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How does Arthur Miller portray and link the themes of Manliness, Hostility and Aggression in 'A View From The Bridge'.

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How does Arthur Miller portray and link the themes of Manliness, Hostility and Aggression in 'A View From The Bridge'. 'A View From The Bridge is a play written in 1955 by Arthur Miller, originally a one act play it was extended to a two act play to make it more human and sympathetic. The play is set in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a very poor area described by the plays narrator, Alfieri as 'The slum that faces the bay on the seaward side of the Brooklyn Bridge'. Roode Hoek is the original Dutch name given to the area, settlements can be traced all the way back to the 1600's when the Dutch began charting the Eastern seaboard. Historically, Red Hook has been known as a bustling waterfront community and to this day retains much of its working class values. 'A View From The Bridge' was inspired by a story Miller heard about a longshoremen who had ratted to the Immigration Bureau about two brothers, his own relatives, who were living in his very home, in order to break an engagement between one of them and his niece. Miller heard this story when he was working on the Brooklyn Shipyard whilst trying to make a name for himself as a journalist. Immigrants came over to try their luck in "Rich America" as Italy at the time was a very poor country; it had been in World War II and had originally fought alongside Nazi Germany. The economy was slow growing especially in the south which was less industrialised; there were no jobs and no prospects, so many left to America. Manliness, Hostility and Aggression are key themes in A View From The Bridge, they create the drama, the action and tension between characters and create the excitement. The ideas of manliness, hostility and aggression are connected in this play as they relate to the main character, Eddie Carbone. ...read more.


Marco did not raise it as he wanted to see what Eddie would do and how he would do it, as this is a test of manliness and strength. Eddie tries to lift the chair two times, and fails twice, he can only raise it one inch above the ground. Marco then has a go and succeeds in doing this task. The stage directions are very detailed and any actors doing a performance had to get this exactly right, just like Miller wrote it. This is a very important part and is the third and final movement that Miller choreographed in Act I. "Here.(He kneels, grasps, and with strain slowly raises the chair higher and higher, getting to his feet now. Rodolpho and Catherine have stopped dancing as Marco raises the chair over his head. Marco is face to face with Eddie, a strained tension gripping his eyes and jaw, his neck stiff, the chair raised like a weapon over Eddie's head - and he transforms what might appear like a glare of warning into a smile of triumph, and Eddie's grin vanishes as he absorbs his look.)" The stage directions are long and precise. What Marco does is threatening to Eddie as the chair is "raised like a weapon over his head". He also gives Eddie a warning glare as if to say don't do that again. This is threatening for Eddie because, sure he could beat Rodolpho, but in doing so he would have Marco after him. This is a symbolic non verbal act but a hostile communication through body language. Manliness, Hostile and Aggression are the main themes that I am looking at in 'A View From The Bridge' but there are many other themes which include Naming Names, in 1956 Arthur Miller was called to testify in front of the House of Un-American Activities Committee to name other communists. However, he refused and was charged with contempt in 1957. ...read more.


She never meant to hurt him, but she was angry because of what he did. Marco changes in Act II, he plays a bigger part and is in more of the action, whereas Rodolpho's character sort of fades into the background. Marco becomes bitter and passionate at the same time. He seeking revenge, because Eddie grassed on him to the Bureau and his country as he says "In my country he would be dead now. He would not live this long." These many acts of manliness and hostility from some of the characters towards the others leads to aggression, which at the end, escalates as we find out about the happenings and goings on towards the end. This behaviour which is used throughout the play leads to the destruction and death of a happy family. Eddie was not afraid to show or share his views on the two 'submarines', this finally led to his fate, of him losing his social identity and this own death. Miller has shown a wide variety of theatrical techniques throughout this play through the dialogue, imagery, vocabulary, stage directions. When I read these two scenes I had my own views and pictures in my mind of how it would be acted out and how the characters had formed and how they became and acted they ways that they do. These two scenes are very important as they link the themes together, and create tension, excitement and give you an idea of 1950's Brooklyn, well the slums anyway. I think that certain elements in the play, although they have not been elaborated on are the close-nit community that the Carbone family lives in. The three themes are all linked to this idea of what it means to be a man. When I first read this play, I found it in a way disturbing to contemplate something such as Eddie's incestuous desires for his young niece. All the way through the play is riveting and keeps you interested. Jessica Smith Page 1 of 8 10-1 English Mr Cookson ...read more.

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