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Discuss the dramatic effectiveness of 'A View From the Bridge' with reference to one or two key scenes.

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Introduction

Discuss the dramatic effectiveness of 'A View From the Bridge' with reference to one or two key scenes. Arthur Miller wrote 'A View form the Bridge' in 1955. He wrote the play in the style of a Greek tragedy set in the 1940s America. Arthur Miller was interested in the lives of dockworkers and longshoremen. This was because he previously worked in Brooklyn on the docks and his parents were immigrants. He wanted to write about something that had never been written about before. He got the idea from a true story when he heard about a man telling the immigration bureau that he had illegal immigrants living with him. He did this to break up an engagement between one of them. In the play there are many dramatic scenes and themes. These relationships in particular are Catherine and Eddie's and manliness (stereotypical ideas). I have chosen two key moments to comment on. They are the boxing moment between Eddie and Rodolpho and when Eddie kisses Catherine. During the play we soon learn that Eddie's love for Catherine is more than just that of an uncle and niece. The love Eddie has for Catherine is not allowed in their society as it is seen as incest. This 'forbidden love' and Eddie's jealousy and protectiveness over Catherine are what make dramatic effectiveness; the tension builds up throughout the play particularly between Eddie and Rodolpho. ...read more.

Middle

There is the theme of brotherliness as well. Rodolpho and Marco stick up for each other. When Eddie hits Rodolpho, Marco threatens Eddie. Marco builds up the tension again. He challenges Eddie to lift up a chair. When Eddie can't Marco goes and lifts it up. Marco is proving to Eddie that he is manlier than he is. That he can be as much of a man as Eddie thinks 'manliness' is. It is also intended as a threat. "He transforms what might appear like a glare of warning into a smile of triumph, and Eddie's grin vanishes as he absorbs his look" Any superiority that Eddie may have achieved by hitting Marco has been wiped in an instant and Marco has now managed to humiliate and test Eddie's manliness. Arthur Miller uses the theme of 'manliness' to build up the tension and the conflict between the characters. Eddie's stereotypical ideas of 'manliness' can also be seen in the second key scene I have chosen to comment on. Eddie arrives home drunk on the night before Christmas Eve. Rodolpho and Catherine have been left alone together for the first time in the flat. Eddie sees Catherine come out of the bedroom, already he would have had his jealously boiling up inside him ready to surface. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eddie shows his incestuous feelings about Catherine by kissing her and the scene shows how their relationship has changed from uncle and niece love to Catherine being scared of Eddie after he has shown his true love. This is a very dramatic moment in the play. Catherine and Rodolpho are both shocked and angry at Eddie's behaviour and feelings. The atmosphere is tense Eddie and Rodolpho want to fight but each is waiting for the other to make the first move. "They are like animals that have torn at one another and broken up without a decision, each waiting for the other's mood". At this point in the play the audience would be wondering what was going to happen next between them. This is dramatic effectiveness. Arthur Miller's 'A view form the bridge' shows different views on relationships in the Italian immigrant community of Brooklyn. It allows the audience to sample this different society. Arthur Miller uses accents to make the characters more believable. The play is a tragedy; it traces the downfall of the individual Eddie. The play is also ironic. Early in the play it was said that Eddie would be praised for letting the immigrants stay but eventually that decision leads to his death. This play shows the reality of the American dream. Arthur Miller questions the Dream in the play. He shows that it isn't as easy as people think to make a living in America, as the story of this family shows. ...read more.

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