Revision For Exams



Blood Brothers Key Quotes -

You never put new shoes on the table”  “But y’know the devil’s got your number.” The narrator suggests the mothers will be cursed for their unnatural agreement. “Mouths to feed. You’re expecting twins.” Mrs.Jonstone discovers she is having twins the scene immediately after the shoes are left on the table. “They say that if either twin learns that he was once a pair, they will both immediately die.” Mrs.Lyons create a superstition that will prove to her haunt her... and ultimately come true!  “There’s a girl inside the woman, She’s waiting to break free, She’s washed a million dishes, She’s always making tea.” The narrator describes Linda's life of drudgery shortly before she begins the affair with Edward.  “This means we’re blood brothers and that we’ll always have to stand by each other.”  “You’re great you are Mam.” Mickey's words when Mrs.Johnstone agrees to let him and Linda live with her.  “Leave me alone will y'? I can’t cope.” Mickey's words to Linda when she asks him to stop taking the pills in prison.  "(Screaming) You!Why couldn't you have given me away?" A very different response to Mrs. Johnstone at the end of the play.  "It's just a secret, everybody has secrets,don't you have secrets?" Eddie says this to his mother when he is sent home from school for wearing Mrs Johnstone’s locket.  "Why...why is a job so important?" "Look...come on...I've got money,plenty of it." Eddies says this to Mickey when he loses his job at the factory. It shows how different their lives have been.

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Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons

A large part of the tension throughout the text hangs on the superstition that Mrs Lyons uses to trap Mrs Johnstone into silence; that should Mickey and Eddie discover their brotherhood, they will both die. Throughout the play we see the huge contrast between Mrs Lyons and Mrs Johnstone. At the beginning of the play, the Narrator describes Mrs Johnstone as ‘the mother, so cruel’ – but is this what we are led to think of Mrs Johnstone? For instance, how do we react to the scene where Mrs Johnstone allows the boys to go to the cinema to watch the ‘Swedish Au Pairs’ film? We know that Mrs Lyons would not be as liberal. We see that Mrs Johnstone has a better understanding and acceptance of the fact that young boys will be sexually curious and she does not try to suppress their curiosity. We see her as down-to-earth and the more approachable mother – she of course wins instant credibility with her two sons. This moment is also an example that indicates that happiness during upbringing is not assured by social status or wealth. Rather than viewing Mrs Johnstone as a cruel character, we tend to sympathise with her dilemma. We see her handle her house full of children with endless patience and tenderness. Despite being trapped by her social position and her lack of funds, she is down-to-earth and does not see money as the answer to all of her problems. We see her refuse money from the desperate Mrs Lyons – MRS LYONS: Thousands… I’m talking about thousands if you want it, and think what you could do with money like that. MRS JOHNSTONE: I’d spend it. I’d buy more junk and trash; that’s all. I don’t want your money. I’ve made a life here. It’s not much of one maybe, but I made it. In contrast, Mrs Lyons is very conscious of her social position and the above scene indicates that she sees money as a solution to the problems of Mrs Johnstone. Mrs Lyons is also portrayed as a cold woman who doesn’t show much emotion. She is very over-protective of Eddie and fears his bond with the Johnstones. Later in the play this fear becomes more evident and she appears as a neurotic, obsessive character who appears to be losing control – this is evident when she attempts to attack Mrs Johnstone with a kitchen knife.

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Mickey and Eddie For the reader/audience,

the delight of watching Mickey and Eddie’s friendship blossom is the knowledge that they are brothers, the fact of which they are unaware. This sense of dramatic irony is a point of humour throughout the play, but also a reminder of the superstitious curse that Mrs Lyons has inflicted – and the foreknowledge of what is going to happen. In the first half of the show, Mickey appears as a childhood ringleader, and a herofigure for Eddie, who is in awe of Mickey’s unrestrained energy. We watch as their natural bond unfolds, and as their inhibitions fall away, we notice that they appear more alike. In contrast, we see Eddie becoming the role model towards the end of the show. We appreciate him more for his foundations – he holds a good job and is considerate of Linda when Mickey rebukes her. We see the brothers grow apart again, as Eddie prospers and Mickey faces imprisonment and falls into depression.

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