a view from the bridge

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Andrew Horan 10M        /        A view from the bridge coursework

14:00:06                06/09/2007

A view from the bridge character review

A View from the Bridge is set in Red Hook, a slum area in Brooklyn, New York during the 1950’s. It follows the tale of an Italian American family; Eddie, Beatrice and Catherine. Eddie and Beatrice are husband and wife and they look after orphaned niece Catherine. The tragic hero of this play, Eddie Carbone, works as a longshoreman (harbour labourer) in the Brooklyn Bridge docks. Catherine is still at school and is approaching adulthood, a fact that Eddie is struggling to deal with. Beatrice could be described as a typical housewife and she takes care of cleaning etc. The arrival, by means of illegal immigration, of Beatrice’s cousins Rodolfo and Marco into the household is the catalyst for Eddie’s eventual doom. This play is set in an Italian-American community which is very similar to each other; it is a community were honour is the law and respect is the way to survive in such a community. In the time when this play was set there were a lot of illegal immigrants entering America, and if you alerted the authorities about these immigrants then you were classed as a rat and would have been segregated from the community as you are not respectable or trustworthy.

Alfieri is a middle-aged lawyer, not very into his job this was shown by him saying "my practice is entirely unromantic", he immigrated to America as a young man in search of "The American dream", freedom and wealth. He is very well respected in his neighbourhood; however people do keep their distance from him, as they tend to associate the law with pain and unlawful acts; "A lawyer means the law and in Sicily the law has not been a friendly idea since the Greeks were beaten." Alfieri is connected with the Carbone family as he tells us, "I was aquatinted with the family in a casual way I had represented his father in an accident case some years before." This shows the audience the involvement Alfieri has within the Carbone family and their issues. He also keeps a social and professional distance between the people around him, "We're only thought in connection with disasters, and they'd rather not get too close."

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Arthur Miller created the character of Alfieri purposefully, as well as other things to keep it moving smoothly and this is where Alfieri as the Greek chorus comes into play. By using a Greek Chorus Miller can inform the audience of the plot that is not displayed by the characters, add an extra dimension to the play by hinting of things to come he also moves time to the action scenes to make the play seem more exciting and quicker moving. The author pursues a feeling of fate as all these actions are in the past and we have ...

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