The Narrator is an unusual character. He does not directly interact with the characters on stage - although he sometimes speaks to them, they do not respond, but instead comments on events and communicates with the audience.
The Narrator serves several purposes in the play. He acts as a social conscience, drawing the audience’s attention to the rights and wrongs of characters’ actions. He also reminds the audience of the mothers’ guilt and the twins’ inevitable death. At times, the Narrator serves a practical purpose in the play, with songs and speeches that explain passages in time and describes parts of the plot.
The Narrator’s song Shoes upon the Table is used as a reminder at several points in the play of Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons’ secret.
A debt is a debt, and must be paid.
The Narrator represents the consciences of the mothers here, reflecting their inability to truly move on from their actions at the start of the play. During happy moments of Blood Brothers, the Narrator reminds the audience that this happiness can only be fleeting, as the twins will inevitably die.
Through speaking directly to the audience, the Narrator is used to prompt us to think about important questions.
Do we blame superstition for what came to pass? Or could it be what we, the English, have come to know as class?
Repeating the word
we involves the audience directly and makes us question our own roles in society. This question then seems personal. The Narrator’s line shows the audience the key theme of the play and guides us towards making a conclusion about the significance of social class in our lives.