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'A View from the Bridge' - review

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction 'A View from the Bridge' is a play written by Arthur Miller. It was first procreated as a one-act play in verse in 1955: the amended and extended two-act play followed in 1956. Arthur Miller was born on October 17th, 1915 in New York City. His parents were both immigrants into the United States. He went to Michigan University in 1934 to study Economics and History. While at University Miller also pursued a course in playwriting and this now became his prime aspiration. 'A View from the Bridge' has its roots in the late 1940s when Miller became intrigued in the work and lives of the communities of dockworkers and longshoremen of New York's Brooklyn Harbour. Miller found that the 'waterfront was the Wild West, a place inhabited by people who were poorly paid, exploited by their bosses and many were recent arrivals, a near majority of them were Sicilian-Italian. They had arrived in the 'Land of Opportunities' hoping for the work, wealth and security that their home countries could not pledge. 'A View from the Bridge' is set, very precisely in Red hook, a slum that faces the bay on the seaward side of Brooklyn Bridge. It is delineated as the 'gullet' of New York 'swallowing the tonnage' of the world. The play is narrated from the third person's point-of-view by Alfieri who is the choric eminence in this play. The play is about Carbone family and how unpretentious Eddie Carbone, who is the principal character, gets galvanized by his loyalty to the promise, he made to his cousin on her deathbed and over-protectiveness towards his niece, leads him to put his own loyalty, honour and respect among his community in the past and lead the Immigration Bureau on his wives cousins, in order to break the marriage of one of the cousins with his niece. It is these themes: justice, loyalty, honour and respect and how knowledgeably Arthur Miller articulates and manifests this, by using sensational stage directions to the audience and the reader that indeed, makes this a truly astonishing play. ...read more.

Middle

Beatrice - "He is very good." Eddie - "Sure, he's great! Come on, kid, put something behind it, you can't hurt me." Eddie sarcastically says that Rodolfo is good, just to propitiate the strain in the house hold. Eddie - "Now I am going to hit you, so watch out." Catherine - "What are they doing?" Catherine with initial alarm asks Beatrice what is going on. She sensing Eddie's nuisance against Rodolfo, but Beatrice tells her that they are lightly boxing against each other. Eddie - "That's it! Now, watch out, here I come, Danish!" Eddie punches Rodolfo on his face, which mildly staggers him. Marco rises from the floor. Eddie - "Why? I didn't hurt him. Did I hurt you, kid?" Eddie tries to propitiate the situation by giving an elucidation that he was only teaching him and he did not even hurt him. This whole punching situation has a startling effect on the audience, who after Eddie's perfunctorily tearing the newspaper, judged that Eddie may try to manifest his ire against Rodolfo by physical contact. This has now been inveterated. The tension again increases in the Carbone household after Eddie punches Rodolfo. As soon as Eddie punches Rodolfo, Catherine, who was unconvinced about Eddie teaching Rodolfo boxing, comes bustling towards Eddie and in a loud voice instructs him to stop. Beatrice who has been taking Eddie's side to stabilise the situation and motivated Rodolfo to join in, is also dismayed and in incredulity tells Eddie - "That's enough." And for the first time Marco the who has been the silent personality right through the whole play is getting uncomfortable by Eddie's approach to his brother. After Eddie punched Rodolfo, Marco get's up from the floor, although Eddie stopped after just one punch Marco may have interfered and stopped the fight. Arthur Miller includes Marco's standing up, at this point in the play to tell the audience that Marco may be the quiet character but he is just as significant in the play as the other characters. ...read more.

Conclusion

We see Alfieri saying - "Most of the time now we settle for half and I like it better. But the truth is holy, and even as I know how wrong he was, and his death useless, I tremble, for I confess that something perversely pure calls to me from his memory - not purely good, but himself purely, for he allowed himself to be wholly known and for what I think I will love him more than all my sensible clients. And yet, it is better to settle for half, it must be! And so I mourn him - I admit it - with a Certain... alarm." Miller ends the play with Alfieri explaining that in Italy they would have killed the whole family for this crime, but now they are quiet American, they settle for half, meaning that Eddie's death is enough for Marco who has virtually lost his whole of his family. Paragraph 9. There is no doubt that 'A View from the Bridge' is a phenomenal play which profoundly manifests Arthur Miller as a proficient knowledgeable dramatist who had a talent of composing tension and dramatic structures. 'A view from the Bridge' devours a lot of Millers skill of creating dramatic structure. From the start of the play, from the point when the cousins first arrive in the house, tension begins as Eddie disregards Rodolfo and Embraces Marco. Throughout the whole play we see tension exceeding and some characters trying tirelessly to ease the tension and calm the household. My personal response to 'A View from the Bridge' is that it is a remarkable play which gives you an exceptional insight into the culture and communities of dockworkers and longshoreman of Brooklyn Harbour. It tells the story of Italian American people trying to balance their culture of Loyalty, Honour and Respect with the American views of Justice and settling for half. ...read more.

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  1. A View from the Bridge: Eddie and Catherine's Relationship

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