This is because on Eddie’s return, Mickey seems to just ignore him and give short, clipped answers which shows that something is wrong, “good”, “ok”, “come on where? “. This gives the impression that Mickey is jealous of Eddie, as he has been away furthering his education and going to parties and meeting new people. When Eddie was away doing that, Mickey was looking for a job but with no success, “been walking around all day, every day, looking for a job”. As he doesn’t have a job he feels he can take it out on Eddie, as he has grown up having everything he wants.
What makes the situation worse is when Eddie offers Mickey money, “I’ve got money, lots of it”. From this I think Mickey is insulted as it implies that he can’t fend for himself, “NO! I don’t want your money stuff it! “. This is a major contrast to the beginning of the play, when Mickey didn’t find Eddie offering sweets offensive. As they grow apart Eddie learns how to help Mickey without him knowing, for example arranging a job for Mickey, ” He needn’t know it was anything to do with me”. In my opinion Eddie is doing this as favour for Mickey and wants to do it because he wants to stay friends.
Mickey seems quite ungrateful to Eddie’s kindness when they see each other at the factory, “But you own the place Mr. Lyons”. It seems to me that Mickey says this, as he feels embarrassed to be working for his “best” friend. Things start to go wrong from this point. With the factory closing it causes job losses, and subsequently Mickey gets involved in a robbery, which goes wrong. Thus leaving Linda on her on, as Mickey is imprisoned, and starts to suffer from depression. Whilst Mickey is in prison, Eddie is left to look after Linda, who by this time is married to Mickey.
The end scene is where Eddie is in a meeting and Mickey is in a mad rage from finding out that his best friend was having an affair with his wife. The use of dramatic irony throughout the play is one of the main themes but it is probably this scene where it is most important. The fact that the audience know that Mickey and Eddie are brothers is ironic because they don’t know themselves. It is also ironic that Mickey thought they were “blood brothers” and has made the connection that they are both the sons of Mrs. Johnson. When Mickey says, “Friends! I could kill you… We were friends weren’t we?
Blood brothers, wasn’t it? Remember? “, it would tell Eddie and the readers that Mickey’s idea of a friend is built around a childish pact. By adding abbreviation into Mickey’s speech it would show the audience that he can’t even control what he is saying. He also uses the theme of guns throughout the play and I think this may have been a hint as to how the play ends. Mickey’s past encounters with guns and violence may be the reason he went so far over the edge that he threatened to shoot Eddie. When Mickey and Eddie were children they used to play shooting games, but now this was no longer a game.
When Mickey tells Eddie that he has stopped taking the pills, it is significant because it would tell Eddie and the audience that Mickey isn’t thinking straight and is not in control of his actions. It also shows that the only was Mickey can react is through violence. Mrs. Johnson appears just as Mickey is about to shot Eddie and tells the two boys that that they are brothers. This leads to Mrs. Lyons “accidentally” shooting “her” son Eddie and then through anger killing Mickey as well. Consequently the play ends with both families grieving over the twin brothers.