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A View From A Bridge- Exploring Masculinity

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Introduction

ENGLISH COURSEWORK: Explore The Ways In Which Different Ideas Of Masculinity Are Presented In A View From The Bridge BY: Manjinder Ghuman Explore The Ways In Which Different Ideas Of Masculinity Are Presented In A View From The Bridge In this piece of coursework I am going to explore the different forms of masculinity that are presented in A View From The Bridge. A view From The bridge is a play which takes place in the 1950's when Italian immigrants were flooding into America illegally. It is a play which shows how the small compact communities lived by their own code of law which is in no book or on any parchment. It is set in the characters modern day New York with law, justice and the police but yet in the close-knit community who are adamant on justice whether the law permits it or not, the notion of justice, linking in with their honour. The play is set in a small place called Red Hook, ''the slum that faces the bay on the seaward side of Brooklyn Bridge.'' This quote is said by Alferi in his opening soliloquy, Alferi in the opening soliloquy contrasts Red Hook from past to present including the men that used to live there- 'Al Capone, the greatest Carthaginian of all, was learning his trade on these pavements'. This quote tells that Al Capone lived here - (Al Capone being a, notorious villain who was wanted by the American Government). This shows that the men at this time were rough and were into crime of all sorts. Alferi goes on to say how he kept a pistol in his cabinet for protection; this again shows us how dangerous a place Red Hook was ''I no longer keep a pistol in my filing cabinet''. However this is what Red Hook used too be like, it is now a civilized community described by Alferi as ''quite civilized, quite American''. ...read more.

Middle

when he dies showing everyone he deep down really y loves Beatrice, The final point I am going to make about Eddie weaknesses is his problem with admitting his weakness. This is a big issue as he cannot tell anyone when his wrong making people resent him and thinking he is an obnoxious person. An example of this weakness is when he can't admit to Beatrice he has feelings for Catherine. '' That's what you think of me - that I would have such thoughts?'' This proves the point of Eddie not being able to admit something, even when everyone knows he done something wrong. In the end his weakness of admitting that he was wrong and his masculinity gets the better f him and dies on his own knife in a gruesome showdown with Eddie. This is symbolic as it shows him how his own behaviour will catch up on him the phrase 'what comes around come around' I feel is a good phrase to describe this. Eddies death could have been prevented by communication but as he lacked that skill Eddie died. Moving on from Eddie we come to Marco, Marco is not a real man but is a traditional man, have classed Eddie at some parts as both traditional and a real man. However there are many things that differ between the two. I some aspects Eddie is a traditional man in others he is not. For the most of the play Marco is focused on the task of providing for hi wife and family back in Italy. He is a serious man who once makes enough money wants to leave America. The chair lifting competition at the end of Act one shows us that he has a protecting attitude towards his brother Roldolpho and will not stand anyone pushing him around. Marco knows the unwritten code o their society and shares some of the same values as Eddie making up part of his masculinity. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Stop that-have more respect than that for her" this quote show Roldolpho getting angry at the fact that Eddie kissed Catherine this shows his more aggressive masculine side. From Roldolpho we go on to a totally different character in the play Alferi. Alferi is different from other characters in the book. His role includes a lawyers and a narrator that communicates with the audience. Alferi gives advice to Eddie when Eddie comes to him and says the soliloquy at the beginning of the play. Alferis most important role is the narrator to reveal and study the unfolding events. He stands n the line of justices observing the two types portrayed. It is Alferi that draws us o the theme of traditional justice and the modern day justice. He also makes the story of Eddie an actual drama instead of another old tale. He does not portray an image of masculinity because of his education however I would tend to put in the category in between Marco and Roldolpho because he has ambition like Roldolpho but also probably knows when to get tough like Marco. In conclusion to my essay I feel that three strong types of masculinity are being portrayed. A real man, A Traditional Man and finally A less Femmine Man. I feel that society had moved on along with time and therefore the masculinity of men have changed. It would be quite acceptable to be a Roldolpo type man in modern society. The setting though of this play does determine the characters as Arthur Miller sets the play in a run down town which is half civilised and used to be full of 'gangsters' because the setting is rough so is the characters. The character I probably most identify with would be Marco because I am probably quite balanced the head. Even though I don't look for fight if my family were ever threatened I would seek to protect them by whatever means. Manjinder Ghuman Barr Beacon Language College-10M2 English Coursework ...read more.

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