Blood Brothers

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Like his twin brother Mickey, Edward is a sincere, honest, and good-natured boy. Despite having grown up in the lap of luxury with the high-strung and snobbish Mrs. Lyons, he is not entitled or arrogant. Indeed, his sheltered upbringing has made him more innocent and trusting than his lower-class twin. Unlike Mickey, however, Edward gets every opportunity in life, from attending a private school to being accepted at one of the top universities in England. He eventually uses his position as a city councilman to help the embittered and impoverished Mickey—but also begins an affair with Mickey’s wife, Linda, whom Edward has been in love with for years. Good-natured and well-meaning as he is, this fatal mistake leads directly to the play’s bloody final scene.

Edward Quotes in Blood Brothers

The Blood Brothers quotes below are all either spoken by Edward or refer to Edward. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Class and Money Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Bloomsbury Press edition of Blood Brothers published in 1995.
Act 1 Quotes

So did y’hear the story of the Johnstone twins?
As like each other as two new pins,
Of one womb born, on the self same day,
How one was kept and one given away?
An’ did you never hear how the Johnstones died,
Never knowing that they shared one name,
Till the day they died…?

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Mickey, Edward
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

From the first moments of the musical, audience and readers alike know that a tragic ending lies in store for the main characters. Setting the narrative up as a "story" creates a fable-like atmosphere, one that will continue throughout the play. 

Also introduced in this first passage is the use of the second-person point of view, as the Narrator addresses audience/readers directly. This device will occur frequently within the play, making us feel directly involved in the narrative's proceedings, and implicated as terrible events occur. 

Last, this passage takes care to create a sense of parallelism between the Johnstone twins. They are clearly two halves of the same whole, both literally and verbally, even though their fates differ vastly. 

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MRS. LYONS: You do know what they say about twins, secretly parted, don’t you?
MRS. JOHNSTONE: What? What?
MRS. LYONS: They say…they say that if either twin learns that he once was a pair, that they shall both immediately die. It means, Mrs. Johnstone, that these brothers shall grow up, unaware of the other’s existence. They shall be raised apart and never, ever told what was once the truth. You won’t tell anyone about this, Mrs. Johnstone, because if you do, you will kill them.

Related Characters: Mrs. Johnstone (speaker), Mrs. Jennifer Lyons (speaker), Mickey, Edward
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:

Terrified that her son will love his biological mother more than he loves her, Mrs. Lyons lies to Mrs. Johnstone in this passage, playing on her superstitions and ignorance. Mrs. Lyons, of course, knows that the saying she has made up about "twins secretly parted" is false. What she does not know, however, is that by creating this false superstition, she has actually set in motion a self-fulfilling prophecy.

By consistently acting out of selfishness, fear, and paranoia, Mrs. Lyons makes her own worst fears come true. Not only does she lose her son's love, but he eventually loses his life. This tragic truth illustrates how easily lies can in fact become realities. Whether or not Mrs. Lyons believes her own words doesn't matter; what does matter is that words have power, and her false prophecy can all too easily become true. 

MICKEY: What’s your birthday?
EDWARD: July the eighteenth.
MICKEY: So is mine.
EDWARD: Is it really?
MICKEY: Ey, we were born on the same day…that means we can be blood brothers. Do you wanna be my blood brother, Eddie?
EDWARD: Yes, please.

Related Characters: Mickey (speaker), Edward (speaker)
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

As innocent though rambunctious children, Mickey and Eddie meet and immediately bond. Although Mickey is the less educated of the two, he is seemingly the more insightful. Though the idea of "blood brothers" is only a superstition, in the case of Mickey and Eddie it has a deeper meaning, one of which neither boy has any awareness. 

Also palpable in this exchange is the innocence shared by the two boys. They are too young to really understand about money and class, let alone violence or fate. Although they feel a mysterious kinship, they don't know enough to question it. Instead, they decide easily and simply to be "blood brothers," completely devoted to each other even though they have no idea of the complex web of lies that surrounds their uncomplicated friendship. 

You see, you see why I don’t want you mixing with boys like that! You learn filth from them and behave like this like a, like a horrible little boy, like them. But you are not like them. You are my son, mine, and you won’t..you won’t ever…Oh my son…my beautiful, beautiful son.

Related Characters: Mrs. Jennifer Lyons (speaker), Edward
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

Already, Mrs. Lyons has become paranoid and suffocating. Her snobbishness has morphed into full-blown class hatred as she strives to keep her son away from his brother and his biological mother. She repeats "you are not like them" in order to remind both herself and her son that they are different than the Johnstones (even though Eddie is, in fact, a Johnstone by blood).

Mrs. Lyons' repetition of "You are my son" only further emphasizes her possessive and paranoid nature. She is desperate to reassure herself that she owns Eddie and that he will never be taken from her. What Mrs. Lyons does not understand, though, is that her own actions will eventually alienate her from her son, as she becomes increasingly dictatorial, prejudiced, and unstable. 

Act 2 Quotes

MRS. LYONS: Where did you get that…locket from, Edward? Why do you wear it?
EDWARD: I can’t tell you that, Ma. I’ve explained, it’s a secret. I can’t tell you.
MRS. LYONS: But…but I’m your mother.
EDWARD: I know, but I still can’t tell you. It’s not important, I’m going up to my room. It’s just a secret, everybody has secrets, don’t you have secrets?

Related Characters: Edward (speaker), Mrs. Jennifer Lyons (speaker)
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:

Having received a locket as a gift from Mrs. Johnstone, Eddie refuses to tell his mother how he came by it, knowing that she will be furious (but not understanding why). Once again, Mrs. Lyons shows her paranoia and her utter lack of understanding of her son. As children grow up, they naturally begin to keep secrets. Mrs. Lyons, though, views this as a sign of insolence and insubordination, and becomes even more convinced that her son is pulling away from her.

Also notable is Eddie's question to his mother: "[D]on't you have secrets?" Of course, as readers/audience members, we know that Mrs. Lyons is keeping a massive secret from her son. Eddie, however, still innocent despite his newfound independence, is entirely unaware of the dark and convoluted history of his own origins. 

EDWARD: I wish I was a bit like
Wish that I could score a hit like
And be just a little bit like
That guy
MICKEY: I wish that I could be like
Just a little less like me
Like the sort of guy I see, like
That guy
That guy.

Related Characters: Mickey (speaker), Edward (speaker)
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

Not realizing that each is viewing his childhood friend (and secret brother), Mickey and Edward watch and envy each other from a distance here. Having been brought up in different circumstances, they have become vastly different people--yet despite this long time apart, they still feel a connection, and each wishes to be more like the other. 

It is also significant that Edward and Mickey use so many of the same words and expressions to describe each other. Although one is posh and the other poor, they are still two halves of the same whole, and use similar language to express themselves. 

Beyond the brothers' connection with each other, the play is also taking another opportunity to emphasize the awkwardness and comedy of coming of age. 

MRS. LYONS: Afraid he might eventually have forgotten you? Oh no. There’s no chance of that. He’ll always remember you. After we’d moved he talked less and less of you and your family. I started…just for a while I came to believe that he was actually mine.
MRS. JOHNSTONE: He is yours.
MRS. LYONS: No. I took him. But I never made him mine. Does he know? Have you told…
MRS. JOHNSTONE: Of course not!
MRS. LYONS: Even when—when he was a tiny baby I’d see him looking straight at me and I’d think, he knows…he knows. You have ruined me. But you won’t ruin Edward!

Related Characters: Mrs. Johnstone (speaker), Mrs. Jennifer Lyons (speaker), Edward
Page Number: 77-78
Explanation and Analysis:

Meeting again after years and years, the two mothers have a confrontation: Mrs. Johnstone is confused and placating, while Mrs. Lyons is aggressive and accusatory. By now, her paranoia has morphed into a raging delusion. She is convinced that Eddie will never be her true son, and that Mrs. Johnstone has somehow kept a hold on him despite the physical and temporal distance that Mrs. Lyons has placed between them. 

This conversation exemplifies the different ways that guilt affects these two women. Mrs. Johnstone has tried to put her sin out of her mind, and to focus instead on the family still with her. Mrs. Lyons, in contrast, has become obsessive and unstable, convinced that she will be punished for what she's done. She believes that she must protect her son from the obsession that has ruined her, unaware that her actions will actually lead to his death. 

And who’d dare tell the lambs in Spring,
What fate the later seasons bring.
Who’d tell the girl in the middle of the pair
The price she’ll pay just for being there.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Mickey, Edward, Linda
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:

As the play depicts the idyllic adolescence of Linda, Mickey, and Edward, the Narrator returns to ruin the perfect picture, reminding the audience/readers that the happiness we are witnessing will soon turn to sorrow. He also adds a new element to the complicated web, informing us that Linda will play an unknowing and unwilling part in the terrible fate that is yet to come.

This passage also has a somber message about coming of age. Linda, Mickey, and Edward aren't just innocent about their fate--they are innocent about the world, and the terrible way that it will rip them apart because of class and money. Their lack of knowledge about their doom becomes a metaphor for their broader ignorance about how difficult life can be. 

EDWARD: If I was him, if I was him
That’s what I’d do.
But I’m not saying a word
I’m not saying I care
Though I would like you to know
That I’ not saying a word
I’m not saying I care
Though I would like you to know.
But I’m not.
LINDA: What?
EDWARD: Mickey.

Related Characters: Edward (speaker), Linda (speaker), Mickey
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

As Mickey, Eddie, and Linda get older, the seeds of discord begin to spring up: although Mickey and Linda are childhood friends, and clearly compatible in terms of their class, Eddie is also in love with Linda. In this song, he tells her of his feelings, but disguises them by saying that he would only express them if he were Mickey. The situation has grown increasingly complex, an unfortunate fact of growing up together.

It is also notable that Mickey and Eddie, despite having been raised in vastly different circumstances, are in love with the same woman. They may have different levels of money, education, and stature, but at their core, they are still intensely similar: proof that no matter how different the boys' nurture was, their inborn natures remain an important part of their character. 

EDWARD: I thought, I thought we always stuck together. I thought we were…blood brothers.
MICKEY: That was kids’ stuff, Eddie. Didn’t anyone tell y’? But I suppose you still are a kid, aren’t y’?
EDWARD: I’m exactly the same age as you, Mickey.
MICKEY: Yeh. But you’re still a kid. An’ I wish I could be as well Eddie, I wish I could still believe in all that blood brother stuff. But I can’t, because while no one was looking I grew up. An’ you didn’t, because you didn’t need to; an’ I don’t blame y’ for it Eddie. In your shoes I’d be the same, I’d still be able to be a kid. But I’m not in your shoes, I’m in these, lookin’ at you. An’ you make me sick, right? That was all just kids’ stuff, Eddie, an’ I don’t want to be reminded of it. Right? So just, just take yourself away. Go an’ see your friends an’ celebrate with them.

Related Characters: Mickey (speaker), Edward (speaker)
Page Number: 92-93
Explanation and Analysis:

Eddie and Mickey have now grown up; Eddie is in college, and Mickey has already been laid off from his factory job. While Eddie remains young and carefree, eager to celebrate and spend time with Mickey, Mickey has become increasingly jealous and resentful. He wishes that he'd possessed the advantages that Eddie did, and believes that he has been ruined by his circumstances. It is this resentment, in fact, that will also lead to the fatal confrontation between Eddie and Mickey. Although bonded together for years by their shared natures, their vastly different upbringings are now tearing them apart.

It is vital to understand that Mickey and Eddie have been separated solely because of their economic differences. A rich and privileged boy, Eddie is allowed to escape responsibility and to continue life as a carefree youth. Poor and lower class, Mickey has no recourse but to attempt to find another job. The forces of class and money are so strong, in fact, that they can even pull apart two brothers so close that even being separated at birth did not stop them from finding each other. 

I didn’t sort anythin’ out Linda. Not a job, not a house, nothin’. It used to be just sweets an’ ciggies he gave me, because I had none of me own. Now it’s a job and a house. I’m not stupid, Linda. You sorted it out. You an’ Councilor Eddie Lyons.

Related Characters: Mickey (speaker), Edward, Linda
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

Now embittered and cynical, Mickey furiously confronts Linda, convinced that she has conspired with Eddie to get their family a house, and to get him a job. During his years of unemployment and prison, Mickey's jealousy towards Eddie has soured into hatred. Irrationally, he refuses to accept any help from his former best friend, despite their previous closeness and Eddie's honest desire to help.

Also at play here are Mickey's feelings of insufficiency and shame. He knows and hates that he cannot support his family and Linda, and also instinctively senses that Eddie is in love with Linda. His jealousy, combined with his self-hatred, harden into an utter lack of reason or kindness. He accuses his wife and berates her, despite the fact that she is only doing what she believes to be best for her husband and her family, eventually driving her away completely. 

MRS. JOHNSTONE: Mickey. Don’t shoot Eddie. He’s your brother. You had a twin brother. I couldn’t afford to keep both of you. His mother couldn’t have kids. I agreed to give one of you away!
MICKEY: You. You! Why didn’t you give me away? I could have been…I could have been him!

Related Characters: Mrs. Johnstone (speaker), Mickey (speaker), Edward
Related Symbols: Guns
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:

In an attempt to save Eddie's life, Mrs. Johnstone at last confesses her sin to Mickey, telling him that he and Eddie are actually brothers. Her words, however, have the opposite effect that she intended. Rather than relenting, Mickey only becomes further enraged, believing that he could have had a completely different (and better) life, if only he'd been given away instead of Eddie. Long ago, the boys had longed to be like each other--it is only now, however, that Mickey realizes that he actually could have been Eddie. 

Throughout the play, Mickey has been feeling increasingly powerless and out of control. It is only now, however, that he realizes just how devoid of agency he actually is. Only by chance, he believes, has he ended up unemployed and addicted to antidepressants. Had fate gone a different way, he could have been a prosperous politician like Eddie. This idea drives him beyond sanity, and eventually leads him to shoot his own brother. 

And do we blame superstition for what came to pass?
Or could it be what we, the English, have come to know as class?

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Mickey, Edward
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:

As the twins lie dead before a distraught Mrs. Johnstone, the Narrator enters to sum up what has occurred. Throughout the whole play, he has blamed fate and superstition for the doom that the twins are facing. Now, however, he hammers home the true message of the play: that an unjust and merciless class system has caused the tragedy that we have witnessed. 

It is easy, the narrator implies, to blame superstition and fate--things out of our control--for the injustices that take place in the world. Instead, he asserts, it is the stratified English class system that is to blame, and (more broadly) a pitiless society that doesn't help those who are down and out, like Mickey, and favors those who are wealthy and prosperous, like Eddie. No world in which two such similar people could go on to lead such different lives, he seems to tell us, could ever be fair--especially when it is this very disparity that led to a senseless and brutal tragedy. 

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Edward Character Timeline in Blood Brothers

The timeline below shows where the character Edward appears in Blood Brothers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Superstition and Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...only moments before they died. There is a brief tableau, during which the audience witnesses Edward and Mickey’s deaths, after which the Narrator brings forth their mother, Mrs. Johnstone. (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Superstition and Fate Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
As Mickey sulks, Edward, Mrs. Lyons’ son, emerges and greets him, saying that he saw Mickey playing by his... (full context)
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Awed by Mickey’s streetwise talk, Edward asks the other boy if they can be best friends. Mickey agrees. The two exchange... (full context)
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Sammy enters and interrupts the moment, holding a toy gun. He demands a sweet, and Edward agrees, even as Mickey frantically attempts to get his new friend to lie about having... (full context)
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Superstition and Fate Theme Icon
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Mrs. Johnstone emerges from her house, and Mickey introduces Edward as his “brother.” Mrs. Johnstone hears Edward’s name and freezes with surprise. After a moment,... (full context)
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As Edward leaves, Mrs. Johnstone sings a lament that her son will never recognize her. (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
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We shift to Mr. and Mrs. Lyons’ house. Mr. Lyons gives Edward the present of a toy gun, and then pretends to die. Mrs. Lyons begins to... (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
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Superstition and Fate Theme Icon
With his father gone, Edward asks Mrs. Lyons how to spell the word “bogey man.” Mrs. Lyons tells him that... (full context)
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The doorbell of the Lyons house rings—it is Mickey come to see if Edward can play with him. The boys explain to Mrs. Lyons that they are blood brothers.... (full context)
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Edward watches from his garden as the neighborhood children begin a series of battles with each... (full context)
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...he’s stolen Sammy’s best gun, and tells Linda that they can play with it with Edward. (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
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Mickey and Linda arrive at Edward’s garden. The two boys share the fact that their mothers don’t want them to play... (full context)
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The Power of the Past Theme Icon
Mrs. Lyons enters, looking for Edward. The Narrator enters as well, and repeats his refrain, warning Mrs. Lyons that “gypsies” are... (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Superstition and Fate Theme Icon
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The Power of the Past Theme Icon
...wants to move far away before “something terrible” happens. She is disgusted by the children Edward is playing with, and worries that they are “drawing him away from me.” As Mr.... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...windows instead. Neither Mickey nor Linda is brave enough to do so, however, and so Edward volunteers. He throws a rock through a window, only to be caught by a policeman.... (full context)
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...a different manner, drinking a glass of scotch with Mr. Lyons and telling him that Edward isn’t really in trouble. He does, however, warn Mr. Lyons to keep Edward away from... (full context)
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After the policeman leaves, Mr. Lyons asks Edward if he would like to move to the country, explaining that Mrs. Lyons has been... (full context)
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Edward leaves his house and goes to the Johnstones’, where Mrs. Johnstone answers the door. She... (full context)
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Mickey and Edward say a wordless goodbye. Edward gives Mickey a toy gun, and then travels away with... (full context)
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Edward is unenthusiastic about his new home in the country, although Mrs. Lyons tries to persuade... (full context)
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Mickey visits Edward’s former home, but a strange woman answers the door. He asks where Edward has moved,... (full context)
Act 2
Class and Money Theme Icon
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...just like her mother, is married and has several children already. Mrs. Johnstone prays that Edward is still all right, wherever he is (not like Marilyn Monroe, who has died). (full context)
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Mrs. Lyons enters, teaching Edward how to waltz. Edward has been at boarding school, and is about to go back... (full context)
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Meanwhile, at Edward’s school, a teacher confronts Edward about his secret locket, ordering him to take it off... (full context)
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We move back to Edward, now with Mrs. Lyons, who is appalled that her son has been suspended. In an... (full context)
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...he can’t because he’s far too ugly and awkward. He sees the boy from the window—Edward, whom he doesn’t recognize—walking towards him, and imagines what it would be like to be... (full context)
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The two boys meet, and Mickey asks for a cigarette. Edward says that he doesn’t have one, but that he could get some for Mickey if... (full context)
Superstition and Fate Theme Icon
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...boys walk along as, unbeknownst to them, the Narrator follows them (along with Mrs. Lyons). Edward offers to lend Mickey money, but Mickey says that he will ask Mrs. Johnstone for... (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
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Mickey and Edward burst into Mrs. Johnstone’s kitchen, with Mickey thrilled to reintroduce his mother to his old... (full context)
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...hysterical, she asks whether Mrs. Johnstone intends to follow her forever. Mrs. Lyons adds that Edward refuses to remove the locket with Mrs. Johnstone’s picture. Mrs. Johnstone stammers that she only... (full context)
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Meanwhile Edward and Mickey emerge from the movie, dazed and impressed. They gasp at the idea of... (full context)
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Edward continues his chant, eventually getting so excited that he jumps on top of a lamppost.... (full context)
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Edward waits by a streetlight as Linda teases him. Edward asks where Mickey is, and she... (full context)
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Mickey enters, disrupting the mood. He complains about his job at the factory, and Edward breaks the news that he’ll be at university until Christmas. Edward asks Mickey to ask... (full context)
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It is now Christmastime, and a happy Edward returns, looking for Mickey. He jokes and asks Mickey when they will begin drinking and... (full context)
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The two separate, and Sammy approaches Mickey, while Linda greets Edward. Edward asks Linda why she hasn’t come to see him, and she replies that she... (full context)
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Convinced that he will never see her again, Edward confesses his love for Linda, and then apologizes. (full context)
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Linda responds that she’s always loved Edward “in a way,” but when he proposes marriage to her, she reveals that she’s only... (full context)
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...better their new life is going to be, he accuses to her of going to Edward—now a city councilor—for help. She doesn’t deny it, but begs him not to take the... (full context)
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...the “girl inside the woman” who longs for the past. Making a decision, Linda calls Edward. As she does so, Mrs. Johnstone enters, singing that the two (Edward and Linda) don’t... (full context)
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...singing, as we see Mickey deciding not to take his pills anymore, and Linda and Edward carry on their affair. Mrs. Johnstone reveals that the lovers will have to pay a... (full context)
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Out of nowhere, Mrs. Lyons enters. She shows Mickey Edward and Linda together, as Mrs. Johnstone ominously sings about “the price you’re gonna have to... (full context)
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...her that Mickey has a gun. Terrified, Linda realizes that he must be looking for Edward at town hall. The Narrator reenters, telling Mrs. Johnstone that the devil is inside her,... (full context)
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The scene shifts to town hall, where Edward is giving a speech. Mickey abruptly appears, gripping his gun in shaking hands and screaming... (full context)
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...there are armed marksmen outside. Mickey remarks that he fails at everything, even at shooting Edward—he doesn’t even know if his gun is loaded. Suddenly Mrs. Johnstone enters the building, much... (full context)