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How does Miller use characters and the structure of his play to maintain tension and interest?

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Introduction

" A View from the Bridge" How does Miller use characters and the structure of his play to maintain tension and interest? Arthur Miller wrote "A View from the Bridge in 1955. He first heard the story in the late 1940's and it was in this time he became a dockworker in the Brooklyn shipyards. It was at the shipyards Miller befriended the Italians we work along side. Miller first had an interest in writing "A View from the Bridge", when a young lawyer friend mentioned a story he'd recently heard that consisted of a longshoreman who squealed on two brothers, who were illegal immigrants to the Immigration Bureau. The only reason was to break an engagement between one of the brothers and his niece. After Miller heard this story, he noted it but did not act upon it instantaneously. Subsequently, in Miller's first visit to Italy, he visited Sicily where he saw twelve men standing around an oasis in the middle of a gritty piazza. He learnt then that they had a habit of gathering together in the vain hope that local houses might need an extra worker. The projection attached itself to the story Miller had written before and with the experiences he had gained of the Italian Immigrant workers in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, provided the background for what was to become, " A view from the Bridge". ...read more.

Middle

The audience begins to notice that Eddie's real battle will come to be with Marco the cousin he liked. The structure here in this act has built up so much the audience feel that they need to see the end. It creates so much tension at the end of Act 1; the atmosphere leads on to reveal the shock near the start of Act 2. This is were an infuriated Eddie kisses both Catherine and Rodolfo where Eddie tries to prove to Catherine that Rodolfo is gay and that Eddie is more powerful than Rodolfo, the beginning of Act 2 shows Eddie's disrespect and a compilation of mixed feelings, which prepares us for the final scene. Here Miller is using the characters and the structure to maintain tension and interest. Tone is very important in the play, there are a number of changes in the play. For example, If Eddie is in a good mood the stage directions tell us he is "laughing," and to the complete opposite, "his faced puffed with trouble." Here tension is created because the audience will be thinking of what he will do, either release the tension or increase it? Alfieri has a big part to play, as Miller explains at the beginning of the play how Alfieri's office can fit into the setting as well, (it is Alfieri's view from the bridge we see). ...read more.

Conclusion

We know this because Alfieri continues by saying, " Were only thought of in connection with disasters, and they'd rather not get too close". The Italian code just means one thing, revenge. If for example when Eddie told his family the story about Vinnie and how he told on his uncle to the immigration, and how he was shut out of his family. Here again the story about Vinnie built tension, as we know something terrible is going to happen. Ironic as this is, it is exactly what happens to Eddie- making Alfieri more authentic for the audience. Alfieri reminds us at various intervals during the play that the end is inevitable. For example, at the end of Act 1: I could see every step coming, step after step, like a dark figure walking down a hall towards a certain door". Miller's description is so accurate that tension builds up heavily. To sum up, the tension, the detailed structure, and the mixed feelings, Miller has perfected this play so well as if you are driving a car. The tension is acceleration and the decrease of tension is the brake, when driving we accelerate more than brake so the tension was always high. This kind of feeling give the audience an urge to see what is going to happen next, this feeling was the kind Miller wanted to produce and distribute among the audience. In the finale, Eddie's immense feelings busted out and death was the only conclusion. Faraj Said Faraj, 10B1, Ms Rawlings. ...read more.

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