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Analysis Of A View From The Bridge By Arthur Miller

2943 words - 12 pages

Analysis of A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller

‘A view from the bridge’ was written in 1995 by Arthur Miller. The
play is based around an old man named Eddie and his family, living in
a rough neighbourhood or slum on the north facing side of Brooklyn
Bridge. The play was set between 1940 and 1960 in Brooklyn, New York.
A character in the play called Alfieri narrates the play in the
present tense and describes the events in the past. Another character,
named Eddie Carbone and his wife Beatrice house illegal immigrant
cousins from Italy. When one of the cousins falls in love with
Catherine, the niece of Eddie, whom Eddie has incestuous desires for,
Eddie betrays his family and calls Immigration to stop the marriage of
his niece and cousin. In the end, Alfieri pays bail for Marco and
Rodolpho, the two cousins and on the day of Catherine and Rodolpho’s
marriage, Marco unintentionally kills Eddie; the tragic protagonist.

Alfieri is a key character in this play. He is the symbolic bridge
between American law and tribunal 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 Brooklyn community. Alfieri
represents the difficult stretch, embodied in the Brooklyn Bridge,
from small ethnic communities filled with dock labourers to the
disparate cosmopolitan wealth and intellectualism of Manhattan. The
old and new worlds are codified in the immigrant son Alfieri. From his
vantage point, Alfieri attempts to present an un-biased and reasonable
view of the events of the play and make clear the greater social and
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 or a moral after telling the Carbone story, but tells it
nonetheless as he speaks and reveals his honest view of the facts. He
is cast as the chorus part in Eddie’s tragedy; heightening the drama
and tragedy by hinting at what is going to happen. Alfieri informs the
audience and provides commentary on what is happening in the story. He
is the only character who speaks to the audience meaning he provides
much of the dramatic irony and interest for the readers. He develops
the drama and tragedy as well as drawing out the main themes of the
play. The playwright also uses him to link the play and develop it.
Alfieri is a key character as he starts and ends the play, he
comments, explains and guides the audience through the play. He is an
impartial observer of the events in the play but he also explains
Eddies feelings more...

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