Blood Relations

Blood Relations Imagery

Lizzie and the Actress dancing

In the first Act, Lizzie and the Actress start dancing together after the Actress puts some music on the gramophone. This image implies that maybe their relationship is not simply platonic but perhaps romantic. It also sets the stage for the casting doubling that will occur, the way that the Actress will assume Lizzie's identity and become her in the reenactment.

Lizzie as Bridget

The real Lizzie Borden assumes the role of Bridget, the Irish maid, who was her conspirator in the murder. Meanwhile, the Actress plays Lizzie herself. There is a confusing doubling that occurs, with different women assuming different identities for the sake of the reenactment.

Unruly child

Another important aspect in the play is the way in which Lizzie is described by the other characters. She is a person who refuses to obey the unspoken social rules and who would rather live her life as she pleases. Lizzie does not like to do what she is told, and because of this, she is portrayed as a rebellious child, someone who will never succeed in life. In one monologue, Lizzie describes herself as a child as always having scabs on her knees, a tell-tale sign that she is not a lady, that she does not fit in.

The hatchet

One of the most evocative images in the play is the moment when Lizzie raises the hatchet above her sleeping father. Pollock does not depict the fatal blow itself, switching to a blackout and an overwhelming sound cue instead, but this image is haunting, the image of an unhinged woman who has it out for her own father.