Vittorio Rossi, an award-winning artist of the Best New Play award at the Quebec Drama Festival writes the drama Little Blood Brother which covers the central themes of friendship and sexuality. In the play, the reader is introduced to an Italian community of Montreal Ville-Emard District. The society in this region is coded by a strict male chauvinism. It is a decayed society with systems of immature challenges and sexual boasting. Little Blood Brother is a play full of rage among the three protagonists Deuce (Danny), Frank, and Rocco. A young Danny has been approached by his childhood blood brother, and he tries to convince Frank and Rocco to believe in his story, but it is in vain. Rocco’s cousin had made a homosexual pass to Danny.
Rocco and Frank translate the distress of their friend, Danny, into a language that they can easily understand. However, they find no sense of the sexual advances and they see Danny’s distress as trying to provoke Rocco into a fight.
Rocco is opposed to the words of Deuce that Rick tried to seduce him. Rocco said, “You listen to me good; stop thinking like that, or you are gonna get in trouble … Rick’s my cousin so do not fuck, do not … You don’t want to mess with Rick one he is let out of his cage. He is an animal. He can be a real bastard…” (Rossi, p.48). Tension arises in this dramatic encounter as there are chest-beating and arrogance that hinders Danny from propagating his concerns and he receives minimal compassion. Danny is shocked by the homosexual advance of his best friend and blood brother something that was unpopular in their society. The male gender is expected to be strong and they not supposed to cry. Rocco condemned Deuce when he was seen crying, “… Everyone saw you cry at Bar Roma. For what? Calling you a sissy?”. “The beating you got at the bar, in front of all the guys, and you did not do anything about it, what is that… What is that?” (Rossi, p.50). Deuce and Rick share several things such as they are half-Italian, half-Irish, and they are hockey players. Danny struggles to understand the loyalties of his friend in a homophobic environment.
The drama of Little Blood Brother unfolds around this suspected homosexuality of Danny’s friend. The author has been able to provide something that is beyond the norms, a moment that is unpredictable and memorable to both the protagonist and the readers. Rossi gives a deep understanding of the human nature that is portrayed through the young men in the play. Little Blood Brother brings together the three young Italian males and how one of them lacks identity and belonging among the team as he is resisted for translating his friend’s actions as a homosexual pass. Deuce says, “Yeah, yeah, maybe that is it. But he hung around Sandra and me so he can hang around me… I needed to talk. So Rick came. He came to me. I do not know. In the shower. After. I do not know how it happened” (Rossi, p. 47). “He came in the shower. With me. This is what you do not want to hear. Everyone was gone. With me. Alone. Rick came to me. Alone. In the shower… He puts his hand on me. I was washing. He… uh… felt my back” (Rossi, p.51). “He was caressing me. He was feeling me. Like… like he was liking me. Like he was loving me.” (Rossi, p.51). Danny’s close relationship with his teammate in a local hockey team is at risk of ending. He has retreated to the basement recreation room after an incident in which he got beaten up in a bar. Rocco, the cousin of the guy who beat Danny, is with him in the place.
In the conversations, one identifies the themes of homosexuality versus street masculinity in the issues discussed. In addition, the protagonists are torn between their obligations to their family and responsibilities to their friends. The society firmly rejects the homosexual claims by Deuce. They do not believe that one of their own can be inclined as a homosexual. The play is built around a close family relationship with cousins ready to defend their family members against negative images. Rocco protects his cousin Rick by all means, and he even threatens Deuce against spreading the words. They are so concerned about family and they defend their family members especially between the Italian “Family is important to us. And when you start talking about this weird shit from the past, people do not like it…” (Rossi, p. 44-45). Therefore, the play presents a different culture on the issues of sexual orientation.
The aesthetic breadth of the exciting book is pleasing as the book covers one of the sensitive issues in the society and how people view it from negative perspectives. The Italian community is presented as a society where homosexuality is an unaccepted and the play delivers a machismo that is infuriating, dreadful, crude, heartbreaking, and vulgar. The scene of the drama is an Italian immigrant suburb Ville Emarb and brawls arise as the three protagonists are shocked with the evidence of homosexuality. Danny’s words that his blood brother has made homosexual approaches to him are not taken as a serious issue by Rocco and Frank. The book is a dash of realism that explores and debunks the views of stereotypes existing in the society. In the book, two worlds have overlapped, and characters from each side are making efforts to hold still. The two groups overlap on their views on homosexuality.
Women in this society belong to a class of disrespected individuals as Frank hits a girl and he sees nothing wrong, “… He hit a girl. He actually hit a girl. Just a few slaps. There is no deal you know” (Rossi, p.19). They define girls as only sexual objects and that there is only one reason why they should meet, their physical attraction to a girl. They only approach a girl because of her beauty. Frank does not care about the Irish culture as he condemns Deuce who is half Irish, “… Do you ever invite me to one of your hockey games? No, no. I am talking about hospitality. I do not think your Irish half understands that, huh?” (Rossi, p.36). Once Deuce comes out to complain about the incidence with Rick, he is dismissed as a sissy who cannot handle his affairs. Rocco defends Rick as one who always fights battles for Deuce.