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A view from the Bridge

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Introduction

A View from the Bridge A view from the bridge is a play by Arthur Miller first written in 1955 and then re-written in 1956. The play is set in Red Hook, Brooklyn, an Italian-American community, right on the New York City waterfront. Red Hook is described as a "slum that faces the bay on the seaward side of Brooklyn Bridge". This tells the audience that Red Hook is unlike the democratically, technologically advanced America everybody seems to expect. The main character in the play is Eddie Carbone. Hardworking Eddie, a longshoreman, came from a noble family background. He is an ordinary man; decent hard working and charitable. Eddie uses the Brooklyn slang, colloquialism, which is mostly simple but at the start of the play he speaks more interesting as he calls Catherine a "Madonna" and says she is "walking wavy". He is of the working class and not very well educated. Alfieri is probably the next main character after Eddie. He speaks proper American English and he seems to be the only educated character. As Alfieri is a lawyer, the audience expect him to be a man of good judgement. Alfieri repeatedly states his view to "settle for half". Alfieri's view is also the "view from the bridge" which is the title of the play. Catherine is Eddie's 17 year old niece whom Eddie raised since a young age. We know her mother is dead but her father is not mentioned. Catherine is a simple pretty girl but is, as Rodolpho calls her, socially inexperienced. ...read more.

Middle

Alfieri hints that perhaps Eddie loves Catherine too much and if Catherine wants to get married he should let her so Eddie leaves downhearted. The tension escalates when Eddie goes back home. Eddie is disrespectful as he hints to Marco that the women in Italy have affairs when their husbands leave for a little while. Eddie tells Rodolpho that he should have respect for ladies. Catherine become angry and asks Rodolpho to dance to 'Paper Doll'. Eddie find out Rodolpho can cook, dance and make dresses. He makes a little speech which is dramatic and sarcastic. He pretends that he is happy that Rodolpho has so many talents and claims "the waterfront is no place for him". Eddie suddenly begins to be nice to Rodolpho wanting to treat him to watch boxing. This causes the audiences suspicions to rise. Eddie then humiliates Rodolpho is a boxing 'lesson'. Marco who was watching what happened shows Eddie that he cannot hurt Rodolpho without getting hurt himself. The chair "raised like a weapon" over Eddie's head shows the audience Marco's strength. This is the end of the first act. It is near Christmas. Alfieri introduces the second act. Catherine and Rodolpho are left in the house alone (p. 59). Rodolpho teaches Catherine to dance. They discuss their relationship and where they would live when they got married. Catherine would like to go to Italy where she believes it will be romantic and beautiful but Rodolpho likes America as there is more opportunity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Marco was an honourable man and was going to keep his promise to Alfieri but when Eddie pulled out the knife, Marco could act as he wanted for his actions would be counted as self defence. Catherine was angry with Eddie earlier but as she watched Eddie, the man who had loved and raised her, die she claims "I never meant to do nothing bad to you". Alfieri comes to address the audience. His last speech is to try and explain to the audience why Eddie acted in that way. Alfieri believed Eddie's death was useless but he admired Eddie because he did not "settle for half", "he allowed himself to be wholly known". The play ends leaving the audience shocked and very emotional as many of them would never have expected the end. The structure in the play is simple. There are two acts. In the first act Eddie tries to stop Catherine falling in love with Rodolpho and in the second act he realises he has failed to do this and first throws Rodolpho out of the house, tries to deport him as an illegal immigrant and has his final confrontation with Marco, resulting in Eddie's death. Eddie Carbone is degraded from a respectable man to a shameful animal because of his dislike of Rodolpho which leads him to telling the Immigration Bureau about Rodolpho and Marco. The audience understand that it is only his difficulty to 'let go' of his niece that he loved and raised as a daughter that motivated him to some of his actions. Because of this the audience might sympathise with him. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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