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How does Arthur Miller create dramatic tension in 'A View From The Bridge'? Choose 2/3 mini scenes, in which Eddie appears to illustrate your points.

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Introduction

How does Arthur Miller create dramatic tension in 'A View From The Bridge'? Choose 2/3 mini scenes, in which Eddie appears to illustrate your points. Arthur Miller was born in 1915 in New York. He was a playwright whose work discussed significant social issues, giving the reader a deep insight into his characters' feelings. He died on February 11th 2005. In 'A View From The Bridge', Eddie Carbone is a middle-aged Sicilian-American longshoreman who lives with his wife Beatrice and his 18 year old niece Catherine. They live in a two bedroom apartment in a slum area. They don't have very much money and Eddie speaks non-standard English. Early in the book the reader gets the impression that Eddie is a hard-working man who is trying to earn enough money to provide for his wife and niece. Although Catherine is the 18 year old niece of Eddie, at the beginning of the story the reader gets the feeling that Catherine is treated as Eddie's little girl. Catherine was born in America with a slight Sicilian-American accent. She wants to leave school having been chosen out of many girls to be a stenographer for a plumbing company. Catherine is put in a difficult situation by Eddie because some of his actions suggest he may be sexually attracted to her, but Catherine falls in love with illegal immigrant Rodolpho. ...read more.

Middle

Miller has presented Eddie in this way through his choice of dialogue and specific stage directions. The tension between Eddie and the other characters grows after he sees Rodolpho emerge from Catherine's room with Catherine. Miller states - Eddie sees him and his arm jerks slightly in shock. He puts this to illustrate to the reader that Eddie is obviously quite surprised and angry. At the time Eddie is a bit drunk and he throws himself at Catherine and kisses her on the lips. Miller writes - he reaches out suddenly, draws her to him, and as she strives to free herself he kisses her on the mouth. This action could be as a result of Eddie having inappropriate feelings for her or it may be a last ditch effort to stop Catherine from leaving because he can't accept that she isn't his little girl anymore. Rodolpho shouts at him - 'Stop that! Have respect for her!' Rodolpho eventually manages to pull Eddie off her and Eddie turns round to face Rodolpho. Rodolpho then says - 'She'll be my wife. That is what I want my wife. My wife!' The use of the exclamation marks shows the passion in Rodolpho's voice and contributes to creating dramatic tension. This infuriates Eddie even more and he teases Rodolpho who tries to attack Eddie, but Eddie lunges towards Rodolpho and kisses him on the lips. ...read more.

Conclusion

This stage direction visualises for the reader the dramatic tension, it shows that Catherine knew what Eddie had done and that she was shocked and surprised that even Eddie would report them after he had constantly told her how it was against the Sicilian Code of Honour. In this mini scene Miller skilfully via his stage directions used the lack of motion to create tension. Eddies actions in act two are against everything that he was saying in act one and his jealousy makes him commit an unforgivable crime against his family and the Sicilian community. In act one he was telling Catherine how it is against the Sicilian Code of Honour to report an illegal immigrant under any circumstances. When Beatrice was describing a boy that once reported his uncle she said - 'He had five brothers and the old father... and they pulled him down the stairs - three flights his head was bouncing like a coconut.' At the time this play was set, late 1940s, it wasn't acceptable to be homosexual and in act one Eddie makes it sound like being homosexual was almost as bad as breaking the Sicilian Code of Honour. Yet in act two he kisses Rodolpho. I think 'A View From The Bridge' is a very interesting book as it raises social issues that are still relevant today and it shows the difficult decisions a Sicilian American, such as Eddie, had to make in the late 1940s. Akil Browne 10C 1 ...read more.

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