1.1 Russel shows how wealth brings
prvilege, even down to the way
the Johnstone's and the Lyons
are treated differently by law
1.2 Russel indicates he
influence society has
on invididuals, in their
1.2.1 At the end of the play, Mickey says "I
could have been him" making the
audience aware of how differently life
ay have turned out for him if he had of
been brough up in the Lyons family.
2 Nature vs Nurture
2.1 How much a persons life is
determined by their inherited
genetics ('nature') and the
environment they grow up in
2.1.1 The boys are identical twins and
so the difference in the way their
lives turn out must be a result of
their different upbringings
3 Fate, bad luck and destiny
3.1 All of the major characters are
presented as being trapped and
plagued by various kinds of
misfortune and bad luck.
3.1.1 Russel seems to be asking us to consider whether there really is
such a thing as fate or destiny or whether life pans out because
of natural rather than supernatural reasons, because of the way
we are educated and live.
220.127.116.11 Everything in the play leads
to question whether these
things really exist
4.1 Eddie and Mickey's friendship
is initially strong, despite their
different social backgrounds.
4.1.1 In the adult world, unemployment and
poverty hits Mickey. Edward appears to be
from a different world.
18.104.22.168 When they go their
separate ways, shaped
and moulded by
education, wealth and
social status, tensions
develop between them.
5.1 This is linked to social class.
Russel shows that wealth brings
opportunities which lead to
very different lifestyles.
5.1.1 Eddie goes to uni leading to a
successful career in politics
while Mickey is in a factory
making boxes. Redundancy
leads Mickey to crime, drug
addiction and depression.
5.1.2 When Mrs J loses her
husband she falls into
poverty which her lack of
education has provided
her with no easy escape.
She can take unskilled
wok and relies on the
State for rehousing her to
a better place.
22.214.171.124 Whereas Mrs L who despite
presumably a middle-class
education, is still not self-reliant.
Russel suggesting perhaps that the
traditional lives women lead have
less freedom, even when educated.
6 Men and Women
6.1 Mrs J, Mrs L and Linda all suffer at the hands of
the men in their lives- either let down by them or
receive no affection from them. Females more
passive, males active and macho.
7.1 Mrs J life in
to bring her
7.1.1 When Edward returns as a
wealthy man, he cannot
appreciate Mickey's reaction to
being jobless. Nor can Mickey's
pride allow him to accept
financial help from Edward.