Blood Brothers - Themes

1

Read this extract and use it to answer questions 1-3.

MRS LYONS
Doesn’t one get piles when one’s pregnant? And buy a cot and . . . Oh help me with this, Mrs J. Is it in the right place?
(She puts the cushion back again.)
I want it to look right before I go shopping.
MRS JOHNSTONE
(helping her with the false pregnancy)
What you goin’ the shops for? I do the shopping.
MRS LYONS
Oh no, from now on I do the shopping. I want everyone to know about my baby.
(She suddenly reaches for the Bible).
(Music.)
Mrs J, we must make a, erm, a binding agreement.
(MRS LYONS shows the Bible to MRS JOHNSTONE, who is at first reluctant and then lays her hand on it.
The NARRATOR enters.
A bass note, repeated as a heartbeat.)
NARRATOR
In the name of Jesus, the thing was done
Now there’s no going back, for anyone.
It’s too late now, for feeling torn
There’s a pact been sealed, there’s a deal been born.
(MRS LYONS puts the Bible away. MRS JOHNSTONE stands and stares as MRS LYONS, grabs shopping bags and takes a last satisfied glance at herself in the mirror.)
MRS JOHNSTONE
Why . . . why did we have to do that?
MRS LYONS
Mrs J, nobody must ever know. Therefore we have to have an agreement.
(MRS JOHNSTONE nods but is still uncomfortable.)

Which is the main theme that this extract is linked to?

2

Why does the Narrator appear during this extract?

3

What is the significance of the Narrator’s line Now there’s no going back, for anyone.?

4

Read this extract and use it to answer questions 4-6.

MICKEY
Nothin’. How’s University?
EDWARD
Mickey, it’s fantastic. I haven’t been to so many parties in my life. And there’s just so many tremendous people, but you’ll meet them Mick, some of them, Baz, Ronnie and Clare and oh, lots of them. They’re coming over to stay for the New Year, for the party. Ooh it’s just … it’s great, Mickey.
MICKEY
Good.
EDWARD
Come on, what’s wrong? It’s nearly Christmas, we were going to do everything. How’s Linda?
MICKEY
She’s OK.
EDWARD
(trying again to rally him) Well, come on then, let’s go then... come on.
MICKEY
Come on where?
EDWARD
Mickey, what’s wrong?
MICKEY
You. You’re a dick head!
(EDWARD is slightly unsure but laughs anyway.)
There are no parties arranged. There is no booze or music. Christmas? I’m sick to the teeth of Christmas an’ it isn’t even here yet. See, there’s very little to celebrate, Eddie. Since you left I’ve been walking around all day, every day, lookin’ for a job.

Which theme is this extract linked to?

5

Why is Mickey angry with Edward?

6

Why isn’t Edward more understanding about Mickey’s situation?

7

Read this extract and use it to answer questions 7-9.

MRS LYONS
I’ll get it for you. If you move away from here. How much?
MRS JOHNSTONE
Look...
MRS LYONS
How much?
MRS JOHNSTONE
Nothin’! Nothing. (Pause) You bought me off once before...
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 out here. It’s not much of one maybe, but I made it. I’m stayin’ here. You move if you want to.
MRS LYONS
I would. But there’s no point. You’d just follow me again wouldn’t you?
MRS JOHNSTONE
Look I’m not followin’ anybody.
MRS LYONS
Wherever I go you’ll be just behind me. I know that now... always for ever and ever like, like a shadow... unless I can... make... you go... But you won’t so...
(We see that throughout the above, MRS LYONS has opened the knife drawer and has a lethal-looking kitchen knife in her hand. MRS JOHNSTONE, unaware, has her back to her. On impulse, and punctuated by a note, MRS JOHNSTONE wheels. On a punctuated note MRS LYONS lunges again but MRS JOHNSTONE manages to get hold of her wrist, rendering the knife hand helpless. MRS JOHNSTONE takes the knife form MRS LYONS grasp and moves away.)
MRS JOHNSTONE
(staring at her; knowing) YOU’RE MAD. MAD.

Which two themes is this extract linked to?

8

Why does Mrs Johnstone refuse Mrs Lyons’ offer of money to move away?

9

Why does Mrs Lyons react violently to Mrs Johnstone?

10

Which theme does the Narrator suggest is the most important at the end of the play?