Symbolism In Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge

741 words - 3 pages

In Arthur Miller’s tragic drama, ‘A View from the Bridge’, we see that the bridge itself is a symbol of the linking of two cultures, Italian (namely Sicilian) and American (namely New York), whereby the manifestation of these two cultures dwell in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Despite this, differences between the two are distinctly evident from page 17 to 18, and it is the purpose of this essay to discuss how Miller conveys these differences in the given pages.
Miller uses language effectively in this play, his use of dialogue, of which makes up the bulk of the drama is his main tool in conveying the large cultural differentiation between Red Hook and Sicily. We know only of Sicily by the way in which Marco and Rodolpho describe it, similarly we do not get to see all of Red Hook (the composite set is all the audience sees) yet we know how it is by the way players talk about it and how they interact with each other within the community. Marco is the first of the two immigrants that enter the Carbone household to shed light on the differences between Sicily and Red Hook, when asked if he had worked on piers back home, he answered: “Piers? Ts! – no.” The way in which Marco answered implies that this type of modernity is unknown in Sicily, and that Brooklyn is a cut above his homeland. Marco and Rodolpho continue to lambaste Sicily (“Bad, yes” and “it’s terrible!”) focusing on what they haven’t got – piers, real job opportunities, automated taxis that work- instead of focusing on what Sicily has over Brooklyn - beaches, fountains etc. Miller does this to create a strong contrast between Sicily and ‘the land of opportunity, he does this to show the financial gap between the two places, this is highlighted by Marco’s impoverished and famished family who eat “only sunshine”. We know of the severe lack of fulltime-employment opportunities in Sicily since, despite their best efforts, these two young men cannot seem to get jobs, so they do “whatever there is, anything” just to get money to subsist. However as students of the play, we can look past this and recognize the aspects of Sicily that are desirable, such as the more unhurried and...

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