A major issue in the play is that violence against women. Through Enright’s use of characterisation and dialogue, we discover that is is prominent issue throughout the play as it appears in numerous scenes. In scene 14 we discover Tracy Warner had been murdered after being sexually assaulted by three men. While later on in scene 21, Ricko threatens Tiffany with violence. “You looking for a smack in the mouth?”
These scenes elicit a response from the audience to again question why men would resort to threatening women, let alone also assault them. They are also encouraged to view violence against women as pathetic because characters such as Ricko are weak. The theme masculinity is prominent throughout the play. Physical strength and other male attitudes are revealed. The audience positioned to respond to the theme through Enright’s use of drama conventions such as setting and characterisation. The setting in scene 19 is in the local gymnasium where two males are boxing. Boxing is a stereotyped as being a masculine sport as men fight to prove who is stronger and more powerful. As the audience is positioned to see how males feel the need to be masculine to prove and impress their friends by being stronger.
The theme double standards again appear throughout the play. Women in numerous scenes are treated differently and marginalised to males simply because their gender. Enright’s use of dialogue and characterisation positions the audience to see how women received different treatment to men. In scene 5 Cherie is unable to attend the party because she would be unable to defend herself as she is a women. As the audience were positioned to feel sympathetic for her.
“Cheries got to learn how the world works”. Here we are also positioned to see how women are seen as weak and fragile and that only men can look after themselves. Blackrock by Nick Enright represents the issue of violence against women, the youth culture in Australia, masculinity and double standards. The use of drama conventions such as characterisation, dialogue and the setting is effective in positioning the audience to respond to these issues in scenes throughout the play.