Blood Relations

“I Was Born Defective”: What It Means to Be a Woman in Sharon Pollock's Blood Relations

<blockquote>“Regardless of what we might think of our gender, we can only live that gender through the body we have.”</blockquote>

Throughout Sharon Pollock’s play <i>Blood Relations</i>, the plotline focuses on the life of Lizzie Borden and her day-to-day experience as a woman who does not conform to feminine expectations. The play is set in the late nineteenth century, a time when women were viewed as a subordinate group within society. The bodies that people were born into determined the gender roles they were supposed to fulfill. Those gender roles, however, were created by the men of the society. In <i>Blood Relations</i>, Lizzie is pressured to conform to the feminine gender role simply because she has the body of a woman. The play chronicles Lizzie’s resentment of and rebellion against the male-structured ideology in an attempt to change what it means to be a woman in her society.

As the protagonist of the play, Lizzie Borden is faced with the stereotypes of women during her era. She was born and raised in the nineteenth century, when women were expected to be complacent daughters and obedient wives and homemakers. Lizzie, however, refuses to conform to those societal conventions despite...

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