Discuss Miller’s Presentation of Masculinity in a View from the Bridge

Topics: Man, Masculinity Pages: 9 (3287 words) Published: March 30, 2011
Discuss Miller’s presentation of masculinity in A View from the Bridge

Arthur Miller wrote this play in 1955. He has written many other plays including All My Sons, which was a success at Broadway. Miller was born in 1915, in New York City, but both his parent had emigrated to the US. This play revolves around emigration, so Miller has had a lot of personal experience.

This play is based in the late 1940’s, just after the Second World War, when many people were emigrating to the US, looking for a better life. In the play, which is located in Brooklyn, which is a community full of dockworkers, we have a picture of Eddie, Beatrice and Catherine’s lives when Rodolfo and Marco illegally emigrate to the US from Italy. When Catherine (Eddie’s niece) falls in love with Rodolfo, Eddie loses his cool, and reports Marco and Rodolfo to immigration. The drama ends with the death of Eddie, as he tried to kill Marco; Marco turned the knife, and stabbed Eddie.

There are three leading male characters in the play; Eddie, Rodolfo and Marco, and each of them play different roles and have different types of roles. The first of these men we meet is Eddie. The first impression of any character is very important, and the first impression we get of Eddie is that he is a real family person. He talks very complimentarily towards Catherine, “Beautiful! Turn, around, lemme see in the back. Oh if your mother was alive to see you now! She wouldn’t believe it.” This gives the reader the impression that he is a family person, who is close to his niece. Then when he hears that Beatrice (his wife) is cousins have arrived he tells her “Don’t worry about it B., there’s nothin’ to it. Couple of hours and they’ll be here.” This gives us the impression that he is also very caring towards B’s family, even though they come in illegally. This also enhances the impression that he is a family man. We are made to believe generally that he’s a good man, who values his family very high.

When we hear that Catherine has got a job, she wanted to ask Eddie if it was all right with him if she took it. This shows us that he has a lot of status in the house. If he hadn’t any status, Catherine would have gone behind his back, and wouldn’t have asked permission. Eddie then replied by saying “Sure she’s the best.” This shows us that he cares for his family and wants the best for his niece.

A little later we hear from a lawyer called Alfieri. We are believed to trust him because of his wisdom, and position in the community. He is the voice of the community. He then tells his thoughts towards Eddie. “He was a good man as he had to be in a life that was hard and even.” The important word here is “was”, this shows us that Eddie’s personality is on the verge of changing.

When we are introduced to Rodolfo and Marco, there is a huge difference between them, first there is their appearance. The impression that we get of Marco is that he’s a strong man, and is focused, because Miller describes him as “Square-built peasant of thirty-two, suspicious, tender and quiet voiced.” when he is first introduced. This gives us the impression that he is a very quiet person, but his awareness is very good, he is very alert of what’s around him. During the first scene where he’s introduced, when he talks it’s usually very short answers, e.g. “Thank you” and “Are you my cousin?”

On the other hand, Rodolfo’s manliness is totally different to Eddie’s and Marco’s. Rodolfo is an extremely attractive young man, who is very sensitive. Where Eddie and Marco are much more macho than Rodolfo, unlike Eddie and Marco, Rodolfo sees sewing, cooking and singing as manly. We are made to believe that Rodolfo is quiet intelligent, because the language he uses is very flowery, “The horses in our town are skinnier than goats.”

One of the most notable features that Rodolfo has is his “so blond” hair. Immediately Eddie goes on the defence, and say’s that is hair is...
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