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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

Examine the ideas of manliness, hostility and aggression in 'A View From the Bridge'. How are these ideas connected? Manliness, hostility and aggression are important ideas in 'A View From the Bridge'. Clearly, in most cases, these ideas are displayed by the play's protagonist, Eddie. This aggression leads to his eventual downfall. Eddie has a certain view of what he considers to be manly. When Rodolfo does not conform to this view, it results in Eddie mocking him. In contrast, when Marco does conform to Eddie's view, Eddie becomes paranoid and sees Marco as a threat to his manhood. Manliness aggression and hostility are all ideas displayed by Eddie. This may be due to the fact that Eddie is not very well educated and this may be a reason why he has difficulty in expressing his feelings. This results in him often resorting to verbal/ physical aggression. This may be reflecting Arthur Miller's views on masculinity. There are also admirable qualities in Marco, Eddie and Rodolfo. The female characters also have a role to play in the tragedy, as Beatrice states. They are not merely victims of male aggression and hostility. ...read more.

Middle

As well as this, it was Beatrice who fuelled Catherine with the desire to leave for Rodolfo, shown by the quote "You're a woman, that's all, and you got a nice boy, and now the time came when you said good-bye. All right?" The language used by various characters also helps to reflect the attitudes and emotions of the characters. Eddie uses colloquial sentences, which are generally short. This reflects that he is uneducated and hence his unwillingness to think through the consequences of his actions as well as going some way to explaining his hostility and willingness to use physical violence. This is epitomised by the statement "I don't think you listening to me anymore." Rodolfo is able to gain people's attention by making them laugh as well as having the ability to help conversation - "There is one. We push that too. (They laugh.) Everything in our town, you gotta push!" Rodolfo also spoke in his second tongue, a reflection upon the fact that he is a cultured and somewhat well-educated individual. His friendly and caring attitude is reflected by in numerous circumstances, including when Eddie refuses to acknowledge him but he continues his conversation and makes attempts to talk to him. ...read more.

Conclusion

People had come from places such as Italy in the belief that American pavements were metaphorically paved with gold, in the belief that people of any background could come to America, make their fortune and live happily ever after. Instead many found themselves hiding away, working in dead end jobs and often getting involved with gang warfare. This mirrors the plight of Marco and Rodolfo who came to make money but instead found themselves working at docks and, ultimately, resorting to murder. In conclusion, Eddie has a certain belief of what he expects a man to be like and Rodolfo does not conform to these, resulting in Eddie's mocking him. Marco conformed to this view and it turned out that he was more of a man than Eddie, resulting in Eddie's demise. However, it is not only down to the male characters for the play's tragedy, because it was due to Catherine's attraction to Rodolfo and Beatrice's encouragement of her that lead to Eddie's eventual demise. Arthur Miller has used language to reinforce the play's characters. Moreover, there are dramatic effects to further the key ideas of manliness aggression and hostility. These ideas may also have derived from 1950s American-Italian gang culture. ...read more.

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