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At the end of the play, Alfieri tells the audience, “Even as I know how wrong he was… I confess that something perversely pure calls to me from his memory.”To what extent is it possible to feel sympathy for Eddie? Consider in your answer th

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Introduction

12/12/00 English Literature Coursework Essay Danielle Orchard- 10H 'A View From the Bridge' Arthur Miller At the end of the play, Alfieri tells the audience, "Even as I know how wrong he was... I confess that something perversely pure calls to me from his memory."To what extent is it possible to feel sympathy for Eddie? Consider in your answer the part played by the Italian community in his behaviour. When Alfieri concludes his feelings at the end of the play, he is suggesting to the audience that although we recognize Eddie's actions as immoral and wrong, perhaps we may still be able to sympathise with him. In order to answer this, we have to delve deeper into what provoked Eddie to commit the crimes he did, which ended eventually in his own death. At the beginning of the play, Miller wants us to recognise just how good a man Eddie can be. With his Italian roots and having been submerged into an Italian American community, being a good man is harder than it might otherwise seem. Miller describes him as "a hardworking longshore man", which signifies some of the characteristics an Italian man should possess. He should provide for the family, he should be physically strong and hardworking. Miller also demonstrates him to be a protective father, as Eddie makes a reference to the length of Catherine's skirt, "I think it's too short, ain't it?" ...read more.

Middle

you can never have her." In the Italian community, it would be unthinkable for a father figure to have such thoughts about his daughter, and it was due to these thoughts that made Eddie unable to face up to them and in a way deny them. As an Italian man, Eddie is unable to talk about his feelings, and this becomes apparent when Beatrice makes an attempt to talk about their lack of sex life, when Miller writes, "When am I going to become a wife again?" The Italian man, although he is expected to be virile, to maintain his position as head of the family should be hard physically and mentally and lacks the ability to communicate his feelings to others. Eddie does in some way, make an attempt to discuss his problems with Alfieri, although after he realises that his feelings are being discovered, he dismisses them. This dilemma between being an Italian man and not expressing his feelings, and being honest with himself and admitting his feelings for Catherine, cause complete confusion and incomprehension that triggers some of the unforgivable crimes against his family that he commits. The Italian community also places a huge amount of expectation on him. An example of this was when Eddie returns home from work to find that Catherine and Rodolpho had just been in the house alone together, and he assumes that they have had sex. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eddie's spiteful attitude towards Rodolpho, could be said to have stemmed purely from his own jealousy that he was unable to control, and that cannot be blamed on anyone else but himself. His personality and character defects such as his inability to discuss his feelings could also be said not to be the fault of anyone else but Eddie. At the end of the play, Alfieri concludes his feelings towards Eddie, and that his own selfishness caused his own death, Miller writes, "surely it must be better to settle for half." This could be said to be true of Eddie, and many people would say that Eddie's death was brought about by his own selfishness and inability to settle for half. And so to conclude this essay, I would like to give my opinion on the whole question of whether to feel sympathy for Eddie. There is not doubt in my mind that Eddie was just trying to be a good man, and that it was his unintelligence to understand his own feelings that resulted in his own end. The Italian community, in my opinion, seems to lie at the centre of Eddie's faults and the dilemmas that he posed to him, he was unable to deal with. Eddie misused his power that was installed to him by his Italian roots, and it was the way he abused it and perhaps took it too seriously that caused the complications. ...read more.

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