In Act 2 Scene 4 Mickey says ‘Eddie… Eddie… You coming out? ‘ With Eddie replying ‘My mum says I haven’t got to play with you’. Mickey responds ‘Don’t take any notice of mothers… Come on bunk under the fence and she won’t see you. ‘ Especially during childhood it is distinct that In Act 2 Scene 7 the tomfoolery of Mickey has not earned him and his family much respect or a glowing reputation. A more angry approach from a policewoman is aimed at the lower classed Mickey, as she says ‘He was about o commit a serious crime, love’.
The reputation and respect of Eddie and his family earns a more laid back approach from the policewoman, saying ‘It was more of a prank really, Mrs Lyons’. Russell explores how class can make a big difference to people’s lives and happiness. The reputation of Eddie will cause no dispute whatsoever, creating no anguish or woe in the family. Whereas Mickey will receive much of a telling off, to the sorrowful audience. The audience find it hard to accept society treats people in different ways, especially in Mickey’s case. Again the higher class of Eddie shows his more polite side after asking Mrs Johnston how she is.
In Act 2 Scene 8 Eddie says ‘Hello, Mrs Johnston, how are you? ‘ The mother answers ‘I don’t usually have kids enquiring about my health. ‘ The politeness of Eddie is apparent due to his level of class, and this again is a tactic of Russell’s to elaborate the superior sociality and mannerism of the upper class. The audience and I feel sorry for Mrs Johnston, who practically deserves better for the hard work she has done and the fact her own child is stood right upon her without him even knowing is clearly tough going for her.
Mickey’s persuasion skills come into good effect again in Act 2 Scene 9, having strengthening his relationship with his brother. Eddie voices ‘Never look at on magpie. Its one for sorrow’. Mrs Lyons responds ‘Eddie that’s just a silly superstition’. Then Eddie snaps, ‘Its not, its not, Mickey told me’. As I previously noted, it is clear the relationship between the brothers is at an all time high, in the way Eddie sticks up for Mickey when talking to his mother. This bond of friendship pleases the audience, who see this as a pivotal part of the play for the brothers to grow a unique amiability for one another.
In Act 4 Scene1 another similarity is profound between the brothers, that being their love for Linda. Eddie makes a subtle approach when declaring his love for Linda, saying ‘For you sweet Linda I would suffer a thousand things more than embarrassment’. Whereas Mickey uses an honest yet tactless approach, simply saying ‘Linda will you go out with me? ‘ Despite there similar love for Linda; they both have completely different modes of proposal. Once more Russell intends to clarify that amongst society the upper class glare in tenacity, shown through the utter resolute approach from Eddie.
I actually feel for Linda at this stage of the play, knowing how her pivotal choice between Eddie and Mickey will surely end in tears. The difference of class shows again, when later in life we get to look at how the brothers are planning for their futures. Maturity has definitely struck Eddie long before Mickey. An extract in Act 4 Scene 1 shows Eddie saying ‘I go away to university tomorrow’, with Mickey replying ‘I had to do some bleeding overtime. I hate that place’. Despite Eddie’s reluctance to leave Linda, it is obvious to see that he is making positive steps towards his future.
The audience feel distressed for Eddie at this particular part of the play, knowing leaving now could cause him to lose the love of his life. Leaving to university is a decision Eddie is finding difficult to make. From what the narrator says in Act 4 Scene1 we can see that Eddie has grown up. The narrator says ‘The bogey man, it seems, packed his bags and moved away’. The ‘bogey man’ could be referring to an earlier comment by the mother to Eddie in Act 2 Scene 2 when saying ‘go on; go home before the bogey man gets you’.
It is possible that the ‘bogey man’ was a fear of Eddies during his childhood but once the narrator mentions that the ‘bogey man’ has gone, could be a sign of maturity. Maybe something Mickey hasn’t experienced. Throughout the play confidence seeks out of Eddie yet not Mickey. In Act 4 Scene 1 Eddie says ‘If I was Mickey I would have said ‘You are my girlfriend because I love you’. Whereas Mickey actually said ‘erm… err well the thing is the centre of my… being cries out for… erm, my knees, loins are… Linda for Christ’s sake will you go out with me? ‘ The pause in-between Mickey’s sentences are evident of his lack of confidence.
Eddie is straight to the point and is even giving advice to Mickey, showing his compelling confidence. The troubled and tough childhood of Mickey is evident of his agitation, much to the sorrow of the audience who really wish him more confidence like his brother. Both brothers grow up and change appearance in Act 5 Scene 1, as Eddie says to Mickey ‘You look a lot older’. Showing their routes in life has given them different images. Suggesting the tough route in life brings a more stressful look unlike Eddie, who has more or less been handed success on a plate.
Russell is possibly again exaggerating how the luxury of upper class life gives a more easy going life and lower class life is a tough ride and full of stress. The audience again feel for Mickey, who should be equal to his brother. The lower class audience maybe dispute with Russell’s decision to perceive the lower class as stressful, weary looking workers, as this is not always true. After looking at how the brothers life’s have evolved in Act 5 Scene1 we can see that from his childhood up until now Eddie still earns respect, even from Mickey.
Mickey says ‘you’re a boss… were not supposed to talk’ and later he says ‘This job stinks… but it’s my job’. The audience know Mickey works hard and is stuck in a dead end job and despite being given the job from his brother the audience hugely sympathise him. Russell also makes it ironic that upper class life gives you more respect from society and life, showing money does give you power. 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.