Blood Brothers

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Marilyn Monroe Symbol Analysis

Marilyn Monroe  Symbol Icon

One of the first songs in the musical—sung by Mrs. Johnstone—constantly returns to the refrain of Marilyn Monroe. At first, Mrs. Johnstone views the movie star as a figure of glamor and wealth, and aspires to be like her. She’s flattered when people compare her to the platinum blonde, and even sometimes uses her sex appeal to manipulate men in power. As the musical continues, however, Mrs. Johnstone compares herself negatively to Marilyn Monroe, noting that she herself has become old and poor, quite unlike her idol. She continually comes back to the movie star, however, and as her family’s luck gets worse and worse, Mrs. Johnstone notices how poorly Marilyn Monroe’s life turned out as well. The parallels between Marilyn Monroe and the Johnstones continue late into the play, as when Mrs. Johnstone compares her son Mickey’s dependence on antidepressants to Monroe’s own addiction struggles. Although Monroe began as an icon of beauty and aspiration, she ends up being yet another tragic example of a life gone terribly awry.

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Marilyn Monroe Symbol Timeline in Blood Brothers

The timeline below shows where the symbol Marilyn Monroe appears in Blood Brothers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Class and Money Theme Icon
The Power of the Past Theme Icon
...days of their courtship, when he flattered her by saying that she was “sexier than Marilyn Monroe ,” and took her dancing. Things went downhill, however, when Mrs. Johnstone got pregnant. The... (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
Superstition and Fate Theme Icon
...earn money, and she tells them that one day they’ll all go dancing, just like Marilyn Monroe . (full context)
Act 2
Class and Money Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Superstition and Fate Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of the Past Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...time, and the milkman even takes her dancing, telling her that she has legs like Marilyn Monroe . Of course, Sammy has burned the school down, but Mrs. Johnstone manages to get... (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
The Power of the Past Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...about what happens next: the jury sentences Mickey to seven years in prison, and like Marilyn Monroe , he falls into a deep depression. A doctor enters, and prescribes Mickey antidepressants (also... (full context)
Class and Money Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...slower than it used to. It is almost as if he is dead, just like Marilyn Monroe . (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 story, that it’s “just a dream,” or a scene from a movie with “ Marilyn Monroe .” She wonders if this has just been a clown show with two players who... (full context)