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The Contrasting of America and Italy in 'A View from the Bridge'.

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Introduction

The Contrasting of America and Italy in 'A View from the Bridge' Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge presents many different views of America, not only do you see America through the eyes of an Immigrant but also through the eyes of the regular working people, for instance the longshoremen. Within Alfieri's speech, we get our first ideas of what America was like for Eddie, Beatrice and Catherine. The speech highlights, cultural connections 'Frankie Yale himself was cut precisely in half by a machine gun on the corner of Union Street' this shows the influence and grip the Mafia had over American Culture in the 1950's. When describing the area, where Eddie and Beatrice live, he describes it as 'the slum that faces the bay' which gives the impression, of a run down area where only the poor live. He uses the simile 'the gullet of New York, swallowing the tonnage of the world.' Which gives image of a place that has boats coming from all over the world laden with cargo and more. It gives Red Hook, the image of an unsightly place, where people have to work to their limit to feed and support their families. ...read more.

Middle

Imagine! She said they were poor!' is showing that the living conditions in Sicily and Southern Italy at the time were not equivalent to that of a working class citizen of America. Also when Eddie asks 'Yiz ever work on the piers in Italy?' the response is there are no piers in Italy, which is suggesting that America has a greater industry, trade network and economy then Southern Italy. Rodolfo goes on to say that there are only beaches and lots of fishing boats, and that they will do any work that comes 'build a house, fix a bridge ' which brings Eddie to respond with 'Still Bad there, heh?' which gives the impression that he did not always live in America, and that he knows about the hardships. It also gives a huge contrast between America and Italy. It shows that America is a place where you can get a job, earn money and still have free time and money to spend, rather than having to work long hours, and rely on passengers of a train for work. Catherine adds to this contrast when she exclaims 'You gotta push a taxi?' because this would not have been a common occurrence in America, but Italy it would seem it was a regular and usual thing to do. ...read more.

Conclusion

This really serves as another reminder of the differences between the two cultures involved in A View from the Bridge. It would also seem that Eddie is torn between two lives, his Life in America with his job and his house, or the life of the Italian with the ideas of Omert´┐Ż2. Eddie in a fit of jealousy, leaks information about Marco and Rodolfo to the Immigration Bureau, committing a crime against his family and the Italian Community, thus distancing himself from his family and the two immigrants. This is shown with him sitting alone in his rocking chair. He demands an apology of sorts from Marco and Rodolfo, claiming he needs his respect back, bringing in the Italian Culture and the idea of the Mafia and respect, which really emphasises the Italian-American influences at the time A View from the Bridge, was written. In my opinion, A View from the Bridge is not only about the people in the story, but also the cultures and societies they represent and how those cultures influenced many people's lives and decisions at the time. The story is full of contrasts between American life and the Sicilian way of life showing the differences and similarities between the two. 1 Someone, who passes on information to the authorities 2 The Italian Code or Conspiracy of Silence Simon Clark 10W ...read more.

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