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A view from a bridge

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Introduction

'A view from the bridge' dramatises the tensions created by a change in situation in a close knit family. Examine how miller creates atmosphere and dramatic suspense in two sections. The sections I am going to examine are between pages 36-42 and pages 50-58 of 'A view from the bridge'. To answer this question I am going to have to focus on what Arthur Miller is trying to do, how he does it and how it affects the audience. The play was written in 1956, it was a time of political witch hunts. The government was very suspicious of anyone who supported the left wing. This was a time known as McCarthyism. Even Miller himself was questioned. This theme of distrust that happened in that time is clearly related and showed in the play itself, as in Eddie does not trust Rodolfo to go out with Catherine at night as he doesn't want them to get close. Originally the play was written in verse and some of this can still be seen in Alfieri's monologues. Though now this follows the structure of a Greek tragedy. A Greek tragedy means the downfall of a great person gained by one particular aspect of their own personality which makes their doom inevitable. Most tragic heroes have one particular fault in their personality, in this case though it is too much love for another/wrong person. The first of my two sections takes place just after the first 'Eddie and Alfieri' conversation. Within that conversation Eddie shows is anxiety about Catherine being taken away by Rodolfo, a young illegal immigrant from Italy who is staying at Eddie's house. This is due to them going out on the town just before the conversation happens, and Eddie finds out that Catherine 'likes' Rodolfo after questioning her. At the start of the section Catherine is acting as if she is trying to impress Eddie by boasting about where they have gone, 'they went to Africa once. ...read more.

Middle

The 'rant' dies down as Catherine asks Rodolfo to dance, then after a little talk between Marco and Beatrice about the boats, Marco says that Rodolfo is a very good cook. Eddie quickly picks up on this and says sarcastically that it's wonderful that he can sing, cook and that he could make dresses, this implies that Eddie gives perception that Rodolfo has a camp side to him. After having another rant, trying to hint but not directly saying that Rodolfo is homosexual, by taking about singing, cooking and making dresses for a living, which in them days was classed as a feminine thing. Then all of a sudden he asks Marco if he wants to go to see a boxing match, and if he's ever seen a real fight, this makes Marco very uneasy, Eddie then asks if he's ever fought before then asks Rodolfo if he has, who also says no. Unexpectedly he asks is Rodolfo wants a spar, this causes a lot of tension as the group don't want it to escalate to something big, they spar and after a few laughs and when Catherine walks in Eddie asks if he can hit him, this is after Rodolfo has had a few shots at Eddie. Then Eddie lands a right after a feint which makes Rodolfo mildly stagger. This makes Marco rise in caution, this is when I think Marco catches on to the fact Eddie meant to hurt him, and that Eddie has a problem with his brother. Eddie rubs his fist which is a sign that he is happy with what he did to Rodolfo, so it seems he chose boxing as a way to get a cheap shot and maybe a warning towards Rodolfo. This is not the same with Rodolfo who after saying he is fine, looks at Eddie with a gleam and a smile which shows that he is oblivious to Eddie's hatred. ...read more.

Conclusion

The tension rises as Eddie tries to get Catherine to move them because of this but it is too late as there is a knock on the door. The pinnacle of tension occurs, with Catherine in horror as she realises what Eddie has done, she then shrieks and runs to get Marco and Eddie. With the immigration officers, searching round and Eddie trying to act innocent, but Beatrice is distraught at what he's done. The offices eventually find them with Beatrice and Catherine trying to get the offices to let them go, but it doesn't work. Then as they get to the doorway Marco breaks free and face to face with Eddie, spits in his face. The tension grows to an all time high; Eddie is furious with what Marco is done and tries to act all innocent. Though as they get to the car in the street Marco frees himself again and shouts Pointing at Eddie 'that one! I accuse that one!' Then as he is taken off he shouts and points at Eddie again, 'That one! He killed my children! That one stole the food from my children!' Marco is gone. The tension increases as Eddie is left with the whole crown turned to him. All his friends are disgusted with him, and Eddie is left to say that he'll kill Marco if he doesn't take what he said back, again in denial that he was wrong to do what he did. This part of the play seems to happen very quickly and gives the atmosphere of panic towards it. Overall Arthur Miller creates an atmosphere based on the stage actions and what is said, mainly by Eddie, and how certain people react to it. Also the way people talk in the play makes the dramatic suspense greater as it gives you a feel of a real life reaction. Adam Brown 10F ...read more.

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