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'A view from the bridge' essay

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Introduction

'A view from the bridge' essay 'A view from the bridge' was written in 1995 by Arthur Miller. The play is based around an old man named Eddie and his family, living in a rough neighbourhood or slum on the north facing side of Brooklyn Bridge. The play was set between 1940 and 1960 in Brooklyn, New York. A character in the play called Alfieri narrates the play in the present tense and describes the events in the past. Another character, named Eddie Carbone and his wife Beatrice house illegal immigrant cousins from Italy. When one of the cousins falls in love with Catherine, the niece of Eddie, whom Eddie has incestuous desires for, Eddie betrays his family and calls Immigration to stop the marriage of his niece and cousin. In the end, Alfieri pays bail for Marco and Rodolpho, the two cousins and on the day of Catherine and Rodolpho's marriage, Marco unintentionally kills Eddie; the tragic protagonist. Alfieri is a key character in this play. He is the symbolic bridge between American law and tribunal laws. Alfieri, an Italian-American, is true to his ethnic identity. He is a well-educated man who studies and respects American law, but is still loyal to Italian customs. The play told from the viewpoint of Alfieri, the view from the bridge between American and Italian cultures who attempts to objectively give a picture of Eddie Carbone and the Brooklyn community. ...read more.

Middle

Eddie wants something to be unlawful in Rodolpho's and Catherine's arrangement, but Alfieri ensures him that there is nothing illegal about it. "there's nothing illegal about a girl falling in love with an immigrant". After this though, Eddie starts to tell Alfieri that Rodolpho isn't right for his niece Catherine, probably just for a little bit of support as nobody else has given him any. Alfieri continues to speak with the law in context saying that there is nothing he can do about the disliked Rodolpho. At the end of this simple but long conversation Alfieri says something very significant. That the only legal question is in how the cousins entered the country. "the manner in which they entered the country". Eddie though, shrugs the comment off very swiftly, saying how he would never tell the Immigration office of the cousins. Nevertheless, this sentence from Alfieri is vital in terms of the play as it has either reminded or told Eddie that there is something he can do about his problem, which may have put this idea into Eddies distressed head if it wasn't there previously; and it has given us an idea of what may happen in this tragic story. This is a great development in the tragedy and drama of the play as even though Alfieri has had this conversation with Eddie, we now know that because Eddies beliefs about Rodolpho and his niece are so set in stone, he will probably continue along this slippery slope further enhancing the audiences belief that he will become a tragic protagonist in the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus, the small community is stronger than American law. Throughout the play, we see how Alfieri follows the character of Eddie Carbone in great detail. He presents to us Eddie, as he is our window into this incredible tale, showing us how irrational the behaviour of a human can become. We know that Eddie loses control of his actions in the play. Driven and possessed by incestuous love for his niece, Eddie resorts to desperate measures to protect his identity and name in the community. Alfieri's commentary often remarks on this theme as he seems constantly amazed by Eddie's actions and his own reactions to the events of the play. Alfieri sees his own irrational thinking as well as Eddie's irrational behaviour. The human animal becomes irrational when he acts fully on his instincts just as Eddie does in the play. Alfieri proposes that humans must act as a half. Nonetheless, Alfieri still admires the irrational, unleashed human spirit that reacts at will. Arthur Miller uses Alfieri in this incredible tale with great affect. He is the symbolic bridge between American law and tribal laws. Alfieri relates so well with the main character of the play, Eddie. He becomes so attached that it is easy to assume that Alfieri admires Eddie Carbone. Arthur Miller, just like Alfieri, tells the story of Eddie Carbone for his own reasons. Through Alfieri, he can tell this tragic story beautifully; the story of the tragic protagonist, Eddie Carbone, who can't help love his niece until the death of him. Alfieri is the teller of the incredible story which he cannot change. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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