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"Examine the ideas of manliness, hostility and aggression as they are portrayed in the play A View from the Bridge - How are these ideas connected?"

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Introduction

An Nguyen 11P "Examine the ideas of manliness, hostility and aggression as they are portrayed in the play A View from the Bridge. How are these ideas connected?" All the events of the play are set in about in Red Hook, New York roughly during the 1950's, a time where equal rights were not an issue and before the feminist era was in full swing. Most men saw it as their duty to look after their wife and family and saw it as unmanly to do anything other than that. A lot of men found they have to prove they could look after themselves and their family by using their fists rather then their mind. Eddie Carbone was one of these men. Eddie from the start has a fixed idea on how a 'real man' should be. He thinks that men should be the provider and look after family. He is very protective of his family especially Catherine. He sees himself as a father figure to Catherine and comments on her "walkin' wavy!" ...read more.

Middle

Marco tells Beatrice that Rodolpho can cook and Eddie makes a comment on this "He's a cook, too! (looking at Rodolpho) He sings, he cooks......" Rodolpho smiles thankfully at the compliment, but I don't think Eddie meant it as a compliment. I think Eddie meant it as a question of his sexuality because he emphasises this comment by repeating it second's later. I think Eddie finds Rodolpho very unmanly because he enjoys doing things, which at the time were thought of as women's work. This is not the only time he question's Rodolphos sexuality, many times he has commented on "high voice" and how if "you heard it you'd be looking for a her not him." He also old Beatrice that he gave him "the heeby-jeebies." On the twenty-third of December he really question's this by coming home drunk and violently kissing Rodolpho to humiliate him in front of Catherine. Eddie deliberately induces a confrontation, he pretends to teach Rodolpho how to box. He use's this excuse to hit Rodolpho. He pretends he's playing around however deep down Eddie wanted to hurt him, Marco sees this and then challenges Eddies manliness. ...read more.

Conclusion

Miller uses Eddies views on manliness to be the one of the main causes of his aggressiveness. Eddie as the protagonists feels that to show his manliness he must show his strength and lashing out on Rodolpho and violently kissing him was one of his ways to prove this. The hostility towards Rodolpho was because Eddie felt Rodolpho was not worth talking to because he was not man enough. Eddie thinks that real men aren't blond and don't sing in high voices, but then again real men don't telephone immigration. Eddie lives in a community where everybody looks out for themselves and family and showing any weakness in your masculinity subjected you as a target for people. It all boils down to male pride and because of this tragedy befalls on Eddie. Eddie probably felt insecure about himself and were unsure of what his feelings were towards Catherine, but all Eddie knew was if he seemed manly I would give him a sense of security and a feeling that people thought he was secure with himself. After all isn't it better to settle for half then nothing at all? Eddie didn't think so; he wanted everything. ...read more.

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