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Arthur Miller - A view from the Bridge.

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Introduction

Mark Buchanan A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE - ARTHUR MILLER Arthur Miller was born into an Austrian - Jewish Family in New York, 1915. After finishing school he worked fro two years in an automobile parts warehouse. Once he had earned enough money he was able to enter the University of Michigan. He entered the University to study Economics and History, but he also took a course in playwriting. After graduating in 1938 Miller made a living by writing radio scripts, and he completed a dozen plays that were never produced. He was established as a key playwright by 1953. A View from the Bridge was presented in its original form in 1955. A view from the Bridge is about the life, or part of the life, of Eddie Carbone. It is very much like a Greek tragedy, a story of self - destruction that is inevitable when a man, or indeed a woman, of strong will defies the principles of right by the people he/she belongs to. Eddie Carbone is a docker living in a slum near Brooklyn Bridge, hence the title - A View from the Bridge. ...read more.

Middle

Being the kind of man he is, and involved in a community of Italian and Sicilian immigrants, he has no scope for solving his problem. His mind is fairly primitive; he doesn't understand his own feelings, and he disguises them from himself. Consequently he uses his severe Italian standards for women to justify his jealous restrictions on Catherine. Because of his scrupulous moral rigor he is genuinely shocked and appalled at the suggestion that his own interest in Catherine is not purely avuncular: 'That's what you think of me - that I could have such thoughts?' If Eddie is meant to represent everyman, does this mean that Miller believes all men love their nieces (those who have nieces)? Of course not. What Miller does suggest is that we have basic impulses, which civilization has seen as harmful to society, and taught us to control. We have self-destructive urges, too, but normally we deny these. Eddie does not really understand his improper desire, and therefore is unable to hide it from those around him or from the audience. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are poor and hard working, knowing what it is like to starve. They care about family and their responsibilities within their family. They 'have respect' for women and think strictness a virtue. Eddie has a primitive man's vies of the purposes for which marriage was intended, and cannot believe that United States law will allow a young girl to be married to a man who, he suspects, 'ain't right.' However it would be wrong of me to over - emphasize the extent to which Eddie is merely a product of his environment and his origins. So we must then salute in Eddie a strong and defiant will that is his own, and recognition of this leads us on to another favourite yet often fatal quality in Miller's heroes - the fact that they cannot or will not 'settle for half'. Most of us do settle for half rather than destroy ourselves, and, as Alfieri says at the end of the play, 'it is better to settle for half - it must be'. Yet a man, or woman, who is true to him or herself, who goes all out, who will compromise, demands respect, even, in some cases, awe. ...read more.

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