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A view from the Bridge

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"A View from the Bridge" Eddie Carbone and the tragedy of the common man Arthur Miller's play, "A View from the Bridge", was a successful tragedy, when it appeared on Broadway in New York in 1955.Artur Miller, born in 1915 died in 2005. His father was a prosperous manufacturer until 1931, during the great depression, when his business failed and he became bankrupt. Miller briefly became a member of the communist party because of the failure of his father's business then turned to a belief in socialism for the rest of his life. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Miller began to write plays. His marriage to Marilyn Monroe, the most famous movie actress of her era, lasted merely four years. Miller won the Nobel Prize for literature in recognition of his successful career as a dramatist. He is without doubt one of America's finest playwrights. During the cold war the United States' fear of the Soviet Union led to a witch hunt for communists. Miller, as a former communist and a socialist believing that it was the role of society to help those who cannot help themselves, was summoned before the senate sub-committee to answer questions about his political affiliations. From this experience his tragedy, "The Crucible", arose, in which he uses the hunt for witches in Salem Massachusetts in the eighteenth century as an allegory of the hunt for communists in the 1950's. "A View from the Bridge", written just two years later, is generally seen as a tragedy, in which the central character is driven to his ruin and death by his illicit passion for his niece. ...read more.


In other words Rodolfo's is indicating that he does not want to fight him for Catherine - instead he just wants to get on with him. Eddie, who has always had his own way, won't leave it at that, so pushes Rodolfo, "Don't pity me, come on". Eddie wants to see what Rodolfo is made of, perhaps how manly he is as we know Eddie thinks Rodolfo is gay. After Rodolfo does finally hit Eddie, Eddie tells him to hit him again: "Come on kid, put sump'm behind it, you can't hurt me", implying that the original punch wasn't much good, as he is trying to show that he is stronger than Rodolfo. It is brutal, like in the animal world, where two males will fight each other to be able to lead the herd and mate with the female. The language he is using, however, is slyly quite light-hearted and cheerful. The whole purpose of this boxing is so that Eddie can punch Rodolfo, which he does, and to add insult to injury he says, "Did I hurt you kid?" Calling him "kid" is another way for Eddie to prove his strength and importance to Rodolfo, who he thinks is immature, and should do what Eddie tells him. Boxing is obviously Eddie's way of warning Rodolfo off Catherine. In defiance Rodolfo takes Catherine to dance with him, showing Eddie that it will take more than that for him to obey him and leave Catherine alone. Marco, who obviously doesn't like to see his brother being bullied by Eddie, now steps in, asking Eddie, "Can you lift this chair?" ...read more.


Usually a tragedy with royalty or the upper class would mean that they had further to fall, from their peak at the beginning. However Eddie manages to have an enormous fall from his peak of ordinary happiness and respect nonetheless, partly because he is killed, partly because the community has such strong values and partly because he denies the truth until the moment of his death. Eddie tried to live the American dream, not in his own life but through Catherine. We saw in the first scene that he was very ambitious for her, and was dubious about her becoming a secretary, since he hoped she would achieve more. He probably hoped she would achieve more in getting a better husband; perhaps he hoped she would marry someone rich and leave the slums of New York. Such a tragedy in the developed world might not occur so easily today, because women have more power. Beatrice would have been more forceful and insisted that her husband stop interfering in Catherine's life. Beatrice would have been more worried about Eddie's abnormal feelings for Catherine and probably would have threatened to leave him, or that he no longer saw Catherine. Catherine would have felt more confident and less inferior to Eddie; she would not have cared so much about what Eddie thought, and would have carried on with Rodolfo regardless of Eddie's disapproval. Eddie himself would not have behaved like that either, as he would have been condemned for patriarchal attitudes that show so little consideration for women. Thus in his starkly realistic play, Miller puts effectively into action his belief that in his society tragedy was possible for the common man. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 5 ...read more.

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