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A View From A Bridge Coursework

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Explore the dramatic use of Alfieri in 'A view from the Bridge'. What is his dramatic significance in the play? Arthur Miller was an American playwright, essayist and author. He was born in New York City on October 17th 1915. He lived with his mother and father, who were Jewish, in New York City. His father was a women's clothing manufacturer while his mother was a schoolteacher. The family were rich until the stock market crash of 1929 when they lost most of their money. They were then forced to move into Brooklyn, a very poor district where a lot of legal and illegal immigrants lived and where a lot of crime would happen. Miller used to do a variety of jobs so that his parents could afford to send him to college. In 1947 Miller wrote his first play, All My Sons which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Two of his most well-known plays are The Crucible and Death of a Salesman. The play I will be covering is called 'A view from the Bridge' which was written in 1955. The idea behind it was influenced by a story Miller heard while he was working on the docks. 'A view from the Bridge' is set in Brooklyn, following the life of the main character Eddie Carbone who was the husband to Beatrice and uncle to Catherine. When Beatrice's cousins, Rodolfo and Marco, arrived in Brooklyn as illegal immigrants from Italy; this was when the trouble started. The other main character was Alfieri; he was a narrator, telling the story of Eddie Carbone's life. The reason for the play having the name 'A view from the Bridge' was because it contained the good and the bad. Eddie was jealous of Rodolfo and Catherine as he was trying to sabotage their ideas of marriage whilst Catherine and Rodolfo wanted to get married because they loved each other. ...read more.


"Yeah but what if the only reason for it is to get his papers." Here Eddie was making excuses as to why the marriage should not be allowed, because Rodolfo was only marrying Catherine so he could stay in the country as an American Citizen. "First of all you don't know that." This was Alfieri's response to Eddie. He mentioned it again emphasizing that Eddie needed proof before he started accusing people. Eddie still refused to listen and was growing even more impatient, shouting at Alfieri: "I know what's in his mind Mr. Alfieri!" There were also lots of hyphens which indicate that Eddie was interrupting Alfieri as he was becoming snappy and agitated. He didn't want to listen and he was becoming stubborn. Alfieri listened to all Eddie had to say then, he had his own say: "Eddie, I want you to listen to me...You know, sometimes God mixes up the people...every man's got somebody that he loves... but sometimes...there's too much. ...It goes where it mustn't. ...sometimes it's a niece...he never realizes it, but through the years- there is too much love..." Alfieri showed that he knew the real reason why Eddie was so upset. Eddie's love for Catherine became so much that he did not want her to leave him. Alfieri's advice was very important because it told the audience what was going on in the play so far without him explaining it to them directly. So even as a character, Alfieri was still narrating. Alfieri (rising): But, Eddie, she's a woman... Eddie: He's stealing from me! Alfieri: She wants to get married, Eddie. Eddie: He's stealing from me. Alfieri: She can't marry you, can she? Eddie (furiously): What're you talkin' about, marry me! I don't know what the hell you're talkin' about! This piece of dialogue was important. Eddie was complaining that Rodolfo was stealing from him which meant that he saw Catherine as his property, almost like an object which belongs to him that nobody else can have. ...read more.


"And so I morn him-I admit it-with a certain...alarm." Alfieri was sorry to see Eddie dead and that surprised him because to Alfieri, he was just a client, but one of his closest. He was struggling with law and justice, should Alfieri had sent Marco and Rodolfo back to Italy to save Eddie's life? At the end of the play, the audiences are left to reflect the many issues raised in the play about law and justice. In conclusion we can now see how effective Alfieri was as a narrator and character. He was able to keep the audience in suspense by giving them clues as to what may happen at the end of the play. The dramatic significance of Alfieri was that he knew what was going to happen. He had foresight. He knew that Eddie would be killed but he could not stop it from happening. I believe that Alfieri was a good narrator; he was able to tell the story from a different perspective and made one think about Eddie. Was he right to try and stop the marriage? Was Marco right to kill Eddie? I think that Eddie brought his death on himself by his jealousy. He had become too obsessed over Catherine. I do not believe that he would not let her marry Rodolfo because he was 'not right' but because of his feelings towards her. If Catherine had fallen in love with another man, Eddie would still have tried to find something wrong about him so he has an excuse to try and stop the marriage and to cover up his feelings for her. Eddie should have tried to accept that Catherine was a woman now, she was not a little girl any more and that she would soon have to leave home. He could not control what she did anymore. Catherine was now seventeen and should be allowed to grow up into adulthood. I also think that Alfieri had made the audience think about this. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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