Last Updated 30 Mar 2021

Billy Liar – Which of Billys three girlfriends is best suited to him

Category Love
Essay type Research
Words 1946 (7 pages)
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The play 'Billy Liar' concerns a nineteen-year-old boy who has three girlfriends. The Fisher family live in a typical lower middle class house in an industrial town in the north of England. The furniture is quite new but of dreadful taste. The Fisher family is very dysfunctional. The family consists of: Billy, a compulsive liar, who uses sarcasm to try and show his intelligence. He seems to be confused about life in general and is also very lazy. Billy is very intelligent. We know this, as there is evidence of this throughout the play. Billy has three girlfriends, I think this a signs of irresponsibility and that he is not very mature.

Billy's mother, Alice, is a housewife. She is constantly fussing over Billy and mothering him. An example of Alice mothering Billy is 'how do you mean? A job in London? What job in London? ' questioning Billy because she worries about him. Maybe this is one of the causes of Billy's many dilemmas. Alice seems very easy going. Geoffrey, Billy's father, does not have a good word to say about Billy. He does not trust his son one bit and has no faith in him. Geoffrey has his own business and he also has an obsession to saying the word 'bloody'. Finally, there is Florence. This is Billy's Grandmother, Alice's mother.

She is extremely racist and also forgetful. She is forgetful. She is almost senile and throughout the play she is found rambling to herself. She blames Alice for Billy being spoilt. At the beginning of the play when Billy is discussing Barbara with Arthur, he seems unbelievably sexually frustrated. He has had a plan to seduce Barbara by using a 'passion pill'. Barbara is a girl of about nineteen who is large and well built. This gives the impression that Barbara is relatively old fashioned and prudish. Barbara has strong morals and refuses to have sex before marriage.

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We know this as in one part of the play Billy puts is hand on Barbara's knee (after she has taken the passion pill) and Barbara says 'it seems... indecent, somehow' this certainly makes Billy sexually frustrated. Barbara is very gullible. We can tell this because she believes all of Billy's lies. Also Billy's mother approves of Barbara and thinks she looks respectable. When Billy greets Barbara her reply 'hallo, pet. ' Is spoken callously and flatly. This gives the impression that her feelings for him are not as strong as she believes them to be.

Billy also tells Barbara more lies such as 'Oh yes, I made all the furniture', and ' she might have to have her leg off' (talking about Florence) which Barbara again believes. One thing that Billy and Barbara have in common is that they fantasize extensively. Evidence of this is the way that they plan together their dream cottage in Devon with a little Billy and a little Barbara. They have really planed this in minute detail, down to the colour schemes and garden plans. My personal opinion is that Barbara has a greater passion for oranges than for Billy and is constantly eating them.

Barbara and Billy address each other using pet names such as 'pet' and 'darling'. This shows some sense of relationship between them. Billy gets so frustrated at Barbara's addiction to oranges and lack of passion that he picks up her bag of oranges and, in total fury, throws it across the floor. Barbara is exceptionally helpful when she visits the Fisher household. She does the dishes and is egger to help Alice. This makes her seem incredibly domesticated. Alice thinks really highly of Barbara. I know this because she says 'I'm glad he's found himself a nice sensible lass for once. I think Barbara and Billy are suited in one way because they both fantasize but in many other ways they are not. Barbara has some direction and plan to her life while Billy has no direction at all. Barbara has very strong morals; she does not believe in sex before marriage or in mixed sex holidays but Billy certainly does. I do not think that Barbara and Billy are well suited at all.. They obviously do not love each other. Rita is first introduced in a phone conversation between herself and Billy. In the conversation Rita is being very forceful and she puts Billy on the defensive.

While this phone call takes place Barbara is in the house. Rita wants her engagement ring back, the ring Billy has given to Barbara! This shows that he does not have respect for either of the girls. He is desperately trying to get the ring back off Barbara to return to Rita who is very annoyed. Rita is a small girl with blonde hair. She is seventeen years old but 'dresses to look much older'. She is 'common and hard' and works in a snack bar. When Rita is first seen she is coming to claim her ring back from Billy. As soon as she enters the garden, she instantly insults Billy, saying to him 'look what's crawled out of the cheese'.

This gives the impression that they do not really have any affection towards each other. When Billy tells her one of his extravagant lies Rita is not as gullible as Barbara. Billy and Rita do not have mutual respect in their relationship. You can tell this in their language and tone of voice. Despite all the negative points in their relationship, there is definite sexual chemistry and physical attraction. I know this because Billy attempts to quieten down Rita by kissing her passionately and, sure enough, Rita responds to this by kissing him back.

Yet Rita threatens Billy by saying that her father is not happy that she has not got her ring back. I think she is trying to blackmail Billy here. Rita eventually leaves extremely angry and without a ring. She has left Billy in a predicament because has threatened that her father will come and sort him out! Later that day Rita returns to the Fisher house. She is now furious. She does not knock before going in. This is extremely rude. Rita is not intimidated by older people we can see this in the manner in which she talks to Billy's mother. While talking to people Rita frequently mocs the way they talk.

She comes up with some amazing insults and dishes them out, one being 'squint eyed, bow legged, spotty snotty nosed streak of nothing'. She directs this insult Barbara. She does not think much of Barbara at all. She says that Barbara needs to wash her ears because she has got 'carrots growing out of them'. This means that she thinks that Barbara is nai??ve and stupid. She is probably right in thinking this. I do think that Rita and Billy are suited because there is a definite sexual attraction between them. Yet that is all they have in common because they are both from different back rounds.

Rita comes from quite a rough back round and this is probably the cause for her acting in the way that she does. Billy comes from a lower middle class up bringing. Billy's mother definitely would not like Billy marrying Rita as she would not fit in with their family. We do not meet Liz until the very end of the play. I like this aspect of the play because we hear about Liz very near the beginning of the play so this leaves a bit of mystery surrounding her character. At the beginning of the play Arthur makes a remark about Liz's skirt. He says 'it's about time somebody bought her a new skirt'.

He refers to her as 'scruffy Lizzie' that agrees with comments that Alice makes about her. She says 'that scruffy one' and also 'her in that mucky skirt'. The play 'Billy Liar' was written in the 1960's. We can see evidence in the way that society's view of women in the way that people think through the play; Alice's opinion of Liz's skirt which now seems to be a very old fashioned view. Also we can see how society has changed in the way Barbara views sex before marriage and mixed sex holidays. This also fits with the class Barbara comes from. Liz is a free spirit who travels around the country from job to job.

Maybe this is why people cannot relate to her or regard her as a threat. During the time of which the play was set, people tended to stay within their own locality. Despite everyone making rude remarks about Liz, Billy seems to have genuine feelings. During one part of the play Barbara is talking to Alice about Liz and she says that 'she used to put a lot of ideas into his head'. Possibly she is jealous of Liz, because she knows that Billy still has feelings for her. So she is trying to ensure that Alice does not like Liz. Right at the very end of the play Liz enters the scene with Arthur.

Although Liz is about the same age as Barbara and Rita she has maturity and 'self-possession'. She is dressed casually and is, infact, not as scruffy as we have been led to believe. She is not particularly pretty but is obviously a girl of 'strong personality'. When she comes into the scene they just make polite conversation and Billy asks Liz when she got back. He seems hurt that Liz had not phoned him. After Liz and Billy have been talking for a while, Liz gets the idea of going away to London with him. Billy gives the impression that he definitely wants to go to London with Liz.

When Billy tries to lie to Liz he cannot quite go through with it. Liz is a very good judge of Billy's character. Despite this it does not stop her from loving him. Liz gets the bizarre idea that she wants to marry Billy. She does not want to get engaged and she does not care about getting a ring, unlike Barbara and Rita. Billy and Liz seem to share the same dream. Billy loves talking to Liz. We can see this in the length of his of his speeches. At the end of act three, we can see that Liz is more optimistic than Billy. She makes her mind up about going London.

She is sure but Billy is unsure and to some extent pessimistic about going. Liz just makes her decisions on impulse. Liz and Billy get along really well and enjoy each other's company. They have interesting conversations in which they are both fully involved. It seems as if they are sole mates. But maybe they would be suited better as just good friends. I do not think any one of the three girls is really suitable for Billy. Billy has things in common with each of the girls. Barbara and Billy both fantasize, Billy and Rita have a lot of sexual chemistry between them while Billy and Liz can talk to each other very well.

But Billy has big relationship issues. He cannot commit in a relationship; he shows this in the way that he decides not to go to London at the end of the play. He cannot make decisions; he shows this numerous times throughout the play and one of his main goals should be to stop lying! I think Billy could learn to love each of these girls. But I am unsure he would be able to live with them or get married. Billy cannot keep still; he cannot stick to one girl; he cannot make a sensible decision. Billy is highly intelligent but his inability to make decisions stops him getting anywhere in life.

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Billy Liar – Which of Billys three girlfriends is best suited to him. (2017, Aug 07). Retrieved from

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