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In A View From The Bridge, Show How The Audience's Opinion Of Eddie Changes.

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Introduction

In A View From The Bridge, Show How The Audience's Opinion Of Eddie Changes. Refer To The Dramatic Effects Of A Few Key Scenes A View From The Bridge is a play by Arthur Miller. It was first produced as a one-act play in verse in 1955, and had the name of An Italian Tragedy. The play is rooted in the late 1940's when Miller became interested in the works and lives of the communities of the longshoremen of New York's Brooklyn Bridge where he had previously worked. He mentioned it in his autobiography Timebends as 'waterfront was the Wild West, a desert beyond the law', where was populated and worked by people who came to America seeking the 'American Dream', wealth, work and security which their own countries could not guarantee. This play was set in the 1950's, and at that time America was seen as the land of opportunity for many people, to start a new life, escape their past or just for a change, people believed America held the key. However this was not the case, as immigrants often lived in the most run down parts of town and found themselves out of work and with little money to live on the or send their families at home. Miller was concerned with this living through the depression, which bankrupted his father, and he saw the effects on the ordinary people. It was during this time that Miller heard a story from one of his lawyer friend of 'a longshoremen who had "ratted" to the immigration bureau on two brothers, his own relatives, who were living illegally in his very home, in order to break an engagement between one of them and his niece. ' This story became the model of A View From The Bridge when he paid a visit to Sicily and saw the awkward situation of the Italians without work and food, combined with his own experiences of Italian immigrant workers in Brooklyn. ...read more.

Middle

Marco, who always had respect for Eddie, seemed to think he's gone to far as well. Therefore he 'takes a chair, places it in front of Eddie, and looks down at it'. Then he asked Eddie if he can lift the chair at the certain point, but Eddie fails. So Marco shows him - 'He kneels, grasps, and with stain slowly raises the chair higher and higher.' The dramatic tension built up instantly here as Miller used the stage direction to show: '(Marco) getting to his feet now, Rodolfo 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 -' They are clearly showing that Marco is challenging Eddie just like Eddie challenged Rodolfo, '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.' At this point the audience (and Eddie) would find out that Marco is using his body language saying 'you degraded my brother. My blood. Rodolfo might not be stronger than you, but I am.' Just like the way Eddie has been hinting the family that Rodolfo is not a real man. Marco apparently found that very offensive, degrading his family, his bloodline, therefore he did the same thing to Eddie to prove he's the man so 'don't mess with us'. The audience would now sympathise with Marco because the way Eddie was humiliating Rodolfo was too harsh, therefore he should be warned before things get worse... Thus the plot comes to Alfieri, the lawyer, also the narrator of the play. Because Miller wanted this play to be a modern version of a Greek Tragedy, Alfieri takes the part of a chorus, where he spoke mostly direct to the audience, told them what happened offstage, commenting on the characters and told them what to think and what is going to happen. ...read more.

Conclusion

And yet, it is better to settle for half, it must be!' This speech can connect back to the start of Act 2 when Catherine suggested Rodolfo to live back in Italy because Eddie doesn't want them to be married; so it will be a 'half-half' for all of them and may settle for a better ending. However the end in inevitable, thus Alfieri commented: '...and even as I know how wrong he was, and his death useless, I tremble, for I confess that something perversely pure calls to me from his memory - not purely good, but himself purely, for he allowed himself to be wholly known...' Again he had commented on Eddie is a decent man, he did not snitch to the immigration for nothing, he only did this when he had no other choice. Alfieri is pitying Eddie, thus the audience would pity them as well. Although he is rather a folly, but people can't blame him fully, for that he has already lost his life as a severe punishment. As a conclusion, A View From The Bridge dealt with the struggle of a man, who wants to keep his family together. The audience's opinion of that man, Eddie, changes throughout the play, and was often influenced by character's speech, their actions, and more importantly, by the 'chorus', Alfieri. This is because the language of the characters is also a key part in the play, since the characters are Italian-Americans, Miller uses 'bad' English and a lot of slang language. Only Alfieri speaks with poise and sophistication, he is a well-educated lawyer from middle class and he was not really involved in the play. Therefore it will be more convincing to believe what he said is unbiased rather than all other main characters on stage. On the other hand Miller had also successfully used stage direction and stage lights to build the dramatic effort of the play, and helps the reader/audience to understand more, and made A View From The Bridge full of drama and suspense. By Victoria Miao 10M English GCSE Mr. Stubbings ...read more.

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