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LOOK AT THE OPENING SCENE BETWEEN EDDIE AND CATHERINE AND THE SCENE IN WHICH CATHERINE HAS JUST RETURNED FROM THE PICTURE HOUSE. HOW DO THESE SCENES FORESHADOW THE BREAKDOWN IN EDDIE AND CATHERINE'S RELATIONSHIP? Arthur Miller's fascinating tale "A view from the Bridge" was actually based on a true story. He was researching on Pete Panto, a longshoreman, who was executed for attempting to revolt against his union. He came across another tale, about a man who had told the immigration bureau about his relatives. This longshoreman was trying to prevent his niece from marrying one of the brothers. The man soon disappeared and was rumoured to be killed by one of his brothers. America in the 1950's was considered a working heaven. "Good pay, no more back breaking hours of work, no more crime, clean houses, running water, round-the-clock electricity and even good schools." This is what most immigrants thought when ever they thought of America. It was this thought that had led many people from all over Europe, Asia and Africa to immigrate there. New York is where most of these people ended up. They worked for a few years to pay off their debt from the syndicate. "A view from the bridge" is based around the Italian community, in Red Hook, New York. These immigrants soon found out the real truth of New York: The slums of New York were filthy and dangerous, and the only work available was back-breaking and badly paid. ...read more.


At the idea of Catherine working is absolutely startling. The stage directions that Miller imposes say it all. "Pause. Eddie looks at Catherine, then back to Beatrice" it shows that Eddie was in intense thought and in deep shock. Maybe this might be because Eddie has now got a competitor for the right as the breadwinner. However, the most likely reason for shock is that his beloved niece will be away from him. It is now when he tries to impose a fatherly figure, asking her questions and praising her. "Well why not? Sure she's the best." And "where's the job? What company" he is deliberately tying to control her from not going to work. When he finally does gives her permission to work, he uses emotional blackmail to remind her of her position and also that it is his house that she is living in. Eddie says "And then you'll move away", in which Catherine says "No, Eddie!" Miller then cleverly shows the audience how Eddie feels by stating "Grinning" Catherine, not willing to accept the accusation, instantly grasps his arm to reassure him. Eddie now knows that he is still in full command. Catherine at this point in the play always trying to please him, and is always looking up to Eddie as a fatherly figure. However, Miller deliberately introduces the technique of dramatic irony to prepare us for what his going to happen. On pages 26-29 we start to see glimpses of Eddie's and Catherine's breakdown in relationship. ...read more.


Catherine is intent on staying calm and does not talk to Eddie. Eddie is hurt by the fact that Beatrice wants to go to her wedding. Catherine's change is evident in these last few pages. She is more open now, and more determined not to be overpowered by Eddie. Instead of this, she is more open. She is releasing all her hatred that has built up in her for Eddie. Miller's stage directions reveal it all. He says "suddenly", which tells us that Catherine is very sudden about this outburst. We as the audience are very shocked and disturbed by this. Catherine then starts to insult him calling him a rat. "How can you listen to him? This rat!" Her reaction towards Eddie not letting Beatrice is very startling. However, at this point we see that Catherine has a breakdown and starts to weep. Eddie is now enraged and shows aggression in his actions. Miller cleverly shows this to bewilder the audience. Eddie the once calm and over-protective man is now showing aggression against his beloved Catherine, his insanity is truly revealed. The end of the play is not expected. Eddie runs at Marco with a knife and out of self-defence Marco stabs Eddie. Eddie dies on the spot. The gradual decline in the relationship between Eddie and Catherine is inevitable from the opening scene. Catherine's emerging confidence is the main reason in their breakdown. Eddie is simple not prepared for this. He is emotionally broke at the fact that Catherine is marrying Rodolpho. He just cannot accept that Catherine is now older and more free to do what she wants. BY ADNAAN HAQ 10G1 ENGLISH COURSEWORK ...read more.

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