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Examine the function Of Alfieri in Arthur Millers “A View From The Bridge”

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Introduction

Examine the function Of Alfieri in Arthur Millers "A View From The Bridge" The son of two illegal immigrants, Arthur Miller was born on the 17th October 1915 in New York City. His fathers clothing-manufacturing business made his parents rich, however following the Wall Street Crash his fathers business collapsed. Miller worked in a warehouse until he could afford to go to Michigan University in 1934 where he studied history. His primary ambition became play writing as he followed a course in it whilst at university. After his graduation in 1938 he found employment in journalism and writing radio scripts. Through the Second World War Miller worked on the docks as a shipfitter. It was there he made friends with many Italians. Miller became interested in the lives of the dockworkers and longshoremen that he worked with. Many illegal immigrants worked there; his parents had worked there. Miller described the docks as dark and mysterious places, untouched by literature and drama. All of these things contributed to Millers idea of 'A View From The Bridge'. The main inspiration came, however, when Miller heard a story about a longshoreman who told on his two relatives to the Immigration Bureau. They were living in his home, with his consent, but he ratted on them when one became engaged to his niece. ...read more.

Middle

If too many characters were in it, it would be very difficult keep up with what's going on. The links with the Italians families are strong because they're related. Most of the character ties are strong because they're an Italian-American family. Alfieri wouldn't have anything to with Eddie calling the Immigration Bureau because he is also an Italian. "You won't have a friend in the world Eddie! Even those who understand will turn against you, ... Put it out of your mind Eddie!" Alfieri has strong relationships with the audience because he, as well as being the narrator, talks directly to them. "Who can ever know what will be discovered? . . . Now, as the weeks passed, there was a future, there was a trouble that would not go away." When he's in role, the other characters have respect for Alfieri because he is a lawyer. When Alfieri appears as the narrator and the spotlight goes on him there is a touch of excitement. The reason Alfieri wouldn't have anything to do with Eddie calling the Immigration Bureau is that he knows there will be an Italian justice which usually includes the Mafia. He also wouldn't have anything to do with it because he is an Italian himself. He repeatedly says that justice is important to Italians. ...read more.

Conclusion

When he speaks to the audience he is giving them his "view from the bridge", since all he can do is watch what is happening and what is going to happen but he can't do anything about it. "Another lawyer, quite differently dressed, heard the same complaint and say there as powerless as I, and watched it run it's bloody course." He gives advice to Marco and Eddie and then he prepares the audience for what's going to happen next. Alfieri helps to build up the tension for the next event, and then once the event is over he steps in again and defuses the tension. "Now, as the weeks passed, there was a future, there was a trouble that would not go away." He refers to the Italian justice as gangsters, for example, Al Capone. He turns a blind eye to the Italian immigrants because he is an Italian-American lawyer. Alfieri guides the audiences' views. Alfieri is not only a person with two roles; he is a physical embodiment of the plays title. Miller has written this play in a different manner to most. Alfieri's role as a narrator is the present tense, whereas the main storyline is in the past as it has already happened. Alfieri tells us what has/is going to happen to Eddie in the very beginning when he clearly, yet discretely says: "He was a good man". ?? ?? ?? ?? Lisa Quinn 11DF ...read more.

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