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a view from the bridge

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Introduction

How Does Arthur Miller Dramatise The Aspects Of Masculinity And Aggression In "A View From The Bridge"? This play is one that portrays real life people in real life areas. It is set in a street in the town of Red Hook, a tenement building with a skeletal look to it is the main acting area, showing only the living and dining room which are sparse but still homely. "There is a rocker front; a round dining table at centre, with chairs; and a portable phonograph". This room also contains a bedroom door and an opening to the kitchen, but neither interior's are seen. This 'setting is a typical kind of society in Red Hook in the 1950's. The main plot of the play is that Beatrice's cousins are being illegally emigrated from Sicily. Everyone has to keep quiet for this to work, however it goes wrong when Eddie is jealous of Rodolfo, one of the cousins, and does something he lied about to his very last breath. Red Hook is portrayed as a dangerous place by Alfieri, the narrator. I noticed this when he refers to a story that he tells the audience, "Frankee Yale himself was cut precisely in half by a machine gun on the corner of Union Street, just two blocks away". The image portrayed from this quote, is one of violence and danger, where the law was created by gangs, the main issues being law, immigration, justice and injustice. ...read more.

Middle

This powerful bond was soon cast aside by Catherine on the arrival of Rodolfo, who is a contrasting character in comparison to Eddie. Rodolfo is feminine, a bit of a dreamer, young and innocent. Eddie is the complete opposite, he is very masculine, jealous, protective, middle-aged, and is a father figure to Catherine. All three of these people are affected by this aggression because Eddie finds that he is losing the bond he has with Catherine because of Rodolfo, Catherine is falling in love with Rodolfo and it doesn't help with the fact that Eddie is being very 'macho man', by this I mean that he is trying to look as masculine as he can, to perhaps impress Catherine, this does not work and again ends with Eddie losing Catherine. Beatrice is affected by the aggression of Eddie as it has affected their relationship too. They are a married couple, however they do not act like one very often. Eddie: "I don't like it! The way you talk to me and the way you look at me." The things Eddie is saying to Beatrice here show enormous aggression, he doesn't like the way his wife looks and talks to him. There is also the sexual side of their marriage too, this is not so great either. We know this when Eddie says, "What I feel like doin' in the bed and what I don't feel like doin'." Here it shows that Beatrice has clearly noticed that things aren't quite right and has said something to Eddie, he doesn't appreciate her concerns and wants her to just cast the issue aside. ...read more.

Conclusion

I disagree with Alfieri, as I feel that Eddie deserved to die the way he did; at the feet of a 'real' man. Eddie was not a 'real' man in my eyes, as he let his emotions get the better of him and then when it got tough for him he gave in, instead of fighting the battle like a man should. In my opinion Eddie did not die a noble man, but a lying, contradictory and hopeless man, that meddled with things that he shouldn't have got involved in to start with. If he cared so much about Catherine, then why did he betray and upset her, by getting her future husband in trouble with the immigration bureau? He clearly was only thinking about himself and how he felt, when he should have been thinking about who would get hurt if he acted on the situation the way he did. A 'real' man doesn't think of himself and nobody else, he thinks about the one's he loves in my opinion, and Eddie was not like this in the end at all. He could have avoided death if he hadn't let his emotions and aggression take over him; however I don't think that all of his manly qualities could have saved his life, perhaps if he had been more dignified and protective, he could have saved his life and the heartbreak of the others around him. However, in this world nobody is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and perhaps Eddie just made a big one he was clearly going to regret. Laura Hamilton-Chapman ...read more.

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