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Miller’s portrayal of masculinity Essay

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Analyse how the audience might interpret miller’s portrayal of masculinity in act one of “a view from the bridge” “A View from the Bridge”, is a probing psychological drama. A play script written by Arthur Miller during 1955. It is set in Red Hook Brooklyn New York. It is about an illiterate longshoreman named Eddie Carbone who has relatives come stay with him illegally from Italy who want to persue the America dream. Inspired by a true story of a Brooklyn dockworker who informed on two illegal immigrants. When Miller wrote this script it dealt with water front corruption and graft that questioned the reasonableness of U.S. immigration laws. Arthur Miller was strongly influenced after his father was ruined by depression and after reading Dostoevskys novel “the brothers karamazor” he decided to become a writer.

After reading act one of “A view from the Bridge” I believe that masculinity is very important to the story because it is closely linked to the American dream and this is the reason why the cousins come to America, to pursue the American dream. Also I believe it is essential to the dramatic tension because if it weren’t for Eddie’s views on masculinity he would not hate Rodolpho, he would accept him and so there would be no tension between them and there would be no story line.

This book was written during 1955 and during that time there was a stereotypical view of what masculinity was, it was seen as being strong and having power, authority and responsibility and perhaps demanding respect. It could be that a man was only a man if he had a family and took care of them or if he dressed a certain way. I have added a list on my views of what characteristics should be seen in masculinity: power, strength, authority, responsibility, respect, control, in charge and pride. In “A view from the Bridge” the protagonist Eddie Carbone shows most of these characteristics at the start but as the story progresses he looses these characteristics and so is seen as less masculine, he looses his pride, authority, leadership he looses the control of his house hold and he looses his respect.

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In act one of the play masculinity is shown in many different ways, a good example being Eddie carbone. He shows his masculinity in the way he acts. He cares for his family very much, he goes to work everyday or when ever there is work. He says “he took the food out of his mouth to feed his family” this shows he cares for them and shows his masculinity. Another example of his masculinity is when he drinks a beer or has a cigar this would be seen as a manly or masculine thing to do because women wouldn’t usually drink or smoke.

He does this when he comes home after work he sits down and wants a cigar to relax and as a sign of his masculinity and authority, and the respect Catherine has for him she gets it because she has respect for Eddie and he has authority over her Another reason for Eddie’s masculinity is his work, it could be that working as a longshoreman loading and unloading cargo all day is a different environment from any normal work, it is only men that work at the docks and he is surrounded by men all day so he Is masculine without realising and lifting heavy objects all day could be seen as masculine and only a real man could do this work.

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