Willy Russell presents Mrs Johnstone having seven children along with showing that she is a very maternal character he is also suggesting that she has some religious ruling against the use of contraception. Throughout the novel Mrs Johnstone is presented with having a hard life. Most of these examples are in Act One. For example when she sings “By the time I was twenty-five, I looked more like forty-two, with seven hungry mouths to feed and one more nearly due, me husband he’d walked out on me” From what she sings we understand what a hard life she has.
Mrs Johnstone is also subjected to a hard life as she is from a working class background which means she gets very little money to provide for her big family. Russell presents Mrs Johnstone as having hardly any money. As she is from a working class background her pay isn’t so high. She is debt several times throughout Blood Brothers. We first come to understand this when the milkman appears in act one stating that “You own me three pounds, seventeen and fourpence,” Another way we understand that she has very little money is when we hear one of her kids ask “How come I’m on free dinners? This shows the reader that her children are cared for by the state which shows her lack of her money. Russell shows Mrs Johnstone explaining the reason for her debt, her explanation is “When I got me job, I thought I would be able to pay.
When I went into the showroom I only meant to come out with a couple of things. But when you’re standing there, it all looks so nice. When y’ look in the catalogue an’ there’s six months to pay, it seems like years away, an’ y’ need a few things so y’ sign. When we hear this from Mrs Johnstone we feel sympathy for her character. We retain sympathy for Mrs Johnstone by Russell reminding us of her financial circumstance, for example when Mrs Johnstone sings “Living on the never never, constant as the changing weather, never sure who’s at the door or the price I’ll have to pay,” Her singing this shows her day to day worries. A very good example of this is when Mickey raps the door she worries and thinks he is the rent man. This leads us to believe that her amount of money is very low.
But when the finance man tells her that she shouldn’t have bought the stuff she become angry as seen through the stage directions “angrily”. She tells the man that she has had to live her life knowing that she shouldn’t buy things she knows she can’t. This is the first time we see her angry. Russell presents Mrs Johnstone to be very superstitious. This is evident throughout the play. When Mrs Lyons places new shoes on her table the reaction we get from Mrs Johnstone, “Jesus Christ, Mrs Lyons, what are y’ trying to do? “The shoes… the shoes… ” shows us that Mrs Johnstone is very superstitious. Mrs Lyons preys on Mrs Johnstone’s superstition to her advantage when Mrs Johnstone wants her baby back Mrs Lyons scares her by saying that if the twins find out they were separated they will both die. Throughout the play Blood Brothers, sympathy is both presence and absent from Mrs Johnstone’s life. One occasion where there is no sympathy for Mrs Johnstone is when the milkman appears in the first act. When he says, “Well don’t look at me, love.
I might be a milkman but it’s nothin’ to do with me. Now you’ve been told, no money, no milk. ” This shows that he doesn’t even feel sorry for her as he’s more interested in her money than her; this is evident when the finance man is also mean to her. Due to her life the sympathy is gained but sometimes lost. Sympathy is gained for Mrs Johnstone when we read in the stage directions “Mrs Johnstone stands alone, afraid. ” We feel sorry as we see that she is afraid of what’s happening. Throughout her life she has many experiences where she is afraid.