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view from the bridge

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Introduction

How Does Miller present masculinity in a view from the bridge? Masculinity is an evident theme that runs through the play and is made very obvious through the speech and actions of the characters. The main leading males are Eddy, Marco and Rudolph, [Alfieri could also be considered as a main male role] each playing different roles and different types of men. Arthur Miller does subvert from the theme of masculinity and highlights the ever important theme of femininity throughout, how it compares and fits side long to masculinity too. The social and historical background of a view from the bridge is represented from Italy in the times of the 1950s. Italy is certainly associated in dramas for the 'Mafia', therefore the men are expected to be manly, strong but family orientated due to the fiery passion in the Italian culture. The area of Red Hook in Brooklyn is situated near to the dock which also gives the idea that all men would be strong from lifting on the docks. The social and historical background to the story makes it that more alive, is that it is known that Miller, [who in fact is polish], use to work in the Brooklyn Naval yard where he befriended Italians who told him stories about men coming over to work illegally and how they were betrayed. ...read more.

Middle

Such as: "I think it's too short aint it?'', "Listen you been giving me the willies the way you walk down the street, I mean it", "I don't like the looks they're givin' you in the candy store", "The heads are turning like windmills", "You ain't all the girls" Eddie is presented first to show that he is the protagonist of the story and the one we will watch develop in character through the play. Miller wanted to show us who the main masculine character will be. The fact that the first main character is male also shows that masculinity is a major element to the play. Eddie and Beatrice fit hand in hand with the masculine and feminine roles. The first presentations of the pair highlight it already with Eddie coming in from work and Catherine calling to Beatrice who is working in the kitchen. "[Calling to the kitchen] He's here, B.!" This immediately emphasises the roles and stereotypes of "The women's place is in the kitchen.'' Which obviously Miller wanted to present. Miller further presents the masculine and feminine roles with Beatrice, once hearing that her cousins are arriving that evening, panics about the appearance of the home. "I didn't even buy a new tablecloth; I was gonna wash the walls -... I was gonna wax the floors, [she stands disturbed]" Miller emphasise Beatrice's frenzy to highlight the role of women in that time even more to the degree that the male role, [Eddie] has to come in and save the day. ...read more.

Conclusion

This can be said be a male trait, that when there's trouble with the missus, the first reaction is to avoid the situation and shut off. Through this way Miller presents another illustration of masculinity. When it comes to Catherine it is realised that Eddie takes quite an interest in her. With her appearance, behaviour and general relationship, making an effort to keep her under his wing, and when this starts to go wrong, he fights harder and harder to keep her there through different ways. It's already seen in the beginning in the play that Eddie is very concerned with Catherine through her dressing. "I think it's too short" he says about a dress. "I don't like the looks they're givin' you in the candy store. And with them new high heels on the sidewalk- clack, clack, clack. The heads are turnin' like windmills" These remarks express the way a father figure would say, which is thought about Eddie at first, and these comments are only looked at in an overprotective way. But as the play goes on, and situations arise that make Eddie to express his unlawful, latent love for Catherine, Eddie becomes more protective and aware of Catherine's actions. For example when Eddie relises that there is obviously chemistry between Rooldfo and Catherine, he tells her to go take off her heels, causing her embarresment and looking small infront of Roldofo. "What's the high heels for, Garbo?" "I figured for tonight-" "Do me a favour, will you? Go ahead." ...read more.

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