Though shes counted each shilling so as to make ends meet on her maids wage with one more mouth to feed, shes forced to give one twin away to her wealthy barren employer Mrs. Lyons who fakes pregnancy, telling no one the truth of the true origin of her new, longed for son Edward (not even her mogul husband). Many factors play a big part in the final scene between the brothers. The main one being the contrasts in class. The twins are genetically alike but as far as their lives are concerned they are too different to tell their relations. Edward the son of Mrs.
Lyons has been brought up in an affluent society with all he needs and wants. But what he has, he inherited giving him an ascribed status. His brother Mickey however, is brought up with the struggle to get by with his mothers whom works hard just to get by. Mickey again has ascribed status but this time, in a lower class than Edward. This class divide is noticed in many ways throughout the story. Firstly, it is noted in the production note at the beginning of the play were we get to see inside the Lyonss house but not in the Johnstones house.
This is because of the contrasts there are and how the stereotyping in this story could be even more criticized. The Lyonss house is described as comfortable the pre-modifier shows the fact that because they can afford to have what they want, they have taken pride in their house and arent ashamed to show it off. We are not told about the interior of the Johnstones house this is probably because they have barely enough to survive let alone to have a decent house to live in. The class divide is shown mainly through the children and parents.
Mrs. J is a single mother of eight children and struggles to feed her children, yet alone control them! Mrs. Js deprivation is shown when we are told about her firstly buying things for her children on the never never and secondly when all the children complain there are hungry and always are: ey mother, Im starvin an theres nothin in. there never bloody well is. The language shown here is an example of how the kids have learnt to grow up, and taught. But also it shows how deprived and unfortunate the family really is.
This does not help when Mickey meets Eddie and can become jealous of the possessions Eddie owns. The lack of the father figure in the Johnstone household can make the discipline of the children uncontrollable and of a very low level. Mrs. L however, is happily married and has a son, which she has always wanted. She only has one child which is not hers. This shows the difference in maternal control between the two women. The Lyons family is well off and have no financial worries and can afford to buy things cash in hand instead of on the never never. The language is also of some contrast:
Pissed off. You say smashing things dont you? Do you know any more words like that? This shows how the influence of the parents has played a big part in the lives of their children. Edward hears a regularly spoken swear word but yet fails to recognize what it actually means, also he speaks grammatically correct and speaks every letter. Whereas Mickey teaches the swear words to Eddie and speaks a lot off slang and does so infront of his mother who does not show an ounce of bother. Mrs. J works as a cleaner for Mrs. L and makes just enough to get by.
She must buy things on credit in order to give her children some desire in life, which she probably never inherited off her parents. Mrs. L is financially secure and we are not told whether she works or not, she can afford to buy Eddie what he wants. She doesnt have a job in the story yet can afford a cleaner and still bares no worries. When the boys get in trouble the policeman has a different attitude towards the different families. When he approaches Mrs. J about the incident with the guns, he uses relaxed language and more common and negative Lexis. You dont wan end up in court again, do y?
This relaxed attitude he has towards Mrs. J shows that he has been there and done the same not just for Mickey but for the others aswell because she has no control over there actions. When the policeman approaches Mrs. L he removes his hat and accepts a glass of scotch given to him. He speaks with a positive tone of voice and says, it was more of a prank really Insinuating the fact that it was the influence of the other children on the rougher side of the park. Other factors affecting the blood bath at the end of the story are that of guns and violence. There is a dramatic irony as far as guns and violence are counted for.
Both families have a violent approach to life to some extent. Mrs. L, who is least expected to be violent in the story, actually in act 2 she tries to kill Mrs. J with a knife also Mrs. L hits Eddie. In the Johnstone family violence is common and Mickey has grown up learning from Sammy who we are told has been involved with police on numerous occasions. Mickey is also given a gun from Eddie, Mickey has been playing with guns nearly all his life and so has grown up amongst them and so they are not anything new to him. Superstition also plays a main part in the play. The narrator is constantly reminded us of the dangers of acting like Mrs.
J is and its as if she is destined to suffer from what happens in the last scene. The narrator is referring to the devil being after Mrs. J all the time and this shows that no matter what she does it will never be to satisfaction that she is doomed. mrs. L is not superstitious but manipulates Mrs. Js beliefs and says that the twins must never find the truth just so she can protect herself. In all honesty I believe that the main reason for the tragedy is the divide in class. As a result of the contrast in class, both twins suffer from different upbringings and jealousy which leads to the final devastation.
The great differences between the alike characters lead to problems in society, they end up in trouble with the police, both liking the same girl, both move as a result of knowing each other. These all contribute to the two innocent lives. If I was to place the blame on anyone it would be the two mothers, as they made the promise to accept n receive the child and promise to keep the secret in the first place if they never kept them apart from each other and the truth then the shoot out would not have been even considered.