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A View from the Bridge.

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Introduction

"A View from the Bridge" contains many references to manliness, aggression and hostility which link together and intertwine to add another dimension to the plot. The feelings themselves, and indeed their roots are not always easy to see as they are often hidden in the complexity of the subplot. It is the combination of these three feelings which make 'A View from the Bridge' what it is, without them, it would be very dry, and a lot of the events would not have taken place. The entire play is in fact, based around these feelings, and Eddie's very particular definition of manliness, brings the other two into the plot whenever Rodolpho fails to meet this criteria. Thus, we are led to the realisation of the link between the three and the importance of these feelings as Marco turns on Eddie toward the end of the play due to his hostility and aggression toward Rodolpho. A chief cause of the aforementioned feelings throughout the play is indeed Eddie's unstable character. Eddie is a man who vents his anger on others, in some ways, he feels deprived of love, his relationship with Beatrice, for example, is not a good one and Eddie constantly laments over the relationship between his niece, Catherine and her lover, Rodolpho. Before Rodolpho came to stay with them, Eddie and Catherine enjoyed a very close relationship, this is made apparent through the stage directions, which frequently let us in on the way that they acted together, physically. ...read more.

Middle

In addition to the female characters, Alfieri plays a very important role. He is the voice of reason, parallel to the narrators in Greek tragedies, by which Miller was so deeply influenced. The turning point in the story, is when Eddie ceases to listen to these voices of reason, but instead chooses his own path, and becomes totally isolated from his family. After a meeting with Alfieri about how he can get rid of Rodolpho and clain Catherine back as his own, he leaves the office and does not take the advice that has been given to him, but instead goes as far as to phone the immigration officers, telling them, "I want to report something. Illegal immigrants. Two of them." This quote expresses that he is actually a cruel person inside, and he cannot control his anger. He does this because he wants rid of Rodolpho and does not want Catherine to marry him. The reasons for this are numerous. Firstly, he thinks, or so he tells Catherine, that, "The guy is lookin' for his break, that's all he's lookin for." He also accuses Rodolpho of being a, "hit-and-run guy." Eddie states truthfully that Rodolpho spends his money on, "a snappy new jacket," or "a pointy pair of new shoes" instead of looking after, "his brother's kids." Throughout the play, Eddie frequently tests Rodolphos manliness. He likes to think that Rodolpho is weak. Eddie suggests with his reference to a 'teeny mouse,' that Rodolpho is weaker than a mouse. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eddie is the main source of aggression in 'A View from the Bridge,' and he is certainly the origin of it all. However, he is not the only cause. Catherine stands up to Eddie, for the sake of Rodolpho, telling him, "Let go, ya hear me! I'll kill you!" Here Catherine uses her aggression to separate them. Her language here, is similar to the language used by Eddie and her threat shows how deeply she cares for Rodolpho. We are also led to sympathise with Eddie as his relationship with Beatrice, is far from good. Indeed, in one part of the play, Beatrice tries to talk to him and he, 'turns his head away.' Eddie seems to care more about Catherine. However, this point could be argued, when at the very end of the play, whilst dying he cries, "oh, B.!" His hostile nature towards her is not shown here. Throughout the play, Eddie has shown a near hatred for his wife, but here, in his last words she is the one he calls for. This shows that he does love her. Catherine was young, she was an infatuation. The three feelings, form a vicious circle, with each accentuating and inducing the next. Manliness foreshadows hostility and aggression, and without hostility, there can never be aggression. Finally, once aggression begins to run rampant, it is very difficult to control and simply grows, as is the case with Eddie. The hostility, aggression and manliness in this play, make it into the overwrought melodrama it is supposed to be. They are what keep us, as the readers or audience, on the edge of our seats. ...read more.

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