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Eddie and Mickey were born from the same mother Mrs. Johnston, but they have extremely different lives. They were identical twins; they look exactly the same. But Mrs. Lyons separated them and made them have a different life. From then on, one of them, Mickey stayed with Mrs. Johnston lives in a big, poor family and the other one who was taken by Mrs. Lyons became very rich and got everything. They have been in a different world because of many factors surrounding them to rich or poor from the moment they have been born.
I think the most influential factors are the family they have got and the family classes different.
The different kind and level of education they have got did also influence them much. Also, the religion of the family is one of the factors that affect the life of the child as well. Different thing has different amount of influence to Mickey and Eddie’s life. I am going to discuss the factors one by one.
The social context is messy at the time between late 70s and early 80s that the play was set. It is called recession. Margaret Thatcher is the Prime Minister; she encouraged people to make lots of money. As a result, the rich people in middle or upper class can earn much money but the poor people in working class lost their jobs.
Life is very hard for working class, as they get poorer without a job. Mickey’s family is suffered from this social climate.
His family is poor. Unlike Eddie, his family is in middle class, he is rich. They have a great contrast in their life because the classes are different. Marilyn Monroe is the social icon of the day at that time. She is very glamorous, rich and she represents a life of fantasy. Everyone wants to be her. We know that from the book on p. 14, Act 1, Scene 1, it said “He told me I was sexier than Marilyn Monroe”, which is about Mr. Johnston said her wife was sexier, lovelier than Marilyn Monroe.
It shows the value of that time. But that is what totally different from Mickey. Mickey is poor; he dressed scruffy. He lives in council house and his family is working class. He does not have money to buy everything he wanted. But Eddie, he is rich, he has got new clothes, and he looks smart. He lives in private house and his family is middle class. They are exactly the same, but the way of living is really different with one of them is living in a rich environment and another lives in a poor world. This is how the classes different influence their life.
The size and people in their family have also influenced them. Mickey has a big family with 7 brothers and sisters. The speech of the mother in p. 14, Act 1, Scene 1, told us about that. She said: ” Seven hungry mouths to feed and one more nearly due. ” Mickey is the youngest in the family; he has to fight for food and everything with the elder brothers and sisters. Therefore, he needs to grow up fast and look tough to protect himself in case of beaten up by others. He also wants to his elder brother Sammy because he wants to get older so he can do everything he loves.
We can see how much he wants to be Sammy in the book on p. 30, Act 2, Scene 1, he has repeated the sentences – “I wish I was our Sammy. “- for five times. He does everything Sammy did; however, Sammy was not a good example for Mickey to learn. So Mickey becomes a joker and streetwise since he has got influenced by his brother Sammy. The family of Eddie, we know that he is the only child in his rich family and they are in middle class. He lives with his mum only most of his life. We don’t know much about Eddie’s father because the book does not mention about him much. Mrs.
, Lyons, Eddie’s mother, loves her son very much. She gives him a good shelter, gives him everything he wanted. This makes very weak and soft and he will not know the hardship of the working class since life is easy for him. Time ran through quick by dramatic devices in the book. We can see how much difference between Mickey and Eddie over a long period. At first, when they are born, they are not much different from each other in either class or education. But when they are at the age of 17, Mickey is dropped out from school and on the other side Eddie was going to University.
Then, when they both go to work, Mickey loses his job and Eddie is the boss of a factory. The education level made them have such a big difference. Mickey is poor educated as he left school when he was 17. He was study in government school. Normally, there is nothing bad to study in government school. But compare to Eddie, Eddie was study in private school, he was well educated. He could use a dictionary at the age of seven while Mickey do not even know what a dictionary is. We knew that from the conversation between Mickey and Eddie. Eddie said, “I shall look it up in a dictionary.
” from p. 33, Act 2, Scene 2. From the speech of the narrator at p. 56, Act 4, Scene 1, we know Mickey and Eddie are getting older as they are 18. This is the job of narrator to take us through time and speed things up. Eddies goes into a University straight after he left his college but at that time Mickey was already dropped out from the school and working in a factory. Then, Eddie got a job, which is the boss of the factory, straight after he finished his studying. By that time Eddie becomes really powerful and rich but the other one, Mickey, is just a worker in a factory!
They are identical twins but we can see how education makes them go into a different life. Superstition is one of the influences. Mrs. Johnston is very superstitious as we can see from the several events from the book. On p. 18, Act 1, Scene 3, Mrs. Lyons put a pair of new shoes on the table then Mrs. Johnston saw it and tell her never do this. This is a superstition thinking that something had will happen to you, which you will never notice. This shows that Mrs. Johnston is superstitious. I believe that she believes in religion. And this makes Mickey kind of superstitious as well.
He believes what ‘blood brother’ is. On the other side, I don’t think Mrs. Lyons has any religion at all. She does not respect Mrs. Johnston and always use the weakness of Mrs. Johnston, that she is superstitious, to coerce her into doing something. At first Eddie does not believe any superstition things but Mickey influences him. He admires Mickey and everything Mickey does. He likes Mickey and wants Mickey likes him as well. On p. 32, Act2 2, Scene 2, we know Eddie gives sweets to Mickey. This reflected he is eager to please. Eddie used to don’t know much about colloquial until Mickey told him.
He thought everything Mickey said was smashing. And he believes that what Mrs. Johnston told her on p. 35, Act 2, Scene 2, about bogeyman. This shows that he is nai?? ve and innocent. In conclusion, I can divide the influences on the lives of Mickey and Eddie in four main sections. The differences between Mickey and Eddie in the family, the social class they are, the education they have and the religion of the family. They are identical twins but they have got a very different life, I think it is because these things that I have mentioned before influenced them.
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