A View from the Bridge....

Topics: Tragedy Pages: 6 (2285 words) Published: November 22, 2008
“A View From the Bridge” is written by Arthur Miller who was born in New York to a Jewish family. Miller worked in the Brooklyn shipyards for two years, where he befriended the Italians he worked alongside. He heard a story of some men coming over to work illegally and being betrayed. The story inspired ‘A View from the Bridge‘, which was written in 1950s but set in late 1940s.

The play is set in Red Hook, New York, Alfieri quotes “The slum that faces the bay on the seaward side of Brooklyn Bridge…the gullet of New York, swallowing the tonnage of the world“-the neighbourhood is very dangerous, it seems like a lawless place. Most of the people in the community are longshoremen working on docks( some legally and some illegally).

The neighbourhood has had a very bad and unforgettable past, Alfieri also quotes “oh, there were many here who were justly shot by unjustly men” and tells us about two Italian gangsters, Al Capone and Frankie Yale ’ “Frankie Yale himself was cut precisely in half by a machine gun” and Alfieri says ”I no longer keep a pistol in my filing cabinet” Alfieri and the community has experienced a terrible time but the sense of danger is with them no more.

The play was originally one act in verse but Arthur Miller changed it to two acts in prose to enhance the audience appeal. Miller wanted to write a play in a modern version of a Greek Tragedy( a tragedy features individuals who become enmeshed in a terrible fate), with an ordinary tragic hero( a tragic hero is a central character who is led by fate towards a destiny that cannot be escaped). The play features a lot of loss, sadness and a tragedy always ends with a death no matter what; in this play the central character is Eddie Carbone; he is the protagonist( tragic hero), where then is bound to die.

Alfieri is a lawyer in his late fifties turning gray; he is portly, good humoured and thoughtful. The play is opened with Alfieri’s law suite, who sets the scene. He tells us he has a timeless story to tell us- one that ran its ”bloody course” which he was powerless to prevent because it was destiny. There was nothing he could do but sit and watch powerlessly and then Alfieri introduces, the hero of the play; Eddie Carbone. Eddie, Catherine, Beatrice and Alfieri are the main characters in the play.

Eddie Carbone a man in his forties- husky and slightly overweight, a family man. He is a longshoreman, working the docks. One day Eddie comes home from work and announces that Beatrice’s Marco and Rodolfo will arrive at their house at 10 o’clock at that night. Beatrice gets anxious because she hadn’t completed all the work in the flat that she had intended to do but Eddie reminds his wife that it should be honour for them that he is letting them in his house and giving them a roof to stay under and tells Beatrice not to be so nice or he will be turned out of his own bed for them. Although Eddie claimed it would be an honour to help them. Eddie also tells Catherine and Beatrice the story of vinny Bolzano- where a boy snitches on an illegal immigrant who was a relative. The brother and father finds out and so vinny was pushed down the stairs “ with his head bouncing down the stairs like a coconut”, after pushed into the street and spat on( being spat is the worst thing that can happen to an Italian because it’s a sign of disgust and being unwanted).this scares Catherine and Beatrice and brings a sense of threat danger to the family. Eddie claims everything well be fine as long as they “keep there mouths shut” referring back to the story of Vinny Bolzano.

Catherin( Eddies niece) also has some news about being offered a job but Eddie says he doesn’t want Catherine to getting mixed strangers and would like her going to school because he is concerned about her education-But Beatrice sides up with Catherine and suggest that Catherine should take the job for her own good. Marco and Rodolfo arrive to New York illegally and are staying with his...
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