Class Differences In Blood Brothers, By Willy Russell

2095 words - 8 pages

Willy Russell creates a play to show us the class differences that
existed in Liverpool in the 1980’s. He does this by showing us the
contrasting lives of the two boys and their mothers. Mrs Lyons has an
easy life and Mrs Johnston has a hard life and has to work hard to
earn a living. The same applies to the boys as Mickey has the hard
life and Eddie has the easy life. Willy Russell also shows us that
education, living conditions, housing and wealth can be affected as a
direct result of your class and social background. This meant that the
people from working class backgrounds had a harder life because they
didn’t have the same opportunities. During the 1980’s a lot of people
were made redundant because mills and factories closed down, reducing
the number of jobs.

First on stage is Mrs Johnston, the stage directions describe her as
‘thirty, but looks sixty’. This tells us that the she looks withered
and old because of all the strenuous work she has to do. Russell helps
us to realise her desperate situation in many ways. One of the ways he
does this is by telling us she has seven kids. Although she is a young
woman she is old in appearance. As a single mum she has to cope with
the pressures of bringing seven children up on her own. One of the
ways this is shown is when kid one says ‘Mam. The baby’s crying. He
wants a bottle. Where’s the milk?’. After this her other three kids
start complaining about them not having enough to eat. When the mother
starts singing you can tell that she is trying her best to make the
kids happy but doesn’t have the money to do so. She tries to reassure
them by saying ‘Next week I’ll be earning, there’ll be loads of stuff
to eat’. She is dreaming about the food but deep down she knows that
it is not possible to get enough food for her children. This makes the
reader feel sorry and realise the desperate situation she is in. She
is trying to earn a living as a cleaner which is a poor job and she is
struggling because a cleaner can’t afford to feed seven mouths.
Finally Russell shows us that she is in such a desperate situation
that she ends up giving her child away. This makes you feel sorry for
her because she is on her own and has to cope with everything herself.
This tells us that because of her social background her life chances
are limited. Russell shows us she is uneducated through her
superstition.

Today if a woman is left alone then she gets help from the government
through income support, child benefit and other kinds of financial
backing. But at this time the government didn’t offer financial help
to the people so many people like Mrs Johnston suffered. But life is
still not equal because many people still can’t afford designer
clothes or afford to send their children to private school.

This has changed now because then the government didn’t provide any
financial help for single mums. Also at this time there were high
levels of redundancies and unemployment. This...

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