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A View from the Bridge - Arthur Miller

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Introduction

In "a View from the Bridge" Arthur Miller depicts the search for the American dream in the early 1900's. Miller use of a narrator and precise stage directions give the play an underlying sense of tension from the very beginning. The use of power struggles between characters also gives the audience a sense of dread and the ability to predict the climax of the play. The social surroundings of the characters are also sources of tension. The theme of justice is used to focus on specific characters and to add a sense of foreboding what they will do. It leaves the audience guessing as to what might happen and what people are feeling. The pressures of others views and the fear of being deported or found out gives the play a sense that the characters are always tense. This is shown on stage with dramatic spotlight and facial expressions. The original audience of "a View from the Bridge" would have had experience with Immigrants or would have heard stories and rumours of people finding out or snitching on friends and family. This draws the audience in and makes them feel more in touch with what the characters are feeling. ...read more.

Middle

When Eddie enters onstage him and Alfieri seem to start in the middle of a conversation, this means the audience is left guessing to what has happened previously and the moods of both characters. "That's what I want to ask you" this is the first line when Eddie enters, it makes the audience confused and they have to think for them to work out what they are feeling. There is also the climax of the play when Eddie phones immigration. The phone box on the side of the stage lighting up shows this. We have our attention drawn to it. The audience knows what has happened, due to the hints of Alfieri and their general knowledge of how Eddies mind works. "Bless her" The struggle between Eddie and Rodolpho means he thinks the bast way to get Catherine back is to get rid of Rodolpho. The power struggles of the play focus around Eddie. His confrontation between Eddie and Rodolpho, over Catherine means Eddie does not think of how others are feeling or the consequences of his actions. Eddie's protective nature is shown by his reference to Catherine's mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although this ending shows the love from Eddie, it is totally out of character. Eddie does not have a grip on his feelings and is too stubborn to beg. His stubbornness is shown when he thinks oranges are painted " I know that lemons are green for Christ's sake". A key tension is also the denial of his love, which eventually kills him. We can see all the key tension from the stage directions. Miller's precise direction of how the play should be staged, mean it is always done the way he wants. The anxiety created from the squeaking rocker that Eddie uses, is a noise that echoes through a theatre and gives everyone the sense of madness. It is centre stage so shows Eddie's dominant character. The spotlight also creates the sense of darkness all around which is zooming in on him to engulf him. Other lighting effects include "Alfieri walks into darkness" this is a sign of his going into mystery or a figure of the audiences' imagination. A high-tension moment that seems like Eddie is going to crack with rage is "[Eddie] has bent the paper and it tears in two" a sign of him releasing aggression, which he has stored up from watching Catherine and Rodolpho dance. ...read more.

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