How Miller Develops The Dramatic Tension Between The Characters In The Closing Section Of Act 1

2734 words - 11 pages

How Miller Develops the Dramatic Tension Between the Characters in the Closing Section of Act 1

The play "A View from the Bridge" written by Arthur Miller and set in
the 1950s, is a play of betrayal, jealousy and violence. Located in
Brooklyn, Miller writes of tragedy for ordinary working class people,
juggling with both the beliefs of the Americanised Italians and the
new immigrants and resulting in an emotive and powerful play.

"A View from the Bridge" successfully reflects the great poverty going
on in Italy at the time and contributes towards our understanding to
why many Italians wanted to immigrate to America during the 1950s. The
United States offered countless opportunities, or so Italians thought.
They were unaware that their fantasy of an American dream life was
nothing but that-a fantasy. Despite the Statue of Liberty's
heart-warming welcome Americamore or less resembled Italy.

Italians faced many difficulties back home. Unemployment was on a
steady rise and the immigrants found it incredibly difficult to pocket
enough money to feed their wives and children. Many of the Italians
strongly believed that the USA was the answer to all their problems
and emigrated there to satisfy their curiosity.

The title "A View from the Bridge," suggests that Miller was taking a
typical working class family and highlighted the affairs they may or
were likely to have. Brooklyn, where the play is set, was mainly
occupied by ordinary working class people, which Miller decided to
take to his advantage and write a piece of theatre for. Unlike other
playwrights such as Shakespeare, Miller settled against writing the
matter of kings and queens, but instead based his play on a poor and
small family, a family of much interest, much activity and not
forgetting much tension.

By the end of Act 1, the reader is able to acknowledge the obvious
tension occurring between certain characters, and understand why and
how it cam about to be there.

Eddie is the root of all tension going on, and is reluctant to talk
about this openly. His sex life with Beatrice has come to an end and
instead of trying to sort it out, Eddie simply refuses to take the
matter further. Beatrice noticed Eddie's attraction towards Catherine
which then puts a strain on her relationship with her niece. Beatrice
disapproves on the way Catherine manipulates her uncle's love for her
by flinging herself onto Eddie whenever possible. She forces Catherine
to realise her adulthood is soon to hit her and she must act on it
accordingly by letting Eddie go. Catherine remains naïve to the
reality of Eddie's feelings which have now evolved into desperate
accusations towards Rodolfo. Eddie's jealousy leads him to strongly
believe; Rodolfo is chasing after American citizenship and seeks to
marry her only to fulfil this desire. He shares...

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