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Masculinity plays an important part in the play, 'A view from a bridge'.

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Introduction

Masculinity plays an important part in the play, 'A view from a bridge'. The views on masculinity are very stereotypical and evolve around the plays protagonist, Eddie Carbone. Eddie feels that there are many specific aspects to become a 'man'. Many of which he falls short of himself. He becomes aggressive to people who do not conform to his views, this comes apparent when Eddie hits the illegal immigrant, Rodolpho. Eddie shows hostility and aggression towards Rodolpho constantly throughout the play, but feels threatened by Rodolpho's brother, Marco as he displays stereotypical masculine characteristics. Eddie has strict views on masculinity, and he lives by them. He feels that being the breadwinner is one aspect, being the sole provider for the family is thought of to be masculine. Working hard, being the boss of the house, being strong physically and mentally and even having regular sex are also considered to be masculine. ...read more.

Middle

He accuses Rodolpho of being effeminate, meaning that he acts more like a woman than a 'real' man. Eddie and his workmates constantly make comments about Rodolpho at work, laughing at his singing, calling him 'chorus boy', and calling him 'paper doll' as a mock of his blonde hair and fragile looks. Rodolpho seems oblivious to these jibes, but Marco soon picks up on it and confronts Eddie. Rodolpho does not know what he has done wrong, he loves Catherine and wants to start a new life in America, but Eddie feels that he is just using Catherine for a green card into the country. Catherine feels the same way, but that does not stop Eddie's hostility towards Rodolpho. Eddie's hostility towards Rodolpho comes to two dramatic peaks, when Eddie kissed Rodolpho, and when Eddie taught Rodolpho to box. At the beginning of act two, Eddie staggers in drunk to find Rodolpho and Catherine making love in the bedroom. ...read more.

Conclusion

The tension builds up between Eddie and Marco from then on. When Eddie phones the immigration bureau and informs them of the two illegal immigrants, they come and arrest them. Marco realises that Eddie was the one who told them. He calls him an 'animal' in front of the whole neighbourhood and spits in Eddie's face. Eddie does not forget this. When Marco returns to the house after the arrest, Eddie asks for an apology but Marco refuses. Eddie then produced a knife and lunges for Marco. Marco defends himself by turning the knife and plunging it into the chest of Eddie. This again shows that Marco is stronger as he could grab the knife and turn it into Eddie. The three points, manliness, hostility and aggression are linked through one single character, the plays protagonist, Eddie Carbone. He feels strongly about being masculine and becomes aggressive towards those who are not manly or do not show it. This is shown when he becomes very aggressive and hostile towards Rodolpho as he does not show himself to be a 'real' man. ...read more.

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