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Explain why Marco and Rodolfo came to America. What is the effect of their arrival on the Carbone household? A view from the bridge - Arthur Miller

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Introduction

Explain why Marco and Rodolfo came to America. What is the effect of their arrival on the Carbone household? The play A view from the bridge the author, Arthur Miller, is presented to the audience as a tragedy but not a classical, a new, modern tragedy. I still employs the elements well known to classical tragedies but then it is set in the docks of America where illegal immigrants are not uncommon to be hiding. There are many cultural issues surrounding the play and the modern tragedy genre like the way that different cultures treat justice; in America there are laws and anyone who breaks them goes to jail but these laws are not always good enough as Alfieri says on Eddie's first visit to him "the law is very specific", it does not deal with every situation; The Sicilians treat justice by taking the law into their own hands and getting even in their own way. The Sicilians arrived in America in the first place to search for the 'American Dream' of a job, money, welcome and hope for the people left behind back home. The genre of modern tragedy uses a protagonist, like classical tragedies, in the form of Eddie. Miller uses him to focus on the frailty of human nature, how humans often do not know their own feelings so cannot see what they are doing wrong: Eddie, when told by Alfieri "she wants to get married, Eddie. She can't marry you, can she?", his answer of "What're you talkin' about, marry me! I don't know what the hell you're talkin' about" is indignant and the audience sees that Alfieri has noticed what Eddie just does not see about himself. The tragic elements used to make A View from the Bridge into a modern tragedy are taken from the old Greek classical tragedies; there is a protagonist who has a tragic flaw led by temptation followed by a downfall; a catalyst inevitably influences the outcome of the play; there is ...read more.

Middle

Beatrice is urging Catherine to grow up and, as if she suspects some of Eddie's feelings for her niece, points out to her the ways in which she should act around the house: "you still walk around in front of him in your slip ... or like you sit on the edge of the bathtub talkin' to him when he's shavin' in his underwear ... if you act like a baby he be treatin' you like a baby". When Catherine falls in love with Rodolfo, her love for Eddie is split and she is confused. Eddie does not help his situation by being so stubborn about not allowing Catherine to grow up. She detaches herself from him and although she still loves him as a father figure, she does not seem to trust him anymore: she does not tell him about the wedding between her and Rodolfo - Beatrice does: "they're going to get married next week, Eddie". Beatrice is affected by the arrival of her cousins in her state of mind. The audience find out that she and Eddie are having marital problems: "It's almost three months you don't feel good; they're only here a couple of weeks" and although they guess that it is to do with Catherine, they do not know whether of not Beatrice does. It is not until the end that the audience find out that Beatrice knows about Eddie's feelings for Catherine although in hindsight, Beatrice could have been urging Catherine to grow up because she guessed Eddie's flaw. It is at the end when it is finally said out loud "You want somethin' else, Eddie, and you can't have her!" when the audience finds out about Beatrice knowing and through this, she gains the audience's sympathy because she has had to carry around this awful secret showing how loyal to her husband she has been by hardly mentioning it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eddie makes out how he has been victimised and asks the people in a sarcastic way "maybe he come to apologize to me". The audience does not find out why Marco came back but at that time it is not really relevant. The focus is on Eddie and the audience realises that this is the climax the entire play has been building up to: the tragic end that has been inevitable since Alfieri's first speech. The audience is tense and need the fast pace to feed their interest about what is going to happen next. The ironic death at the end: Eddie killed by his own hand and weapon makes the audience see that Eddie's flaw has brought all this on himself. At the end of the play, there is a feeling of justice and revenge in the air, linking back to the tragic themes again, also, obviously, death. At the very end of the play, Alfieri makes a closing speech summarising and creating an affect of catharsis leaving the audience calm instead of tense, the effect of the ending if Alfieri had not concluded. The context of the play works as a tragedy because of the cultural backgrounds of the characters and their way of life. Alfieri has cleverly picked a culture that still runs as the Greeks did with high standards to live up to and strong family values. By using Alfieri as a modern day chorus, Miller mirrors a classical tragedy set-up keeping the audience informed and creating the element of predestination. By using a modern context, Miller has shown the audience that theories on honour and respect have not changed much since the Greeks. Alfieri's message at the end of the play to the audience is that the truth should always be told. It shows that although Eddie did not know his feelings for Catherine, someone could have told him and the problem could have been sorted. If people had talked more to each other and instead of fighting about everything, just talked, maybe the whole thing could have been resolved. Claire Auchinvole 11T ...read more.

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