Additionally he is characterized as the person that resembles Fate. He is thought of like this for countless reasons. One of the main reasons for this is due to the fact that he hands Mrs Lyons the bible, prompting her to act on superstition. Also this is exemplified in the song ‘Shoes upon the table’, which is repeated throughout the play, this song represents a both the idea that he is the devil and fate. The lyrics, “You know…” are repeated throughout the song. This implies everything that is going to happen is already known by the narrator as he sings this to the characters. He wouldn’t know that any of this was going to happen if he did not represent this.
Moreover, the Narrator is thought of as a very powerful character. Russell, however, does this in a very subtle manner. He does this in many different ways, one being the intention that the Narrator is always on a higher surface than other characters, thus giving the supposition that he is closer to god therefore having a greater power than other characters. In conjunction with this he wears simple dark clothes and has a blank emotion on his face, giving him a neutral status, as we can’t identify anything about him. His dress sense also gives the audience the idea he is dressed for a dark occasion, such as a funeral. This fits in with the idea that he represents Fate, because he knows they are going to die.
During the time when Willy wrote this play, social class difference was a strong talking point, this is well put across from start to finish in the performance, through clothing, setting and language. The language is paramount to the idea of social structure, as it appears so often. A prime example of this is when Mickey and Eddy first meet and Mickey teaches Eddy taboo words, such as “pissed” and “the F word”. The fact that Mickey knows these words proposes he has been allowed to have the exposure to these words as he hasn’t had the money to occupy himself in other ways.
Russell’s use of colloquial language, swearing and abbreviated speech, linked with a varying vocabulary, between the two 7 year olds is intended to indicate to the audience the way in which their upbringing have already, even at this young age, affected their ability to operate in society. He wants the audience to recognize that the boy’s different class background differs with great intensity. At the age of seven when the twins first meet the up-bringing they have had becomes extremely apparent through Russell’s excellent use of language in the dialogue.
When talking about their mothers, Mickey uses the term “mam”, this signifies that Mickey is from a poorer background as the audience would generally link this sort of language with someone from a poorer, un-educated background. However, Edward uses the word “mummy”, the automatically gives the audience a presumption that he is better off, being a term more commonly associated with people of a higher class. In conjunction with this “mummy”, infers that because the Lyons were better of, Mrs Lyons had more time to spend with her child and this term confirms this as it suggests the pair were closer, because Mrs Lyons wasn’t having to go out to work and earn a living, unlike Mrs Johnstone.
Additionally in their first dialogue as a pair, Mickey tends to use slang such as “‘cos” and “gis a”, this implies that he has been brought up around language like this, which obviously portrays the fact he is from a lower class. On the other hand Edward pronounces words fully, which tells the audience he has better educated parents that have bought him up to say words like this.
As children Edward and Mickey get into trouble with the police and when the policeman goes to speak to the parents he speaks to them in very different natures. When he is talking to Mrs Johnstone he is very abrupt, he swears and calls her “love”. Yet on the other hand when he is talking to Mr Lyons he makes a joke, he is polite and calls him “sir”, and this infers that he has more respect for Mr Lyons because he is wealthier and from an upper-class background.
Also, Mr Lyons pours the policeman a glass of whiskey showing that firstly, The Lyons can afford to do this, but most importantly the fact that he is so well-educated, he can calculated such a sly plan, to get the better of the policeman .Willy uses the policeman to show a strong sense of hierarchy between the two classes. The way he speaks down to Mrs Johnstone suggests she is low down in the hierarchy and deserves to be treated poorly. Yet when speaking to Mr Lyons, he speaks to him with a lot more authority, inferring that because Mr Lyons is high up, he doesn’t want to get on the wrong side of him.
When Edward and Mickey are younger Edward is always dressed in smart clean clothes that change everyday. Where as Mickey wears clothing half his size with rips in them and continuously wears these items for the duration of the characters younger stages of life. This suggests to the audience that Edward is able to afford nice new clothes, while Mickey has to wear ‘hand-me-downs’ due to his mothers poor income.