Willy Russell creates a working class society in ‘Breezeblock Park’. The main themes portrayed in the play are working class society, conflict based on possessions, education, conflict based on competitions and comedy.
One way in which a working class society is portrayed is by the way in which characters converse upon. Betty talks a lot about herself and tries to include herself in the subject. She does this by butting in other characters conversation, as Vera and Sandra were talking about ‘Tim’, and how ‘he’s really different’ and ‘unique’. Betty changes it to her ‘three hundred and fifty pound suite’. The characters also don’t care about the what’s going on around them and only care about themselves.
Another way in which a working class society is portrayed is by betty, she is a dominant character she has her own ideas of how she would look her best in the eyes of society, ‘you make me look cheap in front of Reeny an I’ll swing for you. Here Betty’s desperation to look good is demonstrated. Betty thinks her family will progress in society by begin cleaner and having more possessions than these ‘swines’ down the road.
Betty’s daughter Sandra has her own ideas of how she would move up in society, she thinks by begin ‘educated’ and a ‘student’ like ‘Tim’ will move her into his class, middle class. Instead of begin struck in working class. Her idea is rejected though by her family, uncle Tommy does not think being educated in maths, science and English will help, but watch quizzes and learning answers is a better way of demonstrates his cleverness. He tries to show off his cleverness by saying the name of the quiz show ‘university challenge’. Also Tommy though that the presenter ‘makes up the questions’ on the stop. As Tim put him right, ‘you don’t think’, betty buts in and backs up Tommy but when she knew she was in the wrong she then changes the subject to ‘drinks’ and exists. Sandra is desperately wants to do what Tim’s family do if it was Christmas at their house.
Betty has a dominant character and thinks that no one is better than her. She is strong headed, proud and perfect for a working class family character. Her personality reflects her competitive demands. Betty over power’s the doctor’s opinion on Syd and says ‘the man is a working heart condition’. Betty also thinks that no one is competitive like her. ‘I don’t suppose that you’ll be to afford one like this’ Reeny. Here she is saying that she is better off and she can afford it, and they can’t.
Comedy is used in ‘Breezeblock Park’ to reduce tension between characters and complex issues. Although Betty is a strong headed, proud, dominant character, she is used as a comedy character as well. Betty’s Christmas present a vibrator from Tommy. Betty acting like she knew every thing, she did not know ‘what it was used for’ this made awkward moment onto hilarious moment for the audience.
Russell is successful in creating a working class society in ‘Breezeblock Park’. Willy Russell has created comedy in a naturalistic play so well its unbelievable to audience. The careful pauses and awkward moments create the feeling of a naturalistic play. The audience might have not enjoyed this play when it was preformed because only upper class can afford to go to the theatre. But now the audience will enjoy it but find it more as a comedy play than a play to reflect working class society.