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In this essay I will be discussing a play written by Arthur Miller in 1955

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Introduction

'A View from the Bridge' In this essay I will be discussing a play written by Arthur Miller in 1955 "A View from the Bridge". The play is set in the American 1940's, just after the Second World War. Located in Red Hook (Brooklyn), a very poor area, described by Alfieri as, "the slum that faces the bay on the seaward side of Brooklyn Bridge". It tells the story of two illegal Sicilian immigrants (Marco and Rodolfo) who managed to migrate into America, in a time where they restricted any immigration from entering their golden gates. In search for the American dream, the immigrants thought that they could earn a decent living and provide for their family back home. However, deprived from their humanity by poor labour given by the American government, they were underpaid; on the other hand it was beneficial to the Americans, boosting their wealth and economic power. The conditions that they had to endure were appalling. Living in the cheapest, worst housing in the city and they were usually confined with many other immigrants in the same house. Most of Miller's work on the play was experienced by himself. He had worked as a longshoreman which gave him the opportunity to be friend with some of the immigrants that worked with him. He deals with political and moral issues and weaves in ideas from Greek tragedy, which features individuals who become entangled in a terrible fate. ...read more.

Middle

In the brief scenes in which Alfieri speaks to Eddie, we gain an insight into him being wiser than Eddie and knowing what's best for him. He keeps telling Eddie that he should not interfere, except to let Catherine go, "and bless her". As Eddie ponders about the betrayal, Alfieri reads his mind and time after time warns him, "You won't have a friend in the world...Put it out of your mind". Alfieri as the narrator never needs to leave the stage. Stage directions refer to him not by exits or entrances but to the light shining down or up on Alfieri. Part of Alfieri's role in the play is to create dramatic irony so the audience knows more than the characters. Through this and other methods he builds tension in the play. With the phrase "bloody course" in his opening speech he shows that the play is going to have a violent and tragic ending. His opening speech sets the scene and introduces the area as quite under privileged and violent. He also introduces the idea of two types of justice; community justice and the law. He is important to this theme because his character symbolizes the law. He is also a foil in the play (a dramatic technique) because his education, wealth and prosperity contrast makes obvious the uneducatedness and struggle of the longshoremen and their families. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tension is at its climax when Marco picks up the chair in front of Eddie where as he couldn't do it himself. By doing this, Marco has proven he has defeated Eddie and embarrasses him in front of everyone 'The chair raised like a weapon over Eddie's head' - This is important because it refers to the end of act 2 where he uses a real weapon. Eddie is now well aware of the 'warning' he has received - ironically he doesn't really take it seriously, therefore resulting in his death in the end of the play. This is shown by Eddie's action, 'grin vanishes as he absorbs his look'. After this scene, the audience is left shocked, alarmed and they might think that Marco and Eddie will 'continue' this later on the play. It creates a sense of foreboding. After reading this play, it left me wanting to know what will happen in the future for the rest of the characters. 'A View from the Bridge' has truly dealt with issues such as incest, manliness and justice in a very clear and open-hearted manner. The part where the play mostly captured my attention was when Eddie finally realizes that letting Catherine go, so that she could be free was the best thing he could had ever done. But it was too late, he should've done it a long time ago, which consequently lost his niece in the end to Rodolfo. Nevertheless 'blessing her' was the last thing his life should have given her. ...read more.

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