- Eddie is treated differently by the police when he misbehaves and he is protected from suffering the effects of the economic recession.
- He is able to prolong his childhood and avoid joining the millions of unemployed by going to university.
- He is innocent as a child, but this carries on into adulthood, where it seems more like naivety and is no longer so cute.
- This causes problems in his relationship with Mickey, who is no longer an innocent child, because he has been forced to face the realities of growing up in a country in which the working class is suffering from high unemployment.
- Edward Lyons is also known as Eddie, which illustrates his status as a character with links to both the middle and the working classes.
- He is brought up in the wealthy Lyons household, goes to a private school and has his mother’s undivided attention.
- By the time he is “nearly eight” he has a Standard English accent and a middle class vocabulary, which Russell has exaggerated for the purpose of comedy and to increase the contrast between Eddie and his twin.
- This contrast is used by Russell to show the influence of upbringing and social circumstances (the _Nurture _part of _Nature Vs Nurture) _on someone’s character and life-chances.
- As the twins grow up, Russell shows us that even though Eddie shares many of his brother’s so-called ‘working-class’ traits, such as swearing and other challenging behaviour towards those in authority, in the end he is protected by being part of the middle class.
- Some of the biggest laughs in the play happen when Eddie is rude to people in authority.
- When he swears at his mother after meeting Mickey the first time, it is obvious that he has never done so before. By the time he swears at his teacher, he does so with style and confidence.
- Russell shows that, although Eddie’s behaviour is similar to Mickey’s, he is protected from the consequences of that behaviour by his membership of the middle class, which has given him an education and caused people in authority to respond differently to him than they would if he had stayed entirely working-class.
- Despite being the “lucky” twin, who wants for nothing financially, he seems lonely.
- It is he who approaches Mickey in the street and he doesn’t seem to have anyone else to play with.
- We don’t see Eddie having any middle-class friendships.
- Instead, he enjoys copying the language and behaviour of his working class playmates, even though it gets him into trouble.
- Russell does this to present the _Nature _side of the argument: you can take the boy out of the working class, but you can’t take the working class out of the boy.
“You’d never find him, f’ing and blinding” (Mrs Johnstone) , “He’d grow up to be, a credit to me” (sung by both mothers together) Song- My Child
“Pissed off? You say smashing things, don’t you?” - To Mickey
“You’re not like him. You’re not.” (Mrs Lyons to Edward)
“I know what you are. You’re a fuck-off” (Edward to Mrs Lyons)
“More of a prank really, Mr Lyons. I’d stop his pocket money if I were you.”
“I’d much rather live here”,“I think you’re smashing”, “Why don’t you buy a new house near us?” (Eddie to Mrs Johnstone)
- How does Russell use the character of Eddie to discuss the theme of Nature Vs Nurture?
- Your answer should include: Language / Innocence / Consequences of his actions
- Edward is a loving and trusting little boy who has been sheltered from much of the unpleasantness of life.
- When he first goes to see Mickey, he has disobeyed his mother to go to the working class area alone, carrying a bag of sweets.
- It is Eddie who begins the relationship between himself and Mickey, asking him to be his “…best friend” and he expects that to carry on, even when they have grown up.