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Analyse the concept of Manliness and the way it is represented in Miller's 'A View From the Bridge'

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Introduction

Analyse the concept of Manliness and the way it is represented in Miller's 'A View From the Bridge' There are many themes within the theatrical drama of 'A View From the Bridge'. There are also some ideas that add to the drama of the play, keeping the audience full of suspense. The idea of manliness is connected in this play as it relates to the characters, Rodolpho, Marco and especially Eddie Carbone. This idea often causes conflict throughout the play. The theme of Manliness is probably the cause of many of the disastrous happenings and the downfall of Eddie. Eddie, who is the main character of the play, is a simple person who brings about his own downfall. The way in which he does so is that he cannot accept that his niece has fallen in love with Rodolpho whom he despises. When others do not conform to his ideas, 'the guy aint right' it often leads to conflict. Since he comes from a Sicilian background, he sees himself in the traditional role of the male breadwinner, the head of the house and is used to getting his own way. He believes that being the man of the house means he should have authority over his wife and niece, who naturally defer to him. ...read more.

Middle

They've moved out; what do you want now?' Beatrice's open annoyance at her husband is too much for Eddie. He reprimands her: 'I don't like it! The way you talk to me and the way you look at me,' and expects absolute obedience from his wife. Beatrice's remark, 'You kept her a baby, you wouldn't let her go out,' tells us how possessive Eddie has always been about Catherine. Beatrice has tried to persuade her husband to adopt a more relaxed attitude towards Catherine, 'I told you a hundred times,' but Eddie has always seen himself as the man in charge and able to get his own way. When Eddie refers to sex by telling Beatrice there will be no further discussion of their love life, Beatrice accepts what he says and simply agrees with, 'Okay.' This could imply that Beatrice is used to agreeing with Eddie and doing as he says, that she is just too tired to argue back. Either way, Eddie is showing that he is the man and whatever he says should be done the right way without anyone arguing with him. Marco who is man of deliberation and good sense is wiser than Rodolpho, and initially conforms to Eddie's idea of a 'real man'. This is particularly shown when 'he is coming more and more to address Marco only' during conversations that they have. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eddie's response is revealing when he says, 'What he does don't mean nothin' to nobody!' Eddie and Marco both believe in the importance of their honour. We see this when Eddie demands he has his 'name' back. Eddie was somebody, was respected and honoured by all but now he had lost all this and he has no identity. Faced with the wrath of his community, Eddie is desperate to reclaim his name so that he can be a somebody once again. Eddie shows open hostility towards Rodolpho when he makes a joke about women in Italy having affairs with other men while their husbands are working in America. Both Marco and Rodolpho make clear that this does not happen very often, 'Very few surprises' Rodolpho adds, 'It's more strict in our town'. This gives Eddie an opportunity to start criticising Rodolpho. He points out that there are also strict rules in the Italian community in New York and that 'it ain't so free here either'. The many acts of manliness and the hostile behaviour from the male characters towards others lead to aggression, which at the end, escalate as we find out from the happenings at the end of the play. The hostile behaviour used throughout he play lead to death and destruction of a happy family. Eddie was not afraid of showing the two immigrants exactly how he felt about them and this finally lead to his demise and him losing his social identity in the end. ...read more.

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