Blood Brothers, a story of twins separated at birth, growing up in completely different environments, but with the same genetic composition, “never knowing that they shared one name, ’till the day they died, when a mother cried, my own dear sons lie slain”, is a compelling story of which we will discuss in detail, of who is to blame for their tragic deaths. There are many character in ‘Blood Brothers’, which can be blamed for the tragic deaths; Mrs. Lyons, the rich, devious woman, Mrs. Johnstone, the under-privileged mother of eight, Sammy, Mickey’s brother and his influence, and even superstition and fate.
First of all, we will discuss the case of Mrs. Lyons, a vindictive, manipulative woman who has a caring side to her, for the desperation of the love for a child. Indeed she did start all of this deception, by offering to take one of Mrs. Johnstone’s baby’s and lying to Mrs. Johnstone that she could see her child everyday. She also lied to her husband that the child was theirs and not an adopted baby (as Mr. Lyons hated the fact of adopting children). Mrs. Lyons decided to take it upon herself to have the child as her own, “He need never guess” was her response to Mrs.
Johnstone, about the deceit… could this be the story of the twins’ deaths; being cruelly separated at birth by Mrs. Lyons, not knowing that they were brothers, or was Mrs. Lyons just desperate for a child of her own, and didn’t realise the consequences of her actions? To add to the blame of Mrs. Lyons, she had carried out many other scheming concepts, such as when she took advantage of Mrs. Johnstone’s belief in superstition, “they say that if either twin learns that he once was a pair, they shall both immediately die”.
Was this superstition true, so true that Mrs. Johnstone believed it and that they both did really die when they found out who they were? She also uses bribery by offering money to Mrs. Johnstone, twice in the play: first to compensate for Mrs. Johnstone’s redundancy with fifty pounds, then later on to get Mrs. Johnstone to move away, with thousands. We notice here that when Mrs. Lyons becomes desperate, she is willing to give up thousands, just so her son would never find out who his real mother is. The last point affecting Mrs.
Lyons case is that which we could consider as the most important, the fact that later on in the play, she points out to Mickey that her son, Edward, and Mickey’s wife Linda were holding hands together. Did she do this to make Mickey jealous, jealous enough to kill Edward, or did she do this to make Mickey feel insecure but without realizing the consequences that her son could face because of what she had shown Mickey? Another main character we could place the blame on is Mrs. Johnstone. She may not be deceitful or vindictive like Mrs.
Lyons, but we can prove that she is an easy target for blame as she is often taken advantage of, and is a very insecure character. Firstly, she with some minor doubts, agreed to Mrs. Lyons’ plan so quickly, that it leaves us to ponder that she had not considered all of the possibilities of the consequences that both her sons could face; a life without knowing they were twins, “Give one to you?…. Are y’… are y’ that desperate to have a baby? “. By accepting Mrs. Lyons’ plan, as the key ingredient to implement her plan, Mrs. Johnstone could be indeed the one to blame for the twins’ deaths, as she gave one of her own baby’s away.
The next point we could discuss is the fact that Mrs. Johnstone lies to her other children, to cover-up what she did, which instantly shows that she cannot even tell her own children the truth about their brother, “Where’s the other twinny, mam?… He’s gone… up to heaven, love. ” By not telling her own children the truth about their brother, Mrs. Johnstone could have felt that no-one would ever find out the truth, and the matter will be left alone, because if she did tell her children the truth, they might have wanted their brother back, the twins would know that they were twins, and they both may have not died.
Was Mrs. Johnstone’s lies a reason for her being a capable suspect to blame, or did she just want to avoid the grief her other children would face, if they found out that they had another brother who was taken away? She also shows us later on in the play, that she still isn’t willing to let go of Edward, the twin who was given away, when she gives the locket to Edward, but tells him to keep it a secret, therefore showing that she is insecure about the truth, “Yeh, but keep it a secret, eh Eddie?… ” Could this have been the cause of the twins’ death… that Mrs.
Johnstone could not let go of her son, that she gave him a reminder of her? Lastly, we shall consider the most important point on Mrs. Johnstone, the fact that in all the chaos and rage between Mickey and Eddie, she screamed to them “Mickey. Don’t shoot Eddie. He’s your brother. You had a twin brother. ” Mrs. Johnstone revealed the truth to her twins, not knowing the consequences of her words, and this may have been a possible reason for the twins’ deaths, as this could have led Mickey to shoot his brother, as he was jealous; “Why didn’t you give me away!…