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A View From The Bridge

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Introduction

A View From The Bridge In the 1940's while on a visit to New York, Arthur Miller became interested in the community's of the Brooklyn Longshoremen. He soon discovered at many workers were underpaid and living on next to nothing to support their families. Further more a great population of them were illegal immigrants coming from Italy to earn more money, gain security and lead a better lifestyle. He also found out from a lawyer friend about two immigrants who after being 'ratted' on by their own brother, were sent back to their home country; it was to break up a marriage. He also observed the lives of some local people living in Sicily who were searching for mere scraps of work from the 'local estate'. With this extensive background knowledge of both Brooklyn and Sicily, it's become apparent that A View From The Bridge was based on Miller's past experiences. Alfieri's opening speech gives the audience the impression that something terrible is going to happen, talking about letting it run it's 'bloody course' lets the audience decide how the plot will unfold. Specific objects that that are of some significance like the telephone box only become meaningful at the end of the play when Eddie's last resort is to tell the immigration office about Marco and Rodolfo. ...read more.

Middle

Eddie's self denial is enforced when Beatrice confronts him saying that Catherine isn't a 'baby no more'. Turning away as if he doesn't want to hear it; Eddie's almost ashamed that Beatrice has to tell him what's true which outlines Eddie's stubborn nature. Maybe this nature is linked with Eddie's eventual downfall. Rodolfo's rendition of 'Paper Doll' has some significance as some of the lyrics say 'it's tough to love a doll that's not your own' it is quite obvious that Rodolfo is singing this song with Catherine in mind. Eddie butts in while Rodolfo is still singing; Catherine is enchanted by Rodolfo's singing and tells Eddie to 'let him finish'. Even though Eddie's reason for stopping the singing was not to arouse suspicion ('you don't want to be picked up, do ya?), he was probably getting jealous of Catherine's attention towards Rodolfo. Eddie had always been the man of the house and the figure to look up to, Rodolfo has come and Catherine is already interested in him. Eddie also has a problem with Rodolfo's appearance and the way he expresses himself. He doesn't like Rodolfo's blonde hair and the way that he sings on ship; his assumption is that Rodolfo is gay. There is also a martial problem with Eddie and Beatrice, on very few occasions has Eddie ever complemented or made Beatrice feel special (Beatrice asked Eddie when she's 'gonna be a wife again'; this outlines the sexual problems of their marriage). ...read more.

Conclusion

Being the stronger of the two, Marco ended Eddie's suffering and torment by killing him with the knife in Eddie's own hand. There is an element of catharsis that is triggered by the sorrow and respect that the audience feel towards Eddie at the end. The audience should admire and sympathise with Eddie because as Alfieri said how Eddie let himself be 'wholly known' we have seen Eddie's true colours and although they are superficially powered by his hatred for Marco, it is really powered by the overwhelming love that he has for Catherine. Eddie is also human, the audience know that Eddie made a crucial mistake but although not directly, they all have the same common thread for feeling emotions. They know that everyone could make the same mistakes. This is how Eddie is now considered to be the goodie or tragic hero' of the play. A View From The Bridge can be wholly considered a tragedy. Through a series of events that only occurred because of Eddie's subconscious problems or flaw. The jigsaw that was the Brooklyn community had pieces torn away from it that finally resulted in the death of one (originally) perfectly good and well natured person. Alfieri backs up this tragic change with how people 'settle for half' now because Eddie's expectation for a hundred percent happiness resulted in his downfall. ...read more.

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