Blood brothers - characters

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Mrs Johnstone

·         She is 25 years old at the start of the play and has already had seven children. This suggests that she has a naturally maternal character, embracing new life and being a caring person. Russell might also be hinting at religious rulings against contraception.

·         Often she makes rash decisions on impulse rather than thinking carefully over the consequences of her actions. For example, she buys lots of items from a catalogue on credit despite knowing she probably won’t be able to pay for them later.

·         She has a strong, generous character knowing almost instinctively what’s right and wrong, although her circumstances make it hard for her to be a straightforwardly ‘good’ person. She refuses Mrs Lyons’ attempts to bribe her showing that she values people above money, yet she does agree under extreme pressure to give Mrs Lyons one of her children. This is suggested to be largely unselfish because she is shown only to have concern for the child, foreseeing a more comfortable life for him.

·         She is naturally a kind and loving mother and finds it hard to discipline her children and keep them under control. When Sammy burns the school down instead of scolding him she casually jokes that it was the school’s fault for letting ‘the silly gets play with magnesium’.

·         She is uneducated and does not value intellectual or academic pursuits. This is probably why she is superstitious, something which causes her to believe the twins’ curse and be terrified into following Mrs Lyons’ desires. It also means she lacks concern for the education of her children, taking little interest when either Mickey or Sammy are suspended from school.

·         She is lively and has a zest for life. This can be clearly seen in her love of dancing, but also in her general attitude, which could almost be said to be happy-go-lucky. She follows her instincts, believing them to be her best guide through life.

·         She has a fatalistic attitude: ‘what will be will be’. She does not really concern herself with causes or explanations of the events in her life, instead accepting them as they happen. She rejoices in her relocation by the council for example, but does not wonder how this occurred – to her, it is merely the work of fate’s lucky hand.

·         She is poor and trapped by poverty. This makes it very difficult for her to care for her children and is ultimately the reason that she gives Edward away to Mrs Lyons. Russell suggests that she is old before her time (remember that she is only in her mid-twenties at the start of the play) and has had to sacrifice any youthful enjoyment for the life she has.



Mrs Lyons

·         She is presented by Russell as a lonely housewife, with a cold character who finds it difficult to be affectionate towards others. This may be her natural


Saigo Takormori


This stuff's been copied off from Bitesize.



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