Eddie doesn’t understand the situation that Mickey is in; he has had a good education, and always had money when he needed it and not had to work for a penny of it. Mickey has had to work hard for the little money he has had, as he had a lower class job, due to his education. Their friendship starts to disintegrate as they become older and stars to disappear as they become so different. Class differences bring barriers into their friendship.
Mickey also starts to feel that Linda would prefer a life with Eddie because he has lots of money but Linda actually loves Mickey and however much money Eddie has, he cannot buy Linda’s love. Both classes realise towards the end of the musical, money cannot solve everything, because it cannot buy love and Eddie cannot buy Linda’s love. Even though Mrs Lyons does get a child in the end, she does not feel like it’s her child because they do not love each other whereas Mrs Johnstone does not have a lot of money, but loves her children and her children feel the same back.
However much Mickey and Eddie do not get on with each other towards the end of the musical, they still wanted to be each other in some ways. Mickey wanted Eddie’s money because he thought it would make him happier and make Linda be happier with him and it would make things easier. Eddie wanted to be more like Mickey, because he wanted to have a loving family and he also wanted Linda. This shows that both classes are not happy with what they have got and want what each other have got and what they do not have.
The audience are made to feel sympathy for both Eddie and Mickey because Mickey is poor and cannot look after his family, and because Eddie is naive to Mickey’s problems and thinks money can solve all his problems. Mickey doesn’t realise that Eddie thinks money can solve everything and therefore dislikes him because they sometimes do not understand each other. Right from the beginning we learn a lot about Mickey and feel we know a lot more about him as he grows up, whereas we do not know as much about Eddie. Again we feel more sympathy for Mickey when his heart is broken and when he is suffering with problems and depression.
In this musical the class the characters are in determines the sort of partner they end up with and their lifestyle. This is shown when Linda falls in love with Mickey, but she also has feelings for Eddie. Eddie knows that because Mickey and Linda have been together for a long time, that he should encourage Mickey to ask Linda to marry him, even though he likes her but he does the sensible thing. Mrs Lyons also plays a part in the relationship because she feels that Linda is not good enough for Eddie because she is lower class, so tries to split them up by telling Mickey about them. Linda likes Eddie but feels because she and Mickey are in the same class, and have had the same upbringing; she should stay with him, which suits Mrs Lyons perfectly.
In the musical, the narrator plays a major part the whole way through. On stage he is always somewhere, whether it be in the centre of the stage or hidden at the back. His presence shows the dark and sinister side to the whole story and whenever it seems to be okay, he highlights the dark side of whatever is happening. He is dressed smartly and is very serious. Whenever a major event is about to occur, he will make an entrance to the main focal point of the stage at the time. He has a powerful presence and almost seems to hold the whole musical together, tying up all the loose ends. Throughout the musical he also asks some relevant rhetorical questions at crucial moments to make the audience really think about what is happening. He makes the audience judge the characters and makes us realise that the English social class system is a problem.
To conclude the whole musical, I feel that Russell emphasizes every minor detail about the class system which is different from one class to another to make us realise the differences. He uses the narrator to make us think about the different characters and our opinions of them, and he uses the different powers people have in their class to make us feel sympathy for others. He emphasizes every line and scenery on stage to get across his message to the audience that the difference in the class system is a major problem that we have to deal with. I think that Russell feels that the class system will always remain with us, however much it is pointed out and however much it is talked about not everyone can be completely equal, because of the society we live in. We just have to get on and live with the problems, consequences of the class system.