Use of Language in A View from the Bridge
Examine Miller’s use of language and dramatic devices in helping the
audience to understand the themes of A View From The Bridge
Arthur Miller is regarded as a great dramatist and he explores the
life struggles of an ordinary man against authority and insurmountable
odds and in ‘A View From The Bridge’ he uses many dramatic devices and
enigmatic themes to help the audience understand the play. Some of the
main themes are jealousy, love, law, justice and social class.
The play opens with Alfieri’s thoughtful analysis of the situation in
Red Hook. Alfieri is a sympathetic and an educated lawyer and ‘And
when I saw him walk through my door, I knew why I had waited’ clearly
shows Alfieri’s character of being a perceptive and understanding man.
He speaks in a conversational style and he tells the story in a series
of flashbacks and he is in control of the play. He immediately creates
the atmosphere – where crime was once set in that very neighborhood.
Alfieri has a mysterious role and Miller uses him as a crucial link
between the characters he is also used as a narrator, commentator and
sometimes a character. He talks about it being ‘better to settle for
half’ and how he likes that better as, the search for absolute justice
results in intolerable consequences as well as, being virtually
impossible. Giving details on how the law is limited and cannot deal
with every human problem he explains the boundaries to both Marco and
Eddie, knowing in his heart they will probably ignore what he has
said, however, he cannot take further action to avoid the conflict.
Alfieri’s role is to look over the action and remain the purpose
throughout, also, Alfieri offers the audience something to think about
after they’ve left the theatre. He does have sympathy for Eddie and
even admiration because ‘he allowed himself to be wholly known.
Eddie is the main character and the story evolves around him. He is
forceful, irrational and possessive character however; he is a
character who can show warmth. He is very protective over Catherine
and does not want her to attract the attention of other men in the
neighborhood and see their heads ‘turn like windmills’. His interest
in Catherine becomes obsessive and unnatural and he finds impossible
to accept that she wants a life of her own before her relationship
with him. Eddie doesn’t have many interests outside the family. He
begins to neglect Beatrice as a wife and all he thinks and cares about
is his relationship with Catherine. When the play opens the audience
senses the uneasiness in the household because Catherine and Beatrice
worry about Eddie’s reaction to Catherine’s new job.
Proving how irrational and unstable he is, Eddie’s jealousy of the
Rodolfo drives him to accuse him of being homosexual, feminine and he
also remarks that Rodolfo is only interested in Catherine so he can
have a American Citizenship. When Eddie says ‘but I...