With reference to the way Russell presents Mickey- Show how far you agree that Mickey is responsible for the things that go wrong in his life.
Russell reveals much about the characters in the play through use of dramatic methods. Russell does this by using Music and Song, movement, staging and language. These methods come together to show us a complete picture of Mickey’s life.
Russell shows Mickey as a jealous and envious person. This is evident when Mickey confronts Edward towards the end of the play.
“Does my child … as well as everythin’ else?”
Mickey is jealous of Edwards’s life. Edward has everything and Mickey is left with nothing. This is particularly shown during the finale of the play when Mickey, who is fed up with having nothing and depending on other people, confronts Edward. Mickey’s language and movement show his anger and frustration. Mickey uses foul language and his body language e.g. Pushing/Shoving shows anger. Mickey’s life goes wrong at this point and it is totally his fault. His resentment and rage against Edward makes him go to the extreme and kill Edward.
Mickey is very naive and because of this many things go wrong in his life. He is easily persuaded by Sammy to be a watch out. This is possibly because he is at the end of his tether and feels that there is no other way out of his present situation of misery. Mickey should have known that going with Sammy was a bad idea.
“Fifty quid … Take Linda if you had cash like that”
Mickey may have felt that taking this risk would get him closer to Linda and strengthen their relationship. Mickey’s body show that he is nervous. He moves slowly as said in the stage directions and constantly looks around nervously. He cries when he sees the dead body. After this we know that Mickey did not want to go along with Sammy but it was his fault that he was arrested. This ruined his life and only he and Sammy can be blamed.
Mickey is not able to express his feelings for Linda which may have contributed towards his death.
“Linda, I wanna kiss … but I don’t know how to tell y’”
Linda feels that Mickey is not making an effort and is growing away from her on purpose. This causes her to turn to Edward. Mickey is in the wrong for this because it was his pill taking that meant he couldn’t feel close to her. Again this is a bad time in Mickey’s life and his language shows this. He shouts at Linda and threatens her for his pills. He makes Linda feel second best to his pills and he does not know what he is doing. He is at fault here; if Mickey had made an effort to control his addiction then Linda and he could have had a good relationship.
Mickey was also hurt when Edward moved away from him. Mickey is partially to blame for this. His body language towards Mrs Lyons and the way conveys himself makes Mrs Lyons want to move away.
“You see why I don’t want … like a horrible little boy”
Mickey teaches Edward bad language and Mrs Lyons is not happy. She blames Mickey for what happened. It was Mickey’s fault that they moved away. He pushes his way into Mrs Lyons house at one time. All of this adds up until Mrs Lyons cannot take anymore, she is beginning to hate Mickey and feels that she needs to escape him.
However, Mickey was not totally to blame for the bad things that go wrong in his life. He suffered from poor parenting. Mrs J could not handle all of her children so they were left without any life lessons. Mickey was never taught to vocalise his feelings, express emotions towards other people or to be mannerly towards other people.
“I don’t know how to tell y’”
Mickey is self-conscious and therefore can’t tell Linda how he feels about her. He was never taught that it was alright to do so. Mrs J loved him very much but does not teach him right from wrong. This leads to Mickey getting n trouble with Police as a child. Mickey never grows out of this and still takes risks later in life- Agrees to be Sammy’s accomplice. His naivety in these situations is shown by the way he laughs when he is first caught by the police. Mickey does not know how he should react and has no manners to act properly.
Mickey is also a Victim of Circumstance. He is fired from his job as a “Sign of the times”. This depresses Mickey to the point of turning to crime for money. He has grown away from Linda and is never happy. This is shown by the staging. Mickey is shown alone and dreary for these scenes and does not respond very well. The differences between him and others around him are obvious. Mickey is miserable but others around him are happy and encouraging.