels the same for Linda and puts his ‘best friends’ feelings over his own and persuades him to ask her out. While Edward is away at University Linda falls pregnant and Mickey looses his job. This pushes Edwards life further away from Mickey’s. Edward socialises and is in further education. Mickey is on the dole with a pregnant wife, he’s a lot more pressured than Edward. When Edward returns Mickey doesn’t have any money, ‘The Christmas Party’s gonna be on me. ’ Mickey had promised to take Edward out for a treat.
Edward said he would pay, but if anything, this put more pressure on Mickey and it pushed him into participating in a ‘hold up’ with his brother, Sammy. The job goes all wrong, Sammy shoots someone and they both end up in jail. While in jail Mickey is put into a depression and ends up on antidepressant drugs. ‘I get depressed an’ I need to take these cos they make me better. ’ Edward helps Mickey and Linda get a house and gets Mickey a job. This puts a strain on Mickey and Linda, Mickey feels he is a failure as his wife had to get help off a friend. ‘I’m not stupid, Linda. You sorted it out.
You an’ Councillor Eddie Lyons. ’ He thinks Linda and Edward are having an affair. Mickey gets a gun and goes to confront Edward. ‘I’ve been thinkin’ again, Eddie. You an’ Linda were friends when she first got pregnant, weren’t y’? Does my child belong to you as well as everythin’ else? ’ The police enter, and try to convince Mickey to drop the gun. Mrs Johnstone enters, and pleads with Mickey to not shoot. She blurts out that they are brothers, and that she couldn’t afford to keep them both. Mickey’s jealousy is shown, ‘Why didn’t you give me away!
I could have been … I could have been him! At this point Mickey’s gun goes off accidentally, the police open fire. Both brothers are dead. In conclusion the relationship between Edward and Mickey has its up’s and downs. At first they are close friends and are then separated, at fourteen they meet up again and are coincidentally separated once more. By the age of eighteen Mickey realises the differences and is betrayed by Edward. In the end realisation hits the brothers as they are told the truth, a childish pact was for real. The overall message is that although everyone has secrets, if they really matter they will be found out.