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Analysis Of A View From The Bridge English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1448 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The play “A view from the bridge” by Arthur Miller centres’s around the Carbone family who live in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The play focuses on the events leading up to and the arrival of two immigrants, Marco and Rodolpho, whose later presence cause several family disputes that ultimately lead to Eddie’s tragic and ironic death. The central character of “A view from the bridge” is Eddie Carbone a second generation Italian and longshoreman, who’s desperately eager to mask his uncontrollable desires. In this essay I shall explore in detail the key aspects of the play, for example, a father’s questionable “Love” for his only daughter, Catherine. In addition the themes will include conflict between characters, justice, ideas of manhood and finally conflict between the two laws: both community and federal.

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The concluding scene of Act 1 is a important moment expressed in the play “A view from the bridge”, due to it’s contribute in forewarning the audience of the tragic ending which laid ahead, for both Eddie and Marco. One of the three examples applied in illustrating the conflicts within the play includes the “Federal (official) and Community Laws”. The federal law for the government forbids the harboring of illegal immigrants in America, although for the community law has a different meaning where it urges to protect and support migrants from deportation. Early into the play it suggests that the community law has a greater value to society, then the federal law. This is expressed to the audience using the Vinnie Bolzano story. “The family had an uncle that was hidin’ in the house, and …he snitched”. Eddie has told the story of Vinnie Bolzano, precisely to show us his belief in loyalty to his family and more in fact the community. In addition the quotation “You can quicker get back a million dollars that was stolen than a word that you gave away” further reinforces his beliefs. However this point of the play brings irony to account, as eventually into the play Eddie’s actions contradict everything he may have stood for before, after going to the authorities.

Conflict is a major driving force in the play which causes the tragic outcome of Eddie’s downfall. During the play we relies that Beatrice is aware of Eddie’s much wanted desires, we know this by the quotation “When am I going to be your wife again…its almost-three months you don’t feel good.” This quotation illustrates the deteriation of both Eddie’s and Beatrice’s marriage, through the point that they are no longer intimate with one another, although Eddie attempts to dismiss the idea of any of it being true. “I don’t want to talk about it”.

Both Catherine and Eddie’s relationship has a close bond even as if they were biological, father and daughter. Their relationship seems very normal at first. Eddie is an overprotective fatherly figure to his niece. “I think it’s too short… I don’t like the looks they’re givin’ you”. However one of the ways both Catherine and Eddie’s relationship suffers, is due to Eddies attempt of sabotaging the “friendship” between Rodolpho and Catherine. “Katie, he’s only bowin’ to his passport”. This quotation emphasises Eddie’s dislike for Rodolpho, and his objection to the pair’s attraction to one another, challenging Rodolpho’s masculinity and sexuality, Eddie hopes to destroy Catherine’s love for him. “The guy an’t right…he sings, he cooks”. This quotation suggests that Eddie’s believes Rodolpho of being a homosexual”. In doing so causes the resentment of Catherine and leads her to become an independent woman to some extent. Moreover Catherine’s attack on Eddie hits climax as she slanders him as a “rat”, for the betrayal of the community law, something he expressed much loyalty too. The relationship between Eddie and Marco changes a lot from being once a mutual respected friendship. “Macro goes round like a real man; nobody kids Marco.” However this completely changes once the brothers are reported to the “Immigration Bureau” by Eddie. This sparked rage in Marco and it was shown under the words “He killed my children…stole the food from my children”. This quotation illustrates the severe hurt and anger Marco feels towards Eddie and his actions against them.

Stage directions have a vital role in expressing characters emotions in the play as well as their opinions, its can also signify tension instead of them having to do so with dialogue. For example, in Act one scene one when Eddie “Pauses” after being informed of Catherine’s job opportunity, the stage direction indicates Eddie’s disagreement with the opportunity. This is more effective than doing so with words as it creates an effect of silence. Finally “Marco is gone. The crowd has turned to Eddie”…

Eddie Carbone is a good family man, who is respected in his community and is the protagonist in “A view from the bridge”. Eddie in the play is unable to acknowledge the unbearable affection and passionate feelings he has for his niece, Catherine, who he has raised since birth. Eddie’s jealousy and repressed sexual feelings are uncontrollable. He is bewildered and desperately tries to stop Catherine from marrying or leaving with Rodolpho, so as a last resort breaks his own oath and in doing so Eddie chooses to turn against his community and abide by the federal laws and as a result looses the respect of his friends and community. Making him an outcast of society, just as Vinnie Bolzano previously mentioned in the play. However Eddie is unable to come to terms with this, and ends up trying to regain his much wanted respect of the community back by challenging Marco and in more detain threatening to kill him. “Marco’s gonna take that back or I’ll kill him!” This quotation emphasises Eddie’s value for the community law and his eager in regaining his reputation, although this can be very confusing due to it being his responsibility for going to the authorities in the first place. Eddie is the main cause of the majority of conflicts in the play from his rivalry with Rodolpho and hostilities with Marco. These are demonstrated by the petty insults Eddie apposes to Rodolpho constantly in the play, for example, his sneer comments towards Rodolpho’s lack of manhood. “If you came in the house and you didn’t know who was singin’, you wouldn’t be lookin for him you be lookin’ for her.”, this quotation illustrates Eddie’s views of masculinity in which you wouldn’t find in Rodolpho.

The concluding scene of Act 1 is one of the most important parts of the play where tension is most apparent. This is when Marco approaches Eddie and asks if he can lift the chair in front of them. Eddie attempts to lift the chair, but is unsuccessful. Marco slowly raises the chair above his head.

My personal response to the scene is that I believe the conflict and tragic outcome of Eddie’s downfall was the correct way in ending the play. This is due to me feeling the end result was found mostly upon Eddie himself. His death could have been avoided; however Eddie was too persistent and jealous of the people around him and in addition led to his miserable departure. Something which he most likely caused by his constant conflicts and exchange of insults towards Marco and Rodolpho, as well as the neglect he showed his wife, Beatrice. Although some blame can be passed on to Catherine for her consistent seeking of approval by Eddie. “You like it? I fixed it different.” This attention she showed him, drove the jealously and hate he had against Rodolpho.

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In conclusion, within this essay I have covered the main factors of themes; such as manhood and justice, in order to express the value of conflict the characters in the play face, especially Eddie. For me personally I feel that Eddie’s reactions to his dark desires have been played out to being very weak. However during the beginning of the play Eddie has been portrayed as a nobleman who’s willing to take in strangers and risk his own freedom. This illustrates his commitment to the community law. The most important moment of tension in “A view from the bridge” is when Marco


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