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"A view from the Bridge" - Arthur Miller Examine the ideas of manliness, hostility and aggression in the play. How are the ideas connected?

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Introduction

"A view from the Bridge" - Arthur Miller Examine the ideas of manliness, hostility and aggression in the play. How are the ideas connected? The play "A view from the Bridge" written by Arthur Miller is set in the 1950's in the back streets of New York. The play shows how the desire for the American dream can tear families apart and destroy relationships. The writer illustrates how too much love for your family can create tension and jealousy with other people claiming their love. Manliness and aggression play a key part in this play resulting in tragic consequences. Eddie, the protagonist, has very strong ideas about what is considered manly. His first impressions of Marco and Rodolpho are that Marco is a 'real' man; he is muscular, headstrong and looks out for his family. When giving his views on Marco he says: "He goes around like a man" (page 35) This clearly shows he is complementing of Marco and also displays his respect towards him. Eddie realises nobody messes around with Marco and along with the rest of the long shore men leaves him to get on with his own business. "Nobody kids Marco" (page 35) This gives the impression that Marco is dominating and mentally strong, and won't allow other people to insult him in any way. On the other hand, Rodolpho is feminine and does not have a muscular build. ...read more.

Middle

Eddies thoughts on this are shown when he tries to kiss Rodolpho after Eddie has been out drinking. Eddie questions Rodolpho's sexuality when he's talking to Alfieri. "I'm ashamed. Paper Doll they call him. Blondie now" (page 47) This indicates Eddies feelings towards homosexuality, and his thoughts, he is ashamed to be living and working with Rodolpho because of his femininity. Eddie then goes on to say "I mean if you came in the house and didn't know who was singin', you wouldn't be looking for him you be lookin' for her."(Page 47) This confirms Eddie's thoughts to the audience show that he strongly believes Rodolpho is a homosexual and it is therefore not right for Catherine to marry him. However, this also reflects back to the thoughts of masculinity and what Eddie believes the qualities of a man should be. The kiss from Eddie is him trying to test the questions he has been asking himself. Rodolpho does not respond to the kiss. But, Catherine does. "Eddie! Let go; ya hear me! I'll kill you! Leggo of him!"(Page 64) This shocks Eddie, he lets go of Rodolpho but tells him to get out the house. This was the final straw for Eddie as the tension builds between them. Telling Rodolpho to leave also meant Marco would go too. However, this comes as no surprise to the audience as the tension and hostility between Marco and Eddie had also been growing before this commotion. ...read more.

Conclusion

"You lied about me, Marco. Now say it. Come on now, say it!"(page 84) Eddie is not showing his feelings about the marriage but about his dignity and significance within his community. The final straw for Eddie was Marco shouting; "Anima-a-al!" (page 84) to the rest of the street and refusing to say he had been lying. After saying this Eddie is on tenterhooks until he ultimately lunges at Marco with a knife but Marco being the stronger of the two turns the knife to stab Eddie. The play portrayed how aggression and hostility can control and ruin lives. Manliness was a key factor that created the jealousy and aggression but I personally feel it may have been used too much by Eddie as an excuse of jealousy for Catherine's love. Aggression and hostility were clearly shown throughout the play with much more obvious aggression towards the end of the play before the death of Eddie. Towards the start of the play Catherine was mutual between Rodolpho and Eddie but nearing the end of the play she sided with Rodolpho rather than with Eddie. For example, when Eddie told Rodolpho to get out of his house she says "I'm going with him, Eddie" (page 65) This clearly shows her siding towards Rodolpho and not so much Eddie. This creates tension and hostility between them in the house. In conclusion, the audience sees that the tension, aggression and hostility between the males became so strong that the family falls apart with the tragic result of death. ...read more.

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