The Rose Tattoo- Themes

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  • Themes in The Rose Tattoo
    • Pride
      • Defining trait of Serafina
      • Very proud of her- boasts about him
        • Boasts of his beauty, virility and family
      • Serafina overcomes this flaw- realises Rosario was not perfect
      • Also overcomes this is in her love for Alvaro- capable of loving someone who is not perfect
    • Humanity
      • Very human play
      • Depicts Serafina as learning she is ordinary- but also having an amount of ridiculousness about her
      • Thus, Williams fondly suggests that humans are quite ridiculous and not so grand
      • Williams' notion of humanity is best represented in the play by his use of clowns or clown like behaviour
        • He suggests that there are some people who suffer terribly but there are also poor creatures whose lives are comic misadventures
    • Idolatry
      • Serafina worships her husband inordinately
      • When he dies- she has urn put on her mantel piece
      • Worships him as God when alive and dead
      • This is improper to her religion- elevates him to an improper manner
      • Eventually overcomes this-learns that she nor her husband are worthy of worship
    • Life and Death
      • Sets up life and death in the opposition of Serafina and Estelle
      • Life- Serafina
        • Has a happy, passionate nature
        • Her husband 's virtility, her own fertility and interest in sex suggests life
        • She also has a cluttered home
      • Estelle- Death
        • Serafina's opposite- thin
        • Link to death- only appears on stage on the day Rosario is killed and at his wake
        • Thus, death counters life
        • Described as wearing Egyptian clothing- connected to death
    • Sexual repression
      • Forceful and going theme
      • Added to by neighbourhood gossip- especially the Strega, Serafina's neighbour
      • Overcomes this- with Alvaro
      • Becomes a target for gossip since Rosario's death and her reaction
    • Fear of romantic relationships
      • Manifests itself in her relationship with Rosa
      • Because of the trauma with Rosario, Serafina finds it hard to let Rosa grow up and move on
        • Fearfully protectful of her
      • Not until she has made contact with a man again does she appreciate Rosa's womanhood
    • Roses
      • Strong symbol throughout-many references
      • Is a symbol of love, sex, emotional vulnerability and procreation
      • Of high importance to Serafina b/c of Rosario's tattoo- places high faith in it
      • Universal symbol- Jack uses this without knowing the connection

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