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My initial example is where Eddie is advising Mickey what to say when he asks Linda out. Eddie: Linda my loins are burning for you. Let me lay my weary head on your warm breast; Linda, I love you, I want you, the very centre of my being calls out for you! Eddie’s environment has obviously affected the way that he could just think of something to say which is very romantic. You could not imagine Mickey saying such things. Eddie is more confident and knows how to use his vocabulary well in order to get people to do things. When Mickey tries to, his outcome is abysmal.
Mickey: Erm… er, well the thing is the centre of my… being cries out for… erm, my knees, loins are… (snaps) Linda for Christ’s sake will you go out with me? Linda agrees. Mickey cannot find the right words to say even if he is told what to say. Mickey’s vocabulary is retarded because of his environment. His school is worse than Eddie’s so he tries to copy Eddie but still cannot do that. I put this under humour because I thought it was quite funny but it could also go under language as both of the boys language has been affected by their environment.
My next example is when the policewoman asks Eddie what he is doing. Eddie replies “Adolf Hitler”. Then the policewoman asks him what his name is and he says that he is waiting for the 92 bus. For one moment I think Eddie wanted to be like Mickey and tried to be cheeky to the police officer but because of his family and environment he was unable to do that and it ended up the wrong way around. This example is like my original but the other way around. Now, I am going to discuss the way that Russell uses plot to stress the point that family and environment have an effect on peoples lives and opportunities.
The whole of the story is based around two males who are separated at birth. One of the twins had been told that there was a twin brother and that he died at birth, the other had been told that he was an only child. Now they are isolated from each other their lives begin to change because of their background and environment. My first example is when Mickey and Linda are married and are looking for a house from the council. They had been waiting for approximately five years for a new house and still had not got one!
When Linda was passing the Council Offices she stepped into the housing officer’s office and asked to speak to him. When he arrived Linda was surprised as the man was Eddie. She pleaded once again for a house to live in, and because of Eddies environment he said that all he needed to do was to make one phone call. Then Mickey and Linda would be at the top of the list and could have a house very soon. Because of Mickey and Linda’s environment, they were forced to go to the council for a cheap or free house and considering Eddie’s status he could do this extremely quickly.
My second example for plot is where Linda turns out just like Mrs Johnson, (Mickey’s mum. ) In “Educating Rita,” another of Russell’s work, Rita was expected to have a baby as soon as they got married. This is just like Linda with Mickey. In their family and environment they are expected to have a baby young and to traditionally stay around the house. This reduces their opportunities in life as they do not work once they have had a baby. The man of the house, in their environment, is foreseen to do all of the work and bring all of the money in.
This is exactly what happens in this story. Now, I have completed “plot”, I will go on to analyse the staging devises Willy Russell uses to show the effect that family and environment have on the two boys lives. There was a recent performance at a local theatre, which I went to see. I found that by going to see the acted story I found how even the way you dress, your family and your environment were involved in some way. My leading example through “set” is costume. I noticed Mickey was wearing clothes too big for him which have most likely been passed down through the family.
Eddie is the complete opposite to Mickey in the way that he is wearing smart, new school clothes and looks very sharp in his uniform. Russell shows how even clothes have an effect on family and environment. At the play it showed the brothers in completely different houses. One at the rough end of the village and the other at the very high end of social environment. They live in different ways and houses because of their environment. Their family either reduces the opportunity to live in a high class house or improves the opportunity.
There are certain changes in the acted story, the first being where Mickey helped his brother complete a crime which went wrong. People in Mickey’s environment often resort to this as they need the money, but people in Eddie’s environment would never be constrained to doing this sort of thing as they always have money. When Mickey went to jail he had to be put on anti-depressants to help him cope with the stress and loneliness of prison. This was the final straw for Mickey because all of his life he had been pushed to the limit craving for food and money, lots of things also go wrong in Mickey’s environment.
When he finally reached confinement he felted that was enough. If Eddie had been placed in jail he would probably be able to cope as he has had less to put up with than Mickey but would most likely be bailed anyway! I conclude that every little detail which Willy Russell has put into his well crafted book, and performance, has something to do with family and environment. Because of his own experiences he was able to complete the task of writing this book and include very graphic details of how family and environment effects peoples everyday lives and opportunities.