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A view from a bridge

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Introduction

A view from the bridge Roxanne Slevin 10lt page 1 of 5 Explain how act one of A View from the Bridge is effective in terms of dramatic quality and how an audience might respond to the play. This essay is about act 1 of A View from the Bridge which was written by Arthur Miller. A View From The Bridge is a play, so I will be focussing on the dramatic input it had on the audience. People in the 1950's, when the play was first performed, would react differently to an audience would now. People in the 1950's lived under a very strict moral code, people were expected to live like a stereotypical American citizen would have. The code was much stricter than the one that exists today. This is shown by "In your town you wouldn't just drag off some girl without permission... it ain't that much different here." In Italy there was no employment, which meant there was no money to spend even on basic needs like food and water, Marco explains how his 3 children "eat the sunshine" and because of this many Italians immigrated to America, so that they could live the 'American Dream', where people were able to find employment. Women were made to live under moral values and were expected to be homemakers. Beatrice is a very good example of this, 'I was gonna wash the walls', men, on the other hand were expected to be the providers, to get money and keep the family stable. ...read more.

Middle

The audience would feel sorry for them because they are trying to have normal lives, but Eddie brought so much tension, that it affects the whole family. Catherine doesn't understand why Eddie was so upset with Rodolfo, "why don't you like him Eddie?" Beatrice is troubled because she notices that Eddie has feelings for Catherine, but really wants to be Eddie's wife. "You want something else Eddie! But you can never have her!" The audience feels sorry for Beatrice after learning that she knows about Eddie's feelings. Catherine and Beatrice cause a lot of tension, with Catherine desperately wanting to see Roxanne Slevin 10lt page 3 of 5 Rodolfo, but Eddie is reluctant to let her, and Catherine wanting to get a job and to go out more. Beatrice is concerned about her relationship, and the way Catherine acts around Eddie, which leads her to say that she needs to grow up now that she is older. Also Eddie's reaction to Catherine "now don't aggravate me, Katie, you are walking wavy" these are the first signs of trouble. Furthermore, Eddie is not entirely happy with Beatrice's cousins coming to stay with them. "I'll end up on the floor with you, and they'll be in our bed", Eddie expects the cousins to be grateful. Eddie then gets even angrier when Rodolfo flirts with Catherine, which is shown to the audience by stage direction - he has been unconsciously twisting the newspaper into a tight roll. ...read more.

Conclusion

Miller is very explicit with his stage directions. He describes in detail how he wants the set to appear and exactly how characters are to say each line, i.e. 'With deep alarm'. Miller also uses stage directions to hint that there is a sexual attraction between Eddie and Catherine "He looks at [Catherine] like a lost boy". Furthermore, the actions towards Rodolfo show the audience that Catherine is slipping away from Eddie, "He's a rat! He belongs in the sewer!" The dramatic devices, techniques and stage craft make the play very dramatic. The skilful use of these, build up intensity between the characters, which in turn causes hatred and jealousy. It shows us today how fortunate we are compared to the lives back then; as women and men were not allowed to be different, and had to live by strict moral values. Roxanne Slevin 10lt page 5 of 5 This also shows us how bad some peoples lives were in the 1950's and illustrates how bad life was in Italy. Today, the audience would act differently; this is because it is now acceptable to be unique and to be homosexual, nowadays people wouldn't be so judgemental. I think the play is good because it so emotive. It highlights how bad life can be, and even when you are tempted not to, to still look after your family, and do everything you can for them, as betrayal, (a major theme in the play),has been proved to sometimes have fatal consequences. ...read more.

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