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Catherine's diary - 'A View From The Bridge'

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Introduction

How does Arthur Miller make Act 2 Scene 2 of 'A View From The Bridge' dramatically effective? 'A View From The Bridge' is a play set in the 1950s in Red Hook New York. The tragic action arises when Eddie Carbone, an Italian American longshoreman, develops inappropriate strong, possessive and even sexual feelings for his seventeen year old niece, Catherine. These feelings then escalate when a young Italian illegal immigrant named Rodolfo comes with his brother Marco to live with them. Eddie becomes uncontrollably intolerable to him and tension starts to rise between the characters. In Act 2 scene2, a central scene in the play, Eddie loses control by publicly exposing his feelings towards Catherine; this results in him sexually assaulting both Catherine and Rodolfo by kissing them after he suspects that they were having pre-marital sex in his apartment. This is a turning point in the play because Eddie's love for Catherine and contempt for Rodolfo is finally revealed to both characters in such a forceful but effective way. Arthur Miller makes this scene very dramatic by using a range of dramatic devises such as shocking action, powerful dialogue and dramatic irony. This scene also clearly shows the stereotypical cultural background of an Italian American community in the 1950s as being strong, aggressive and male dominating. The scene is made very dramatic by Arthur Miller as soon as Eddie walks on stage. Through stage directions Miller escalates tension by delaying Eddie's arrival. ...read more.

Middle

atmosphere of this part of the scene shift from aggressive tension to being moving, as the audience would not anticipate Eddie reacting in such an emotional and vulnerable way. They now may feel more sympathetic towards him. The mood is now low, as Eddie sees that he is losing the battle with Rodolfo for Catherine's heart, while Catherine also loses control of her emotions when making her tough decision to leave Eddie. This is shown when the stage direction describes how 'her sobs of pity and her love for him break her composure' .The audience at this moment are left feeling depressed for the two characters. By the end of her speech, Catherine says to Eddie 'wish me luck' to let Eddie know this is her farewell to him through it is described in stage direction that she has clasped her hands prayfully. Miller is showing here her desperate attempt to get Eddie's approve for her and Rodolfo's marriage. In the Italian American community it would be very important for Catherine to have Eddie's blessing as head of the household. Arthur Miller now creates a sense of dramatic shock and alarming conflict with Eddie's rejection of Catherine's appeal and his absolute loss of his own self control. There is immense shock for the audience as Eddie kisses Catherine against her own will. This dramatic action reveals in a forceful and totally unexpected way, Eddie's inappropriate feelings for her, which have extended a great deal from the start of the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

They may be concerned that he will ruin his own life as well as the lives of Rodolfo and others. Eddie's final threat is to kill Rodolfo, shown when Eddie says 'don't lay anther hand on her unless you wanna go feet first'. 'Feet first' is the way a coffin is always taken out in Church. By both couples not reacting to Eddie's speech it shows how frightened and appalled they are at the threats he had made to them both and miller has set up a memorable climax to this scene when the lights go down on stage as the young couple stand in absolute shock. Miller has ended this scene with the revelations exposed and Eddie not being able to stop Catherine and Rodolfo's relationship despite his violent threats and desperate behaviour. The audience would have ambivalent feelings towards Eddie; this is at disgust at his threats and assaults to Catherine and Rodolfo but at the same time pity that he seems to be a victim of passion he cannot control, or even admit to himself. Also this situation in the apartment had caught Eddie at a particularly bad time as he is drunk and much unprepared. Rodolfo had shown a lack of respect for Eddie by having a sexual relationship with Catherine before marriage, he didn't ask permission to marry Catherine as would be suspected in the Italian community. The audience is now eager to keep a close eye on what may become of this stage action and can anticipate more drama and further conflict and even tragedy between the characters. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sarah Chosen 10T ...read more.

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