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Themes of manliness, hostility and aggression in 'View From A Bridge'

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Introduction

Themes of manliness, hostility and aggression in 'A View From A Bridge' Themes of manliness, hostility and aggression are interlinked throughout the play 'A View from the Bridge'. Is the competition of masculinity in the play responsible for Eddie's tragic downfall, or is he to blame? First, we see that Eddie is angered about Catherine getting a job - 'That ain't what I wanted'. A reason he is angry is that Catherine will be working with men - 'she'll be working with a lotta plumbers? And sailors up and down the streets?' Eddie is angered and aggressive about this, as he doesn't want any other men around Catherine. This explains Eddie's lust for power when Rodolfo and Marco arrive, and as a consequence, this creates hostility. This is a typical Sicilian stereotype - that the man should be head of house. ...read more.

Middle

As a consequence, Eddie feels less of a man as he can see the bond between Marco and Rodolfo. As a result, Miller creates a dark, tense atmosphere of hostility. Towards the end of the first scene, Marco challenges Eddie to lift up a chair - 'Can you lift this chair'. Marco does this to challenge Eddie's manliness - this is one of the first signs of Marco standing up for Rodolfo and opposing Eddie. Eddie is again emasculated and humiliated and he can't lift the chair but Marco can - showing his strength. This scene is crucial for the reader's understanding of the progressing and increasing emasculation in the play, as it summarises Act 1 with a hostile challenge to Eddie's masculinity. From the stage directions, we see Marco warn Eddie with his facial expressions, as they turn from stern to soft, which unsettles Eddie - 'Marco is face to face with Eddie, a strained... ...read more.

Conclusion

In the final scene, Eddie is so emasculated that he has nothing to fight for; he feels in power when he pulls out a knife and tries to kill Rodolfo. He attempts to prove his masculinity by holding the knife to prove he is stronger than Marco, but ends up killing him self out of pure lust. He tries to be a martyr by falling of his own sword, but it just makes him look like a fool as he could have dropped the knife and escaped this somehow destined death. As a result, Miller leaves the atmosphere in the play tense and eerie, as the characters come to terms with Eddie's death. In conclusion, the themes of manliness, aggression and hostility in the play are all factors of why Eddie died. He had been deprived so much by the law, his own self and his companions that he quite literally killed himself. Overall, Eddie was the one responsible for his death, as he triggered the hostility, manliness and aggression that led to his death. Ian Harding ...read more.

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