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Examine the ideas of Manliness, Hostility and Aggression in 'A View from the Bridge' - How are these ideas connected ?

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Introduction

English Coursework- Anne Moore Examine the ideas of Manliness, Hostility and Aggression in 'A View from the Bridge'- How are these ideas connected ? I think that manliness plays a key part in 'A View From the Bridge', as Eddie the main character is very particular about this quality. As Eddie is always at the centre of any conflict in the play, so is the theme of masculinity. You can almost argue that manliness is the source of the conflict. If Eddie didn't have such a narrow strict view of what he thinks manliness is, then he would probably be much more accepting and less aggressive. As it is Eddie finds it hard to get on with Rodolpho, who does not show many signs of being 'manly'. Eddie also feels threatened by Marco, Rodolpho's cousin who is very masculine and stronger than Eddie is. The range of conflict goes from the length of Catherine's skirt to a strength competition between Marco and Eddie with the chair, and when Eddie constantly attacks Rodolpho's lack of manliness. Indeed it is manliness that starts the tragedy of the play going, and it is manliness that finishes it. ...read more.

Middle

He feels Rodolpho is letting the family down. Rodolpho does not conform to Eddie's idea of masculinity, because he does not act as Eddie and the other longshoremen do. Eddie is sure 'the guy ain't right'. When he tries to explain to Alfieri all Rodolpho's faults and Alfieri disagrees, Eddie is angry. Eddie argues that ' he sings, he cooks, he could make dresses' which to him is not normal. Rodolpho doesn't seem to care about what other people think of him. He has no wife and family and seems to be flighty. Eddie says to Catherine ' you marry him and the next time you'll see him, it'll be for a divorce'. Catherine is upset by the idea that Rodolpho is marrying her for his passport and refuses to belive this. The other longshoremen also seem to be wary of Rodolpho. They call him 'humorous' and this characteristic to them is funny and unmanly. They seem wary about him and the conversation they have with Eddie about Rodolpho is tense. They would never think of Eddie or Marco this way. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eddie's obsession for Catherine is probably worse because he does not approve of Rodolpho, whereas if she loved a man he approved of, he might have found it easier to let her go. As it is Eddie is extremely alarmed when Catherine says she loves him and pleads ' don't say that for God's sake'. He also suggests she should go out and meet other men, which might show that he is regretting not letting her get to know 'real men' before Rodolpho came along. If he had done that, the relationship between them might not have happened. Eddie feels that the only responsible thing for him to do, for the good of Catherine is to prevent her marriage to Rodolpho. When the security of his world is threatened and there is the possibility Catherine and Rodolpho might marry Eddie seems out of his depth. He feels uncomfortable when he cannot control a situation and refuses to accept anything but his own uncomplicated and rigid ways. He also cannot admit that he feels some sort of desire for Catherine himself, and is shocked when Beatrice tells him 'you want somethin else Eddie and you can never have her'. Eddie finds it difficult to express his feelings, and feels that Rodolpho with an easygoing good-humoured nature is mocking him. ...read more.

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