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How does Arthur Miller use techniques to show Eddie's changing relationships

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Introduction

What techniques does Arthur Miller use to show Eddie's changing relationships with the other characters in 'A View from the Bridge'? (language, staging, stage directions) 'A View from the Bridge' is a 19th Century play, written by Arthur Miller. It is a tragic play about love, passion, lust and deceit. The play focuses on one man: Eddie Carbone. He lives with his niece, Catherine and wife, Beatrice. As the play develops, we see his changing personality due to the arrival of his wife's cousins and an inevitable tragedy takes place. This essay aims to demonstrate Eddie's changing relationships with other characters through language, staging and stage directions. This play is a reflection of Arthur Miller's own life and experiences. He used to work on the docks of Brooklyn. At that time, many migrants from Italy were coming to America in search of work. Many were illegal, and giving them away to the police would be a betrayal to the Italian Community. Which is why, betrayal is an important theme of the play. Arthur Miller used the culture of the Sicilians and his own experience to write the play, 'A View from the Bridge'. When we are first introduced to the characters of Eddie and Catherine, we are shown how intimate and secure their relationship seems on the surface. The introductory dialogue between the two characters is 'Hi Eddie!' (Eddie is pleased and therefore shy about it) Our first instinct is that they love each other. The exclamation mark shows the excitement and that Catherine is very happy to see Eddie. Moreover the stage directions reveal that Eddie is also pleased to see her, however does not want to make it observable and therefore shy about it. However, even though Eddie has a strong plutonic bond with his niece, he finds it difficult to show her how he feels. When he first speaks to her, saying, 'Where you goin' all dressed up?' ...read more.

Middle

In other respects, the arrival of Rodolfo lead Eddie to distant his relationship with Beatrice and compelled him to make his relationship with Catherine more intimate. Finally, the other characters of the play are discussing Eddie's true desires and incestuous instincts towards his niece. However, when Eddie understands his lust for his niece, this changes his motives. Next, Eddie goes to meet a lawyer, Alfieri. He seeks his help, to find out if there is anything he could do to Rodolfo that could break his relationship with Catherine. We can see how Eddie does not wish to lose Catherine, and Alfieri appreciates it. The conversation consists of mixed opinions and feelings of both of the characters. Firstly, we can see the jealousy Eddie has over Rodolfo. 'when I think of that guy layin' his hands on her' This implies he can not stand him because he will be having sexual actions with his niece. Secondly, we can notice the fear Eddie has for Catherine. 'what about if the only reason for it is to get his papers?' This was a serious matter in the 1930s, as it was accounted as a crime. During the Great Depression, many illegal migrants came into America in search for work and prosperity. Nevertheless, if they were identified by the police, they would have to be deported back to their native country. Alternatively, if the migrant managed to marry a US citizen, they would have the right to stay in the US, officially. Hence in this case, Rodolfo wants to marry Catherine and Eddie believes he is only doing this act in order to become a citizen of America. Eddie feels very ashamed and humiliated of Rodolfo; he makes his view on Rodolfo very clear to Alfieri. He repeatedly says 'he ain't right' This conveys he describes Rodolfo as a homosexual, who's sole motive is only to get the official papers for his citizenship. ...read more.

Conclusion

Beatrice can not stand Eddie's obsession with Catherine and finally says, 'You want somethin' else, Eddie, and you can never have her' She finally exposes the reality because it is affecting her in a myriad of ways. Lastly, during the scene where Eddie dies, his final words are for Beatrice, 'My B.!' (He dies in her arms) At least, Eddie realised his mistake and thus calls for Beatrice in order to gain forgiveness, but unfortunately it is too late. Throughout the play, we see Eddie deteriorate his relationship as a husband, as an uncle and also as a human being. We realise what type of person he really is when he finds out that his niece is in love with another man and he gradually loses all sagacious control over his thoughts, words and actions. His wife may be the first person to notice how obvious his incestuous feelings have become, but it is not long before Marco, Rodolfo and unfortunately Catherine notice them too. The four major events that happen after this group realisation (the destruction of Catherine and Eddie's relationship, the kisses from Eddie to Catherine and Rodolfo, the barging in of the immigration officers and the climactic death of Eddie) are all caused by Eddie's irritated actions and inappropriate feelings. The relationship between Eddie and Catherine was always doomed to end in tragedy, because from the first instance we see them speak together, there is clearly some resistance and frustration between the two. This resistance is made a lot more prominent as the story develops, and by comparing the monstrous creature the Eddie has turned into at the end of the play to the once innocent and protective person that Eddie once was at the beginning, it is easy to see how much difference simple emotions such as jealousy, lust, passion, hate and anger can do to a man and to those around him who he loves. ?? ?? ?? ?? English Coursework: 19th Century Play 1 Raj Shah 11C ...read more.

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