Blood Brothers

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Guns Symbol Icon

Guns crop up over and over again over the course of the musical, foreshadowing the terrible violence that sits at the narrative’s end. They at first seem relatively innocent, as when the neighborhood children use pretend weapons to play war games, and when Mickey hides his brother Sammy’s air rifle. Quickly, however, they turn sinister, and eventually Sammy accidentally uses a gun in a robbery, an act that ends in a murder. Of course, the fearsome power of guns is finally demonstrated in full when Mickey confronts Edward with a gun at city hall. Although he does not intend to shoot his twin, he is so crazed and enraged that he does so accidentally, and is then shot by policemen. By the end of the play, Russell has demonstrated that guns cause violence and havoc in a variety of situations.

Guns Quotes in Blood Brothers

The Blood Brothers quotes below all refer to the symbol of Guns. 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

But you know that if you cross your fingers
And if you count from one to ten
You can get up off the ground again
It doesn’t matter
The whole thing’s just a game.

Related Characters: Linda (speaker)
Related Symbols: Guns
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

Along with Eddie, the neighborhood children play a game that involves battling with toy guns. Going over the rules, they explain that once you're shot in the game, you can simply "cross your fingers," count to ten, and get up once again.

To the children, death is nothing more than lying down on the ground and then standing back up on your feet. They don't understand the actual implications of guns, violence, or their own mortality. 

Of course, the game the children play is also a terrible foreshadowing of what is to come (and it introduces the recurring the symbol of guns). For audiences, who understand that both the Johnstone twins are doomed to a violent death, these games have a terrible element of dramatic irony. 

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Act 2 Quotes

There’s a man gone mad in the town tonight,
He’s gonna shoot somebody down,
There’s a man gone mad, lost his mind tonight

There’s a mad man running round and round.
Now you know the devil’s got your number.
He’s runnin’ right beside you,
He’s screamin’ deep inside you,
And someone said he’s callin’ your number up today.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Mickey
Related Symbols: Guns
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

When Mickey finds out that Linda and Eddie are having an affair, he completely loses his grip on reason, finds a gun, and sets out to shoot Eddie. In the midst of a chaotic and frantic song, the chorus returns to the Narrator's original refrain: "the devil's got your number."

This is the play's way of telling us that fate has at last caught up with the Johnstone twins. Despite the fact that Mickey knows nothing about his mother's original pact, he is still reaping the consequences. The devil is "screamin' deep inside" of him, and will not rest until he pays the price for a series of decisions over which he had utterly no control. 

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. 

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Guns Symbol Timeline in Blood Brothers

The timeline below shows where the symbol Guns appears in Blood Brothers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of the Past Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...son whom Mrs. Johnstone kept, Mickey, knocks on his mother’s door while carrying a toy gun. His mother comes out, relieved to see him, and embraces him. He begins to complain,... (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
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... (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
...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 read her husband and son a... (full context)
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...last be able to see his twin again. Mickey brags that 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
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...commands. Mickey introduces Edward to Linda, and the three decide to play together with Sammy’s gun by trying to shoot at the “thingy” on the Peter Pan statue in the park.... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
The three children, meanwhile, are playing with their stolen toy gun. Only Linda hits the target, until Mickey declares that they aren’t playing with the gun... (full context)
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of the Past Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Mickey and Edward say a wordless goodbye. Edward gives Mickey a toy gun, and then travels away with his parents. (full context)
Act 2
Class and Money Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...to be a lookout during a burglary, promising that although he will be carrying a gun, it will not be violent. (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Superstition and Fate Theme Icon
The Power of the Past Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...to pay. Mickey keeps watch as Sammy argues with one of his partners over a gun. Abruptly, an alarm bell sounds and a shot is heard. Sammy tries to escape but... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of the Past Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...and calls for Linda. Then he races to his mother’s house to pick up the gun that Sammy hid under the floor. As he runs out, Mrs. Johnstone sees him, and... (full context)
Superstition and Fate Theme Icon
The Power of the Past Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...has finally arrived. Mrs. Johnstone arrives at Linda’s house, warning her that Mickey has a gun. Terrified, Linda realizes that he must be looking for Edward at town hall. The Narrator... (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of the Past Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...shifts to town hall, where Edward is giving a speech. Mickey abruptly appears, gripping his gun in shaking hands and screaming for everyone to “stay where you are.” Edward calmly greets... (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Superstition and Fate Theme Icon
The Power of the Past Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
A policeman calls through a megaphone, telling Mickey to put down the gun, and that there are armed marksmen outside. Mickey remarks that he fails at everything, even... (full context)