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A view from a bridge

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Introduction

A view from the bridge Written by Arthur Miller (1955-1956) In terms of the historical and cultural background, Arthur Miller was born in 1915 in Harlem, New York. His parents were both Italian immigrants. He grew up in a moderately wealthy society because his father ran a fairly profitable business. He has a very great understanding of poverty however because he experienced this after his father's business went bust after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. His parents were then in no position to finance his place at University which he had to delay for two years, so he worked as a warehouseman in Brooklyn Navy Yard along with a large number of Italian immigrant workers, largely from Sicily. This firsthand experience of Italian culture, along with his own Italian background gave him a great understanding of Italian attitudes to family bonds, and honour which is the major theme in the play. He has therefore used situations and language that he has experienced to make his play believable to an audience. In fact the outline of the play is almost identical to a story that he was told by a lawyer friend who represented Italian dock workers, a fact which also adds to the realism. While he was at university he studied Journalism and English. He also wrote his first play while he was there. He went on to write many more plays, including "Death of a Salesman", which won the Pulitzer Prize and "The Crucible". ...read more.

Middle

He also has a good sense of morality and of justice. Marco is also protective of Rodolfo which is shown when Eddie is teaching Rodolfo how to box and hits him. Marco is quick to show that he is the stronger man, and will defend Rodolfo if necessary. He shows his physical strength when he asks Eddie to lift a chair by one hand from the bottom of the leg. Eddie is unable to but Marco can. This proves that Marco is the strongest of the three men. He is aware of the things that he must do for Eddie and is careful not to annoy him. He also advises Rodolfo to do the same, although Eddie is constantly critical of him. It is only when Eddie informs of Marco's and Rodolfo's presence to the Immigration Service that Marco finally loses his temper with Eddie, saying to Alfieri, "He degraded my brother. My blood. He robbed my children, he mocks my work. I work to come here, mister!". Marco then swears that he will kill Eddie, which sets up the events in the final scene. All of this, I think, contributes to the audience understanding Marcos behaviour in the final scenes. Rodolfo, being Marco's brother is also an illegal immigrant. When he enters the play his presence is immediate, especially with Catherine. He is very pleased to be in the USA. We get this impression when he says "this will be the first house I ever walked into in America!" ...read more.

Conclusion

Even at the end and a violent confrontation is likely, there is still a chance for Eddie to regain honour if only Marco will apologise. He says to Marco, in front of people around them "maybe he come to apologise to me. Heh, Marco? For what you said about me in front of the neighbourhood." There is no apology and the violent end plays out. With the final scene, I get the impression that Miller likes Eddie, I think that he slightly favours Eddie over Rodolfo or Marco. I get this impression from the way that Miller writes that he is a very passionate man and that he is not a man who cannot compromise easily and that he has such strong emotional feelings. This is also shown by the fact that Miller does not allow Marco to have any regret or feel any sorrow. In Alfieri's final speech he says "...we settle for half and I like it better." He also says "The truth is holy". This means that where the truth is concerned, you cannot, and should not settle for only half. He talks about Eddie never settling for half. "...something perversely pure calls to me from his memory - not purely good but himself purely..." he adds though, that he thinks that it is better to settle for half "...yet, it is better to settle for half, it must be!" he admits, even against his own will that he misses him "I mourn him - I admit it - with a certain...alarm." By Alex Jones ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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