A View From The Bridge’ is a play that was first staged in 1955. It was written by Arthur Miller. Arthur Miller was born into a Jewish family in New York in 1915, whose grandparents had come to America from Poland. When the family business failed, they moved to Brooklyn, where A View from the Bridge is set. There, Miller worked in a warehouse to earn money for his university fees. He began to write plays when he was in university and continued to write them after he graduated and became a journalist.
In the play, loyalty dictates the events very strongly as because of Eddies mixed emotions for Catharine he chooses to be more loyal to her than to all of his family. Miller shows the importance of loyalty through Eddie telling Catharine the ‘Vinnie Bolzano’ story. Catharine’s reaction shows the audience that in Italy, family loyalty is the most important thing as Catharine is both shocked and horrified that Vinnie snitched on his own Uncle this is why she shockingly says ‘The kid snitched?
Miller uses this as an opportunity to tell the audience that the Italian American community is very loyal, which makes Eddie’s betrayal even more shocking. Because Vinnie snitched on his Uncle he could never show his face in public because every one despised and loathed him this is why Beatrice says ‘I never seen him again’. This also shows that the Italian American Community has a very ‘if you snitch on one of us, you snitch on all of us’ mentality.
Another way that Arthur Miller portrays the importance of loyalty in the play is the references Eddie uses to Catharine’s Mother. this quote shows that Eddie tries to use the promise he made to Catharine’s Mother as an excuse for being so strict and this is why he says ‘I promised your Mother on her death bed’. This is why he doesn’t want her working in the dodgy part of town; where as it is because of the emotions he feels toward Catharine and he doesn’t want her to have another male figure in her life who could be more important than he is.
One of the most important scenes in the play is the ‘Phone Call’ scene which shows Eddie changing his loyalties from his family and friends, to just Catharine. ‘Give me the number for the immigration bureau’ this shows Eddie doing what Vinnie Bolzano didand snitching on Marco and Rodolpho, he does this because of the mixed and confusing emotions he feels for Catharine.
Miller also uses stage directions in the scene such as ‘A phone booth begins to glow on the opposite side of the stage; a faint, lonely blue’ I think that Miller uses the Lighting on the phone booth to show the audience the conflict going on in Eddie’s head; to loose every thing (his family and friends friendship, love, trust and loyalty) but keep Catharine for himself When the immigration officers arrive at the house, Eddie looses the respect and loyalty from his family.
Beatrice realizes what Eddie has done when she says‘My God, what did you do? ’. She is completely shocked and horrified as Eddie was a loyal and family orientated man. Miller uses this quote to show the audience that Beatrice is astounded and aghast that Eddie has chosen Catherine over her, even though she is his wife.
Marco is furious with the fact that Eddie has just ruined any chance of him getting an American citizenship, this now means that Marco wouldn’t be able to get a well paid job and support his family back in Italy. This is why he says ‘That one! He killed my children! That one stole the food from my children’ this is because although Eddie hasn’t directly murdered Marco’s family, his actions will lead to Marco getting deported and he wouldn’t be able to give his family money to buy food and they would consequently die.
The audience would be shocked by what he is saying as he is insulting Eddie who Miller has made out to be the confused character who although he is doing something terrible he thinks that he is doing it for the right reasons, and the audience would therefore feel sorry for him. Miller uses the loyalty theme to show the weakness of men, Eddie betrays his family and community because of the mixed emotions he feels for Catharine.
Courtney from Study Moose
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