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A View From The Bridge By Arthur Miller

1703 words - 7 pages

A View From the Bridge by Arthur Miller

In this essay I will be discussing a play written by Arthur Miller in
1955 "A View from the Bridge". The play is set in the American 1940's,
just after the Second World War. Located in Red Hook (Brooklyn), a
very poor area, described by Alfieri as, "the slum that faces the bay
on the seaward side of Brooklyn Bridge". It tells the story of two
illegal Sicilian immigrants (Marco and Rodolfo) who managed to migrate
into America, in a time where they restricted any immigration from
entering their golden gates. In search for the American dream, the
immigrants thought that they could earn a decent living and provide
for their family back home. However, deprived from their humanity by
poor labour given by the American government, they were underpaid; on
the other hand it was beneficial to the Americans, boosting their
wealth and economic power. The conditions that they had to endure were
appalling. Living in the cheapest, worst housing in the city and they
were usually confined with many other immigrants in the same house.

Most of Miller's work on the play was experienced by himself. He had
worked as a longshoreman which gave him the opportunity to be friend
with some of the immigrants that worked with him. He deals with
political and moral issues and weaves in ideas from Greek tragedy,
which features individuals who become entangled in a terrible fate.

To begin with, Alfieri conceivably is one of the most important
characters in this play. Alfieri is the symbolic bridge between
American law and tribal laws. Alfieri, an Italian-American, is true to
his ethnic identity. He is a well-educated man who studies and
respects American law, but is still loyal to Italian customs. The play
told from the viewpoint of Alfieri, the view from the bridge between
American and Italian cultures who attempts to objectively give a
picture of Eddie Carbone and the 1950s Red Hook, Brooklyncommunity.
Alfieri's view is also the "view from the bridge" referring to the
title of the play. Eddie and those who are around him are those which
are "on the water front". This inevitably gives Alfieri the knowledge
about everything there is to know in the play. He also represents the
difficult stretch, embodied in the Brooklyn Bridge, from small ethnic
communities filled with dock laborers to the disparate multi-ethnic
wealth. Alfieri attempts to present an un-biased and reasonable view
of the events of the play and make clear the greater social and moral
implications in the work. From his narration, it seems that Alfieri
has decided to tell the story for his own reasons as much as anyone
else's. He does not find a conclusion after telling the Carbone story,
but tells it nonetheless and he speaks and reveals his honest view of
the facts. He is cast as the chorus part in Eddie's...

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