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a view from the bridge

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Introduction

A view from the bridge character review A View from the Bridge is set in Red Hook, a slum area in Brooklyn, New York during the 1950's. It follows the tale of an Italian American family; Eddie, Beatrice and Catherine. Eddie and Beatrice are husband and wife and they look after orphaned niece Catherine. The tragic hero of this play, Eddie Carbone, works as a longshoreman (harbour labourer) in the Brooklyn Bridge docks. Catherine is still at school and is approaching adulthood, a fact that Eddie is struggling to deal with. Beatrice could be described as a typical housewife and she takes care of cleaning etc. The arrival, by means of illegal immigration, of Beatrice's cousins Rodolfo and Marco into the household is the catalyst for Eddie's eventual doom. This play is set in an Italian-American community which is very similar to each other; it is a community were honour is the law and respect is the way to survive in such a community. In the time when this play was set there were a lot of illegal immigrants entering America, and if you alerted the authorities about these immigrants then you were classed as a rat and would have been segregated from the community as you are not respectable or trustworthy. ...read more.

Middle

He provides commentary on the action and articulates the greater moral and social implications of the drama. Alfieri attempts to portray the characters neutrally, but, especially in the case of Eddie Carbone, narrates the play as if it were a great legend. Alfieri adds dignity to the story and transforms the story of a Longshoreman into a larger than life tragic tale. He introduces the action as a retelling of events already in the past. By giving details of place, date or time, he enables the action to move swiftly from one episode to another, without the characters having to give this information. This is often mixed with brief comment: "He was as good a man as he had to be...he brought home his pay, and he lived. And toward ten o'clock of that night, after they had eaten, the cousins came". much of this is fact with a slight opinion at the start. We also trust a lawyer to be a good judge of character and rational, because he is professionally detached. Alfieri is not quite detached, however. His connection with Eddie is small: "I had represented his father in an accident case some years before, and I was acquainted with the family in a casual way". ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is no doubt that Alfieri holds a vital role within the play. He is the key to maintaining the audience understands of the drama and ensuring that we are aware of the changing dynamics and situations which evolve throughout the performance. He helps to develop our awareness of what the effects of these events are. It is clear also that Miller has used Alfieri quite intentionally as a way through which to express some of his views, his main ambition being to prove to people that the death of a low class-born character is equally as tragic as the death of a high class-born one. He clearly accomplishes this in 'A View from the Bridge'. Alfieri is not only used to enhance the audience's understanding of the play but also to create a structure; distinguishing between the two acts. Alfieri is the view from the bridge; he sits and watches the events unfold, watching helplessly as Eddie walks closer and closer to the other side, knowing what the tragic outcome will be, yet remaining powerless to prevent it; like a river reaching its destination. ?? ?? ?? ?? Andrew Horan 10M 1/3 A view from the bridge coursework 14:00:03 06/09/2007 ...read more.

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