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How does Arthur Miller build tension in the last scene of act 1 of A View From the Bridge(TM)?

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Introduction

How does Arthur Miller build tension in the last scene of act 1 of 'A View From the Bridge'? 'A View From the Bridge' deals with many issues such as incest, immigration, norms, and values through the use of its main character Eddie Carbone whose inner turmoil is the real conflict of the play. The other characters of Beatrice, Katherine, Rodolpho, and Marco are really just there to help show the audience the character of Eddie and complement his lead role. Eddie's lust for his niece/adopted daughter forces Eddie to break the most sacred of his own and immigrant American laws. He 'snitches' on his wife's illegal cousins, who Eddie had housed for the past months, to the immigration office. The reason for this was the younger cousin Rodolpho was marrying Catherine who Eddie could not ever have for himself, as he had never admitted to himself that he wanted her in that way. The older cousin Marco who had a poor family relying on him to make money back in Italy had in Eddie's eyes 'taken away his name' by calling Eddie a snitch, which he was. ...read more.

Middle

'He is weirdly rubbing his fist on to his palm' this implies he has a hidden agenda. Things get tenser as the sparing match gets steadily faster, at first Eddie just 'gently moves his left into Rodolpho's face'. Then things start heating up as 'Rodolpho jabs with more assurance'. Then from Eddie's command to 'put sumpin behind it' 'Rodolpho jabs more seriously at Eddie's jaw and grazes it. Now even Catherine realises something's wrong and the stage directions tell us she watches 'with beginning alarm'. 'They are lightly boxing now' then Eddie 'feints with his left hand and lands with his right. Before Catherine rushes in yelling "Eddie!" to stop. I think Eddie had accomplished his goal as he had 'a certain gleam and a smile' on his face. This is very tense as we see Marco nod back 'dubiously'. Here the audience is uneasy and anxious, they want to know what will happen next, but they are not totally aware what is happening now. With the right actors the audience should be able to sense the building tension. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eddie is more desperate as this maybe his only opportunity to get his name back as Marco is going to be deported. There are many incidents were community law is in direct opposition to the federal law. In community law Eddie's feelings for Catherine are completely wrong but under the law of the US this is allowed. Community law is very much made the feelings or the values of the people. In a Italian neighbourhood religion would be very important and catholic ideas would very much be incorporated in this law. We see this very clearly as telling on somebody is the worst crime under the community law like Judas with the Romans, betraying Jesus to a catholic is the worst crime. The tension in the play A View From the Bridge is built very well and all the underlying issues help to heat the flame of Eddie's story. The law of the land verses the law of the people, incest, and fatherhood are all factors in the build up. By the end the play is shouted out as play reaches boiling point and every member of the audience is totally and completely on edge. This makes for a very enjoyable theatrical event. Farhat Hasan English SET 1 Miss Todd ...read more.

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