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What does the Audience Learn About the Community During the Course of the Play and how does Miller Achieve This?

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"What does the Audience Learn About the Community During the Course of the Play and how does Miller Achieve This?" Throughout the course of this essay I will be focusing on answering this question; what is learned about the Italian community in the play and what does Arthur Miller do to achieve this? In order to answer effectively answer this I will discuss the themes and ideas surrounding homo-sexuality, loyalty and masculinity and will also be discussing the dramatic device of language. As Italy was now one of the most overcrowded countries in Europe. Many Italians began to consider the possibility of leaving Italy to escape low wages and high taxes. Most of these immigrants were from rural areas of Sicily with very little education. From 1890 to 1900 roughly 700,000 Italians arrived in the United States and from 1900 to 1910 roughly 2,100,000 Italians emigrated to America , of whom most were men planning to raise some money and return home to Italy. Most Italians found unskilled labour in American cities such as Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia and Detroit. The Italian migrant community living in Ney York City had very strong community values most of which are presented in the play. ...read more.


Beatrice: "oh it was terrible. He had 5 brothers and the old father. And they grabbed him in the kitchen and pulled him down the stairs - three flights his head was bouncin' like a coconut. And they spit on him in the street, his own father, and his brothers. The whole neighbourhood was cryin'"; Eddie: Him? You'll never see him no more, a guy do a thing like that? How's he gonna show his face? Just remember kid, you can easily get back a million dollars that was stole than a word that you gave away. Arthur introduces community and family values such as honour, loyalty and masculinity towards the start of the play to allow the audience to understand why they treat certain circumstances more seriously than others. Dramatic devices Miller uses language to show how different characters are positioned on the social hierarchy and from categorising the characters into a hierarchy we can compare their values. For example Eddie uses colloquial language whereas Alfieri uses standard English. This allows the audience to create the assumption that Alfieri is the more important character in the society and therefore has very different values to that of Eddie. ...read more.


This may be because Rodolfo has a very feminine character and a great desire to become an American citizen. Catherine The drama in the play is all focused around Catherine; the two men Eddie and Rodolfo both compete for her love. However, she has a very childish character which makes the audience wonder whether she really understands why Eddie is behaving so irrationally and whether Rodolfo really loves her. Conclusion From the analysis and research I have done, in specific the character analysis section, I have come to the conclusion that throughout the course of the play Arthur Miller tries to teach the audience these things about the Italian-American community. * That the Italian-American community is very closely knit; they like to stick together and protect one another. * The male role in your average Italian-American community is as the breadwinner and the female role is to be a home-maker. * The Italian-American community prides itself for taking illegal immigrants under it wings. I have also realised that Arthur Miller teaches the audience about the Italian-American community very subtle way without the audience knowing. To do this he gives examples of what happens to those that are un-loyal to the community and then describes the consequence. He also creates male characters that act feminine and shows how people react negatively towards them. ...read more.

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