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An appealing dimension of Arthur Miller's play 'A View From The Bridge' is the author's successful creation of a world within the play. Discuss how Miller brings to life the world of the late 1940's Italian-American community in Red Hook New York.

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Introduction

February 2004 An appealing dimension of Arthur Miller's play 'A View From The Bridge' is the author's successful creation of a world within the play. Discuss how Miller brings to life the world of the late 1940's Italian-American community in Red Hook New York. Quote liberally from the text to support your discussion. Arthur Miller was born on 17th October 1915 in New York. Both of his parents were Sicilian immigrants looking for work and a better life in North America. With parents successfully involved in clothing manufacture, the family was very comfortable. He was fortunate enough to be able to attend Michigan University in 1934, which enabled him to achieve his lifetime ambition of becoming a successful play-write. After graduation he worked throughout the Second World War in an all-Italian ship-fitting business. This was where he got his experience of the richness of Sicilian life, combined with the Italian-American community in New York. Miller's first play The Man Who Had All The Luck was a failure, but All My Sons, written in 1947 was a great success as were his two following plays, Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. Following on from these A View from the Bridge was written in 1956, and was first performed at the Comedy Theatre in London. ...read more.

Middle

Part way through the play, Arthur Miller makes a point of drawing our attention using this stage direction: "A round dining table at centre, with chairs and a portable phonograph" Often in the Italian and French community, the table is in the middle of a room, because the Mediterranean's live around the dining table, and always seem to be eating! This draws us back to the typical Mediterranean lifestyle from which this community originates with the table set in the middle of the room. Entertainment within the community is very basic: "Eddie and Mike wait, pitching coins against a wall" This just shows how poor these people are, visiting the cinema is a great evening out! In Red Hook New York, each and every person has respect for one another. Within the American-Sicilian society, this includes many family relationships. This deference underpins the Sicilian family and wider community. If this respect is betrayed, serious consequences can result. Eddie: Tell her about Vinnie (To Catherine) You think I'm blowin' steam here?... Beatrice: No, he was no more than fourteen, ... But the family had an uncle that they were hidin' in the house, and he snitched to the Immigration. Catherine: The kid snitched? ...read more.

Conclusion

We got nobody up there. We would say; 'Who? We have got nobody up there. The author often uses this technique in order to save time because Eddie is often trying to prove himself and 'gain his respect' as he says many times. After Alfieri and Eddie, comes the true Sicilian immigrants. Marco and Rodolpho both have very strong Sicilian accents. They are less competent and make the text feel very much like a translation, with a slimmer range of vocabulary and less variety. They use na�ve, inexperienced language, and often are switch the verb and noun, for example, Rodolpho:...three arias I sang... Where we would say, 'I sang three arias'. Also with the Italian-American accent, there is a question of intonation, where normal phrases are turned into questions. Eddie: They pay alright on them boats? This could so easily be interpreted as a statement, rather than a question, without the punctuation finishing the sentence. The world within this play is a rich and varied canvas, with a detailed and intricate structure, making the play more convincing as a result. Arthur Miller's depiction of the late 1940' American-Sicilian community makes it all the more fascinating. Arthur Miller has been able to fashion the perfect world within such a deep, creative play, which has become a huge success as a result. Ends ...read more.

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