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Past paper question on a view from the bridge

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Introduction

2008 past paper A view from the Bridge Read the extract on the opposite page. Then answer the following question: Look closely at how Alfieri and Eddie speak and behave here. How does it create mood and atmosphere for an audience? In this section of the scene, Eddie visits Alfieri for a second time and their conversation once again revolves around Catherine and Rodolfo. In the beginning of this scene, Alfieri is acting as the narrator. His narration builds up suspense: 'when I saw him walking through my door way, I knew why I had waited.' This seems to be telling the reader something is about to happen. His soliloquy foreshadows the even to come: 'how dark the room became when he looked at me'. The atmosphere becomes ominous here and creates a sense of foreboding: 'his eyes were like tunnels.' In his narration, Alfieri uses a mixture of language. In the beginning he is very professional and business like: 'on December twenty-seventh I saw him next.' ...read more.

Middle

In addition, Alfieri admits himself: 'I can hardly remember the conversation.' Also we seem to be getting Alfieri's perspective of the scene as he is the narrator. Tension is created here because Alfieri could be withholding or missing some detailes and this makes it hard for the audience to pass judgement on the scene and Eddie's character. The next section of the scene is the conversation between Eddie and Alfieri. There is tension here from the contrast between the two character's mood and behaviour. While Alfieri is calm, collected and profession, Eddie is frustrated, irrational and explosive. Eddie's reluctance to answer Alfieri's questions also creates tension, it makes the audience suspicious and once again imply that some information is missing. This is emphasized by the fact that although the conversation revolves around Catherine and Roldolfo, their name is never mentioned. This not only tells the audience that Alfieri knows more about the situation than the audience think he does but also shows Eddie's obsession. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a sense of urgency here, and Alfieri seems to be losing his calm. The uselessness of his words is shown how we are being transitioned out of the scene, in a similar fashion to we were transitioned in bringing back that similar feeling of discomfort as the lines are blurred. There is an eerie atmosphere as the phone booth is described as glowing a 'faint, lonely blue'. This further enforces a sense of dread. Tension is slowly built up in this scene until the end where the atmosphere becomes claustrophobic. Here Alfieri completely loses his cool, his speech is filled with exclamations just as Eddie's had been: 'you won't have a friend in the world, Eddie.' He expresses some strong emotions: 'even the ones who feel the same will despise you!' It is a complete contrast from the calm, professional lawyer role he played a moment before. There is a sense of pure desperation in his words and actions: 'calling desperately'. This shows the severity of the things to come. The atmosphere of foreboding and menace is in full force here. ...read more.

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