Other themes

Roles of men and women

Tally’s Blood looks at the changing roles of women and men.

Traditional roles

Rosinella has had a traditional rural Italian upbringing. This has left her with a limited experience of life and contributes to her narrow views.

  • she has had little education and cannot read
  • she works in the back shop and looks after the family
  • she was expected to enter an arranged marriage

Luigi still holds traditional views as to the role of women. He wants Lucia to fulfil a similar role – looking after the house and family in Italy.

Massimo too fits in with tradition:

  • he was expected to follow his father in running the business
  • he is the public face of the family
  • he runs the shop and brings in money to support the family.
  • he is in charge of money – giving some to Rosinella when she needs it.

More generally, the play presents a world with double standards about sex.

It is viewed as fine for a man like Franco to go out with a number of women. Women who go out on dates are viewed as tarts.

Changing attitudes

But the play also shows some of these attitudes changing:

  • both Rosinella and Lucia rebel against arranged marriages - they choose love instead
  • Rosinella wants Lucia to get more out of life than she has she’s not been brought up to work in a shop, running after some man.
  • Lucia goes to school and is educated
  • Bridget gets a job and provided income for her family