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Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge

905 words - 4 pages

Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge

Today hostility is viewed upon as wrong, when "A View From the Bridge"
was written, hostility made up part of the day-to-day running of
people in this era. Today women are treated as equals and any
discrimination is taken incredibly seriously, in the time the play
written, women had very few rights and were constantly stereotyped and
abused.

Manliness, hostility and aggression play an important role in the
play, 'A View From the Bridge'. Each character has a different view on
what it means to be manly and what manliness is. Eddie, the main
character around which the play revolves, has a very specific view of
what manliness exactly is. When other character's views clash with his
own ideals, he reacts, violently in most cases. Another character,
Marco, demonstrates masculine characteristics and makes Eddie feel
threatened, these connect the ideas of manliness, hostility and
aggression. I will look at this particular area, and others later in
the essay.

The play, itself, is set in the Red Hook, slum area of Brooklyn, New
York during the 1950s. It focuses around the immigration of Italian
people, searching for the American Dream, however many if these
'dreams' were shattered with the tragedy and poverty that befell the
people of that area. The area of Red Hook is also renowned for its
infamous gangsters such as Al Capone, John Torrio and Frankie Yale.

Another character in the play, Alfieri, plays a similar part to a
chorus, similar to ones in Greek plays, narrating the play and
commenting on events; he also plays a part in the play as a lawyer and
a family friend. He is essential to the structure of the play as he
opens and closes it and at other times moves the action quickly
forward.

In the beginning of the play, Alfieri sets the scene; he seems to set
an ominous presence on the play, 'In Calabria perhaps or on the cliff
at Syracuse, another lawyer, quite differently dressed, heard the same
complaint and sat there as powerless as I, and watched it run its
bloody course.'

Eddie sees many things to be manly as well as many things to be
effeminate. He considers the following things manly such as strength,
'Come on, kid, put sump'm behind it, you cant hurt me.' and Authority,
'Just get outta here and don't lay a finger on her unless you wanna go
out feet first.' He also thinks protection is manly, 'This guy ain't
right Beatrice.' However his avoidance of his personal feelings also
fall into Eddies version of masculinity, 'I don't know, B. I don't
want talk about it.'

He considers the things like singing to be effeminate. After Rodolpho
sings Paper Doll, Eddie tells him 'Because we never had no singers
here' this could be viewed in different ways. It could be either seen
as he is simply trying to stop them getting noticed or that he doesn't
like him singing, however later in the stage...

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