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Evaluate Key Quotes and Their Impact in 'Blood Brothers'

In this worksheet, students will evaluate the impact of key quotations by analysing the effect of Russell's use of language, structure and dramatic devices.

'Evaluate Key Quotes and Their Impact in 'Blood Brothers'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   Eduqas, Pearson Edexcel, AQA

Curriculum topic:   Post-1914 Prose / Drama, Post-1914 Play or Novel, Modern Texts: Drama

Curriculum subtopic:   Blood Brothers

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Two young men clasping hands as blood brothers

 

In the exam, you will need to be able to support your ideas with quotations from the text.

 

You should try to build a bank of quotations for each character and theme and learn these so that you can use them readily in your exam response.

 

For a higher mark in the exam, you should try to analyse quotations closely and evaluate their impact.

 

The diagram below shows how we can analyse quotations for the highest marks in the exam.

 

 

"Only mine until, The comes round, To pay the bill"    arrow   Extended metaphor of money and debt  arrow  Russell shows how Mrs Johnstone's decision to give her baby away was influenced by her poverty. arrow     Russell's intention was to show how someone's social class affected their life opportunities.

 

 

So, for each quotation you use, think about:

 

- What language and structural techniques has the writer used and what effect do these have?

- How do the quotations reflect something about the key contextual factors surrounding the musical?

 

In this activity, we will practise evaluating the impact of quotations in this way.

 

You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples.  These quotations are for reference only.

 

What does Russell suggest about Mrs Johnstone through the motif of 'Marilyn Monroe'?

 

Marilyn Monroe

 

"They said the bride was lovelier than Marilyn Monroe."

Russell suggests that Mrs Johnstone will achieve success and happiness in her life​

Russell suggests that Mrs Johnstone's happiness will be short lived and that her life will be characterised by tragedy

What techniques has Russell used in the quotations below?

Column A

Column B

Metaphor of money and debt
"Only mine until, The time comes round, To pay the...
Adverb
"angrily"
Adjective
"terrified"
Symbolism of guns
"(aiming the gun at her and firing)"
Dramatic irony
"Do you wanna be my blood brother, Eddie?"

As well as analysing language devices, for the highest marks in the exam you should also try to explore structural and dramatic devices.

 

Look at the following quotations from the narrator's songs:

 

"And someone said they'd seen him walking past your door."

"Someone said they'd seen him leanin' on your door."

"And someone said he's callin' your number up today."

 

devil

 

What is the effect of how the narrator's use the devil motif changes subtly as the musical progresses and draws to a close?

Column A

Column B

Metaphor of money and debt
"Only mine until, The time comes round, To pay the...
Adverb
"angrily"
Adjective
"terrified"
Symbolism of guns
"(aiming the gun at her and firing)"
Dramatic irony
"Do you wanna be my blood brother, Eddie?"

Zooming in on individual words in quotations and analysing the writer's craft and the effect will help you gain the highest marks in the exam.

 

In the musical, the stage directions are a great place to look!

 

Match the quotations below to the zoomed-in explanation of their effects below.

 This adverb shows the violence Mrs Lyons is prepared to useThe verb shows how Mrs Lyons is trying to persuade Mrs JohnstoneThe adjective highlights how Mrs Johnstone is not happy about giving her baby awayThe verb show how forcefully Mrs Lyons is trying to control Mrs JohnstoneThe adjective shows that Mrs Johnstone is a religious person.
"picks up the money and thrusts it into Mrs Johnstone's hands."
"willing her to agree"
"uncomfortable"
"roughly drags her out of the way."
"Mrs Johnstone stands alone afraid."

For the highest marks in the exam, you need to choose short quotations to support your ideas and embed these within your sentences.

 

In the example below, a long quotation has been used and it is not embedded in a sentence.

 

"Mickey is shown to be furious that he was not the one given away and given the middle-class opportunities that Edward has. This is shown in the quotation: '(Screaming) You! Why didn't you give me away? ( He stands glaring at her, almost uncontrollable with rage.) I could have been... I could have been him!"

 

This could be improved by just picking out a word or a few words from the sentence that best illustrate a point. Complete the passage below to show which words could be picked out as shorter, more specific quotations to embed within the sentences.

 

You do not need to use quotation marks in the answer boxes.

 This adverb shows the violence Mrs Lyons is prepared to useThe verb shows how Mrs Lyons is trying to persuade Mrs JohnstoneThe adjective highlights how Mrs Johnstone is not happy about giving her baby awayThe verb show how forcefully Mrs Lyons is trying to control Mrs JohnstoneThe adjective shows that Mrs Johnstone is a religious person.
"picks up the money and thrusts it into Mrs Johnstone's hands."
"willing her to agree"
"uncomfortable"
"roughly drags her out of the way."
"Mrs Johnstone stands alone afraid."

It is now time to have a go at some extended writing, practising analysing quotations.

 

Try to zoom in on key parts of a quotation and explore the connotations of words.

 

Remember for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Russell and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which he was writing.

 

 

 

Task: How does Russell foreshadow the tragedy that unfolds in 'Blood Brothers'?

 

Try to write two paragraphs.  Think about the techniques that Russell has used.

Now have a go at a mini-essay question.

 

Remember for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Russell and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which he was writing.

 

Task: How does Russell present Edward in 'Blood Brothers'?

What do the following song lyrics suggest about Mrs Johnstone?

 

"Tell me it's not true. Say it's just a story."

Russell shows how Mrs Johnstone does not want to accept the reality of what has happened​

Russell shows that Mrs Johnstone expected that this would happen all along

How does the following quotation spoken by Mr Lyons reflect something about the context in which Russell was writing?

 

"Mummy will read the story, Edward. I've got to go to work for an hour."

Russell shows how Mrs Johnstone does not want to accept the reality of what has happened​

Russell shows that Mrs Johnstone expected that this would happen all along

Complete the passage below analysing Mrs Johnstone's dialogue with Mrs Lyons after she finds out she is pregnant.

Russell shows how Mrs Johnstone does not want to accept the reality of what has happened​

Russell shows that Mrs Johnstone expected that this would happen all along

  • Question 1

What does Russell suggest about Mrs Johnstone through the motif of 'Marilyn Monroe'?

 

Marilyn Monroe

 

"They said the bride was lovelier than Marilyn Monroe."

CORRECT ANSWER
Russell suggests that Mrs Johnstone's happiness will be short lived and that her life will be characterised by tragedy
EDDIE SAYS
Marilyn Monroe was a famous film star. She became addicted to drugs and died of an overdose. The way in which Russell draws similarities between Mrs Johnstone and Marilyn Monroe very early on, foreshadows the tragedy that will unfold for Mrs Johnstone and her family. The motif of Marilyn Monroe is repeated throughout the musical as a reminder that fate has already been sealed. The audience knows that Mrs Johnstone's twins will both die at the end from the opening scene.
  • Question 2

What techniques has Russell used in the quotations below?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Metaphor of money and debt
"Only mine until, The time comes ...
Adverb
"angrily"
Adjective
"terrified"
Symbolism of guns
"(aiming the gun at her and firin...
Dramatic irony
"Do you wanna be my blood brother...
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to match them all? Remember for the highest marks in the exam you need to try to use as much technical vocabulary to analyse the writer's craft as possible. When you have built your quotation bank, try to identify all of the different language and structural techniques in the quotation that you could zoom in on. Then, consider the impact of these techniques - what do they show us about a character, a theme and the context in which Russell was writing?
  • Question 3

As well as analysing language devices, for the highest marks in the exam you should also try to explore structural and dramatic devices.

 

Look at the following quotations from the narrator's songs:

 

"And someone said they'd seen him walking past your door."

"Someone said they'd seen him leanin' on your door."

"And someone said he's callin' your number up today."

 

devil

 

What is the effect of how the narrator's use the devil motif changes subtly as the musical progresses and draws to a close?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? It's important to analyse language and structure for the top marks in the exam. Looking at how a motif develops and changes is structural analysis. The narrator introduces us to the idea of fate through the motif of the devil and through these subtle changes builds tension and anticipation that the final action of the musical will soon play out. This not only highlights the importance of fate in this story but also helps us feel the panic and fear that Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons feel around the superstition of what will happen if the boys find out the truth about being twins.
  • Question 4

Zooming in on individual words in quotations and analysing the writer's craft and the effect will help you gain the highest marks in the exam.

 

In the musical, the stage directions are a great place to look!

 

Match the quotations below to the zoomed-in explanation of their effects below.

CORRECT ANSWER
 This adverb shows the violence Mrs Lyons is prepared to useThe verb shows how Mrs Lyons is trying to persuade Mrs JohnstoneThe adjective highlights how Mrs Johnstone is not happy about giving her baby awayThe verb show how forcefully Mrs Lyons is trying to control Mrs JohnstoneThe adjective shows that Mrs Johnstone is a religious person.
"picks up the money and thrusts it into Mrs Johnstone's hands."
"willing her to agree"
"uncomfortable"
"roughly drags her out of the way."
"Mrs Johnstone stands alone afraid."
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? This is a tricky one! So much is revealed through the stage directions! Try to zoom in on individual words, use the correct technical terminology to describe them and evaluate their effect - what do they show the audience? This will help you to impress the examiner!
  • Question 5

For the highest marks in the exam, you need to choose short quotations to support your ideas and embed these within your sentences.

 

In the example below, a long quotation has been used and it is not embedded in a sentence.

 

"Mickey is shown to be furious that he was not the one given away and given the middle-class opportunities that Edward has. This is shown in the quotation: '(Screaming) You! Why didn't you give me away? ( He stands glaring at her, almost uncontrollable with rage.) I could have been... I could have been him!"

 

This could be improved by just picking out a word or a few words from the sentence that best illustrate a point. Complete the passage below to show which words could be picked out as shorter, more specific quotations to embed within the sentences.

 

You do not need to use quotation marks in the answer boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? This is a higher-level skill and if you can master this, your exam responses will achieve much higher marks. Remember to zoom in on the parts of the quotations that really matter and leave the unnecessary parts out - your points will then be much better evidenced. Embedding these shorter quotations within your sentences will also create a more fluent and sophisticated writing style that will impress the examiners for the higher marks!
  • Question 6

It is now time to have a go at some extended writing, practising analysing quotations.

 

Try to zoom in on key parts of a quotation and explore the connotations of words.

 

Remember for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Russell and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which he was writing.

 

 

 

Task: How does Russell foreshadow the tragedy that unfolds in 'Blood Brothers'?

 

Try to write two paragraphs.  Think about the techniques that Russell has used.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A paragraph might look something like this: Russell foreshadows the boy's deaths at the end of the musical, through the symbolism of guns throughout the musical. Initially, we see guns being used in pretend childhood games and they here represent the carefree nature of childhood where "The whole thing's just a game." However, these childhood games foreshadow the violence that will play out in the boys' adult lives. Indeed Mickey shows during these games his sensitive side when he says "I don't wanna die" and Linda's reaction "But y'have to, Mickey.", foreshadows that this will be sooner than they realise. Here Russell uses dramatic irony as the audience is already aware that Mickey's life will end tragically from the opening scene. At the end of the musical when Mickey sees Linda and Edward together and "Mickey disappears with the gun" the audience knows that this is the final straw and that this time, it will not be a game without consequences. Soon after this, the narrator arrives to remind the audience through the devil motif that "he's callin' your number up today" creating tension by showing the audience that the reckoning day is here. Russell presents the idea of fate through the continual foreshadowing of the final tragedy but also wanted to question whether actually, the power of superstition and belief were more to blame or indeed whether social class was the most at fault. Russell was particularly interested in exploring the class divide he saw in Liverpool during the 60s and 70s and the tragedy at the end of 'Blood Brothers' certainly comments on the destructive nature of this class divide.
  • Question 7

Now have a go at a mini-essay question.

 

Remember for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Russell and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which he was writing.

 

Task: How does Russell present Edward in 'Blood Brothers'?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A paragraph might look something like this: Russell initially shows Edward looking up to Mickey. Edward is impressed by the '"smashing things" that Mickey says and does through the adjective "awed" in the stage directions. However, Russell shows how Edward's middle-class life afforded him opportunities that were closed to Mickey, such as university and good job prospects and depicts a power shift in their relationship. Russell also shows the ignorance of the middle classes to the working class struggle through Edward's insensitive questions such as "why is a job so important?" and through his naïvety when he "tries to throw some notes into Mickey's hands." It is this middle-class opportunity and naivety that leads to resentment in Mickey and it is Mickey's final exclamation "I could have been him!" where Russell suggests that the differences in their social class has led to the ultimate devastation at the end of the musical. Russell was particularly interested in showing the destructive nature of the social class system in the 60s and 70s and reflects this through the deaths of Edward and Mickey.
  • Question 8

What do the following song lyrics suggest about Mrs Johnstone?

 

"Tell me it's not true. Say it's just a story."

CORRECT ANSWER
Russell shows how Mrs Johnstone does not want to accept the reality of what has happened​
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get this one? This is the opening line of the musical when we are shown how the play will end, with the death of the twins. The musical ends with this song also, where we see the deaths of the twins replayed after having witnessed everything that has led to this point. Throughout the musical Mrs Johnstone is presented as an optimistic and often idealistic character. This characteristic affects how she deals with the death of her children; the focus on it being a "story" and "not true" shows how she still wants to pretend that everything is ok as she has been throughout the musical. The tragedy lies here in the fact that she can't pretend any longer.
  • Question 9

How does the following quotation spoken by Mr Lyons reflect something about the context in which Russell was writing?

 

"Mummy will read the story, Edward. I've got to go to work for an hour."

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? Remember that for a higher mark in the exam, it's important to link ideas about characters to the context in which Russell was writing. Russell portrays gender stereotypes in the musical and Mr Lyons is presented as a traditional male figure who spends his time working while his wife looks after his child and house. Later in the musical we also see how he makes the decisions in the household, showing the traditional hierarchy in the marriage exists. For example, Mrs Lyons asks him if they can move and he makes the decision for his family.
  • Question 10

Complete the passage below analysing Mrs Johnstone's dialogue with Mrs Lyons after she finds out she is pregnant.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you fill both all of the spaces? Remember that in the exam, it's important to consider the effect on the audience and to explore how Russell reflects the context in which he was writing. Very early in the play we see Mrs Johnstone's working-class struggle which helps us to understand why she makes the decisions she does. Russell ensures that his audience sympathises with her - she clearly loves and cares for her children but her situation is out of her control. She has to work to provide for her family as a single mother, meaning that her children are left to their own means a lot of the time. Russell helps us to understand why she has to give her child away, suggesting that she is thinking of the child's best interests over her own needs. Russell employs Mrs Johnstone to depict a harshly realistic image of the working class struggle he saw in Liverpool during the 60s and 70s.
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