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The dramatic presentation of the family in A View from the Bridge

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Introduction

Explore the dramatic presentation of the family in A View from the Bridge 'The main acting area is the living room-dining room of EDDIE'S apartment. It is a worker's flat, clean, sparse, homely' The opening stage design of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge presents the family home as being a close-knit unit. It suggests that there is nothing extraordinary about the Carbone family's living arrangement, which gives a sense of order. However in the play, it is the normal order of things that is upset. With the main focus being solely on this set, a claustrophobic atmosphere can arise for the audience, as they are forced to focus on one set all the time. Miller has been able to raise the tension of each scene this way, magnifying every small event that takes place and highlighting how fragile the family unit is. As it is Eddie's apartment, it suggests dominance in the home. Later in the scene, Beatrice says to him 'You're a angel!', showing how his family worship him as the alpha male in the house. It is this position of dominance that is lost throughout the play, eventually ending in eddie Carbone's death. With the presence of 'There is also a telephone booth. ...read more.

Middle

Catherine flirts with Rodolfo, 'He's a real blond!', and even goes over Eddie's authority following Rodolfo's singing, where Eddie says 'Hey, kid-hey, wait a minute-' following which Catherine interrupts with 'Leave him finish, it's beautiful!'. The implications of this are that Catherine is beginning to be more outspoken with Eddie, and even in this small moment, she has chosen Rodolfo over Eddie, perhaps foreshadowing what is to come. Eddie's position of alpha male in the home has been jeopardised from the arrival of the cousins, 'his face is puffed with trouble', Miller is emphasising the fragility of the family unit, and just how easily it can begin to breakdown. 'When am I gonna be a wife again, Eddie?'. The family roles are shown to be further upset following a very personal argument between Eddie and Catherine. Eddie has been metaphorically removed from Catherine here, he is slowly becoming isolated within his own family. Tension is raised within the audience, as we can sense that the family is breaking down, perhaps irreversibly. At the beginning of Act Two, family disorder truly begins to become apparent. Eddie's drunken entrance interrupts a romantic moment between Rodolfo and Catherine, 'In a moment EDDIE appears. ...read more.

Conclusion

After Eddie's betrayal of the cousins, 'Beatrice is taking down Christmas decorations and putting them in a box'. This highlights how the typical family we knew at the beginning is now no more. The action can represent the end of childhood for Catherine, she is now being forced to grow up; and also the total breakdown of the family unit. It is as if the once happy Carbone family has now been put away into a box. A View from the Bridge presents the family as an unstable unit that can easily succumb to change. The change here is caused by the protagonist, Eddie, whose faults lie both in liking his niece Catherine, and his ability to 'allow himself to be purely known'. Eddie stood up for what he believed in and didn't make compromises, which in turn led to his downfall. His family was affected directly here, the balance of things was upset. Miller explored how tragedy is not just an event that occurs in kingdoms and important dwellings, but how it can easily take place within a normal Italian immigrant family. "tragedy and the common man" also accounts for "tragedy and the common family" and the audience are shown how there is great potential for tragedy within the domestic home. Amy Barton Amy Barton ...read more.

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