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A View from the Bridge - Describe how Arthur Miller presents Eddie's character in the play and the dramatic strategies he uses to control the audience's feelings towards him.

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Introduction

English Coursework A View from the Bridge 'Not purely good but himself purely' Describe how Arthur Miller presents Eddie's character in the play and the dramatic strategies he uses to control the audience's feelings towards him. This essay is about the main character in the play 'A View from the Bridge' by Arthur Miller, set in 1950s. This character is Eddie Carbone. This essay focuses on the aspects of his character that led to his destruction. Another aspect this essay will explore is how Arthur Miller uses dramatic strategies to control the audience's feelings towards him. The play is set in Brooklyn, New York, despite the fact that Eddie is Italian and an immigrant, illegal or legal, unknown. He works as a longshoreman. He lives with his wife, Beatrice, and his niece Catherine. The main reason for his downfall was due to the love he felt for Catherine, his niece. This is shown right at the start of the play when Eddie comes and Catherine greets him with 'Hi Eddie!' and he 'is pleased and therefore shy about it'. His love for Catherine is 'too much' as opposed to a typical Uncle/Niece relationship. His relationship in the play mainly focuses on Catherine. He is very passionate about her and there is a lot of tension concerning Catherine (for example, when Rodolfo and Catherine are dancing together). At the end of the play, he dies because of his pride and love for Catherine, in a very tragic and ironic way (Eddie's own knife, with which he intended to kill Marco, was used against him, almost like he killed himself). Eddie is a very hardworking man, who looks after his family. He is also very protective of Catherine. At the beginning of the play, he says to her, 'I think it's too short, ain't it?' He does not want Catherine attracting the attention of men. ...read more.

Middle

Marco does not sing, cook or make dresses, but instead goes around like a man. This is shown by Eddie saying 'Then why don't his brother sing? Marco goes around like a man; nobody kids Marco'. Eddie shows a lot of respect towards Marco here and seems to really appreciate him. Eddie is also a family man and responsible and that is why he seems to like Marco (Eddie is like Marco). Eddie works hard to feed his family and looks after them. He loves his family, Catherine and Beatrice. However, as the play progresses Marco loses respect for Eddie, and in return Eddie starts to hate him. Another aspect of Eddie's character is that he is very demanding. Everyone in the family or rather in the house is supposed to obey and respect Eddie. He demands respect and will fight for it. For example, he says 'I want my respect, Beatrice' and 'Marco's got my name- and you can go tell him...he's gonna give it back...or we have it out'. This means that he wants his name back from Marco since he spat on Eddie ('Marco spits into Eddie's face') and he accuses him in front of the neighbourhood, which makes people lose respect for Eddie; 'He killed my children'. So if Marco refuses to give his name back, Eddie will fight for it. Eddie is also a very proud man and thought he was the strongest. He pushed Rodolfo around, for example, using the boxing lesson to punch him. There is a lot of tension here, as we know Eddie did it on purpose and the audience await everyone's reaction. Marco's surprise and perhaps anger is shown by 'Marco rises'. The stage direction is short showing the tension. Eddie realises that everyone is shocked so he ask Rodolfo 'Did I hurt you, kid?' to which Rodolfo of course answers 'he didn't hurt me. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, at the end when he is dying, we are shown that Eddie still loves Beatrice when he says 'My B.!' As you can see from the play, Arthur Miller uses face expressions and body language and non-verbal forms of communication to express a character's feelings. For example, in Act Two when the immigration officers enter the house to search for illegal immigrants, Arthur Miller uses the following stage directions: '(His head swerves. They all stand motionless. Another knock. Eddie in a whisper, pointing upstage) Go up the fire escape, get them back out over the back fence. (Catherine stands motionless, uncomprehending...she stands a moment staring at him in a realized horror...Beatrice. She sits...pressing her palms against her face). My god what did you do?' The use of motionless twice shows a lot of tension and already Eddie gives himself away when he tells Catherine to get them back over the fence, because how could he have known who it was? Then Beatrice sits down showing she is weakened and the pressing of her palms shows her fear. Another example is when Rodolfo and Catherine are dancing and he shows his anger by twisting and ripping the newspaper. In conclusion, I think that Eddie was a great family man but a bit over protective of Catherine and had he not exceeded the limit of love for Catherine, he would not be dead. I think that he should have kept a cool head and not have jumped to conclusions before calling the Immigration Bureau. He should not have been so proud and accepted Rodolfo's apology and tried to make up with Marco. Arthur Miller uses superb stage directions to show other character's feelings towards Eddie and creating dramatic tension such as using short directions, using the word motionless and many other strategies. Varinder Singh Plaha 11T English Coursework A View From the Bridge essay ...read more.

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