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Explore the ways in which Miller makes use of the places in "A View From The Bridge".

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Introduction

Explore the ways in which Miller makes use of the places in "A View From The Bridge" Miller uses a lot of the places in the play "A View From The Bridge" symbolically. The first is in the title; it represents the fact that this play is only one view from the Brooklyn Bridge. It shows that there are many other lives being lived out around that bridge and maybe there are similar incidents occurring. It also gives the reader a sense of being a spectator, as Alfieri is, who can see what is happening but is powerless to stop it. The viewpoint is one of a middle-class person looking down on this inferior scene from a remote and distant place. From this place the practices on the waterfront would have seemed alien and unreal. That is why it is important the play was so named. The whole community is that of Red Hook, a place made up largely of immigrants from Sicily and more broadly, Italy. It is described as "The gullet of New York, the slum that faces the bay on the seaward side of the bridge, an area of extreme poverty." ...read more.

Middle

When people break this then the punishment is often much worse than for breaking the codified law. An example of this is Vinnie Bolzano, who reported his immigrant uncle to the authorities and was shortly after kicked down three flights of stairs by his family and spat on in the street. "I never seen him again, did you?". Another example is what eventually happens to Eddie, when he 'rats' on Marco and Rodolpho. Beatrice is ashamed, Catherine is distraught and Eddie's own friends, Louis and Mike, leave him, disgusted. There is a strong sense of corruption in Red Hook too, the coffee and whiskey which are stolen from the ships. This shows once again that the immigrants do not abide by the same rules as the Americans. "A case of Scotch whisky slipped from a net - as a case of Scotch whisky is inclined to do on 23rd of December on Pier Forty-one." "I still remember that spider coming out of that bag he brung home." The 'Spider in the coffee' story represents this underlying theme of corruption, with the spider symbolizing the corruption in the seemingly law-abiding community of Red Hook, shown by the coffee. ...read more.

Conclusion

They represent this deteriorating standing all the way through the play. They are also used to show the job of a longshoreman is boring with little work. Louis carefully notes Marco and Rodolphos' presence with slight disdain as he hangs around waiting for work, "I see they're getting work allatime." Mike agrees, "That's what we oughta do. We oughta leave the country and come in under water. Then we get work." Sicily and Greece, while never shown in the play, are talked about by Alfieri in some depth. Sicily represents lawlessness. Greece represents law. The Romans beat the Greeks in 300BC to rule Sicily. Alfieri notes that "The law has not been a friendly idea since the Greeks were beaten." Also, the Mafia, along with its own unwritten laws of the Omerta, originated form Sicily. Alfieri acknowledges that the codified laws aren't enough when he says "Many have been justly shot by unjust men." This shows that sometimes, American written justice isn't enough. He explains how in the 1920s New York was a lawless city, but how he now does not have to keep a gun in his filing cabinet. Nevertheless he notices that sometimes there is a case which reminds him of the primitive customs of Sicily or the tragedies of the Ancient World. ...read more.

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