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A view from a bridge

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Introduction

A View from the Bridge is a play written in the late 1950s about a longshoreman (Eddie) and his wife Beatrice and his niece Catherine. He lived a hard but happy life until the arrival of Beatrice's cousins changed everything; the play is introduced by a lawyer (also an immigrant from Italy). He introduces Eddie as a respectable character, "He worked on the piers when there was work, he brought home his pay and he lived" but Eddie's subsequent obsession for Catherine eventually leads to his downfall and ultimately his death. In this essay I will write about how Arthur Miller presents Eddie as a tragic hero that has a tragic downfall because of an obsession with his niece, Catherine. At the beginning of the play Arthur Miller shows that the relationship between Catherine, Eddie and Beatrice is protective and caring. Although life was hard in New York in the late 1950s, Eddie "worked hard on the piers when there was work" and "he brought home his pay", demonstrating his commitment to his family and his fundamental decency. However, Eddie is over-protective over Catherine and he is also concerned about what she wears and how she dresses and what she does. This means he is controlling and tries to dominate her life, abusing his power as her uncle. ...read more.

Middle

The biggest change is that the man she treated as a father is changing because a new man has entered her life and she must adjust to this new situation, managing a difficult transition. Eddie is talking to Alfieri and Eddie refers to Rodolpho as a "thief", this makes Rodolpho come out as a criminal. "I take my blankets off my bed for him, and he takes and puts his dirty filthy hands on her like a goddamn thief", making it sound like Catherine is his possession and it's like Rodolpho has broken some kind of law by being attracted to her. He refers to Catherine as an object that only he can have. However Alfieri tells Eddie that Catherine is "a woman now" and that Eddie needs to understand that Catherine needs to move on and Eddie needs to let her go. Eddie disapproves of this idea because it seems that he does not want to let go of Catherine. Eddie does not want to admit that he has inappropriate feelings for Catherine and this makes it more difficult as he is in a state of turmoil and tortured denial. Near the end of Act One, Eddie hates Rodolpho so much he cannot tolerate him, he does not want Rodolpho to get involved in any conversation and even when he tries, Eddie snaps and says, "I know ...read more.

Conclusion

He has allowed his poisoned desires to contaminate his reason and decency. On the day of Rodolpho's and Catherine's wedding, Eddie is not attending the wedding and he is being selfish and self centred by not letting Beatrice go ether. "You walk out of that door to that wedding you ain't coming back here." But Catherine snaps and tells Eddie "Who the hell do you think you are?" and insults him by calling him a "rat" these remarks prove that Catherine does not fear Eddie and she doesn't care what he thinks and that the relationship they shared is now over. In the end Eddie gained nothing, instead he lost everything. He had a wife, he had a niece and he was happy. But as Rodolpho arrived everything changed. Eddie tried so hard not to let Catherine and Rodolpho be together, he didn't want to let Catherine go, give her the freedom that she is entitled to. In the end he lost- the love and respect of everyone, including the love of Catherine which he so dearly rated. He lost the respect of his neighbourhood and he lost his life. Arthur Miller presents Eddie as a character everyone respected. He had a family that loved him but Eddie had a flaw, an obsession for Catherine that led to his loss and his downfall and in the end to his death. This is how Eddie is a tragic hero. Jolanta Ruperte A view from the bridge 1 ...read more.

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