Right from the prologue the writer reveals to an audience that the relationship between Eddie and Mickey is that of twins. However they themselves don’t discover that they “shared the same name” until the day they die. The fate of the boys then acts to create dramatic irony throughout the play for an audience who watch their relationship developing, knowing that when they do discover that they are twins, they will die.
Mickey as a young character is revealed as enthusiastic, bursting with energy. He knocks “incessantly” at his mam’s door and stage directions direct an actor to extricate himself from Mrs Johnstone’s “hugs” suggesting that he has no time to waste. This first glimpse of the child Mickey also shows a character who is aware of a harsher side of life. He questions his mum as to why the door was bolted suggesting that it might have been the “rent man”. The impression of problems in Mickey’s life is strengthened for an audience by the information given that Sammy had “robbed” him.
Mickey’s monologue to the audience reveals more about his relationship with his brother. He sometimes wishes he was Sammy as Sammy is older and gets more freedom. However Mickey has to stay near the “gate”. An audience however at this point will be aware that the anxious way Mrs Johnstone treats Mickey is not just because of his age but because she wants to keep him from Eddie.
This scene is then followed by the arrival of Eddie. Their similarities are instantly obvious to an audience, both are the same age. However Russell also shows their differences too. Edward is shown as “forthcoming” and generous. He “offers a bag from his pocket”. Mickey in contrast acts “suspiciously” and is “shocked” at Edwards generosity. Russell here seems to be suggesting that the class divide has made these boys different. Edward who has been brought up with plenty is able to share. Mickey who has had to fight and protect what he has finds it difficult to comprehend this. Russell shows their...