How Does Willy Russell Create Mood and Atmosphere in the Summer Sequence?
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In the Summer Sequence Willy Russell’s three main protagonists are shown to grow up from the ages of 15 to 18, thus becoming adults throughout the song. This means that the sequence acts as a watershed in the respect that it marks a major turning point in the play. This is shown through the atmosphere that Russell creates, which goes from fairly positive, hopeful tone to a more cynical and desperate one over the duration of the sequence. Russell uses several techniques to create these atmospheres throughout.
In the opening of the Summer Sequence the atmosphere is clearly a happy one, which is shown by Russell by using words like “young, free and innocent” to describe the characters. In this section, the word “innocent” is used twice.…show more content… This explicitly refers to the brothers’ fate in a way in which the last section didn’t, so the tone is far more marred by the eventuality of their deaths. This date is also referenced when Russell extends the metaphor, “fate the later seasons bring”, which causes the audience to remember the scene at the very beginning of the play, preventing them from being drawn into the initial happiness of the three teenagers in this sequence. Again, it refers to Linda being caught in the middle of the pair, foreshadowing their final argument.
It also refers to Linda paying a “price”, a theme that was initially shown in the song ‘Easy Terms’, sung by Mrs Johnstone, and in both cases foreshadows the price they’ll have to pay for their involvement in the twins’ lives. The music becomes far more serious and sinister, a repetitive tense note with no actual melody.
In the next section a recurring theme is shown with the references to time. This creates a sad, melancholic atmosphere, as the audience is aware of the character’s significant lack of time together, but the characters are not, so their happy unawareness and this dramatic irony is slightly poignant. Again, fate is reference by the narrator “care not for what’s at the end of the day”, again forcing the audience to remember the fate of the boys, this