Essay, Pages 5 (1025 words)
Examine how Arthur miller uses the play format to influence the audiences feelings towards Eddie The play ‘A view from the bridge’ was written in 1955 by Arthur Miller; a man who’s play was heavily influenced by the work and lives in the communities of dockworkers and longshoremen. This play examines individuals, characters like Eddie, and their responsibilities and position in society.
In addition, Miller also reveals to the audience a meaningful understanding way of how Eddie thinks, acts and behaves to his surroundings.
While doing this, he also portrays a different perspective of what family and Italian culture is like, based on his own past experiences with Italian immigrants. It is this, which dramatizes the themes of conflict, betrayal, love and obsession. The American immigration system at the time was at its peak and due to the ‘American dream’ many were illegal.
Arthur Miller’s play was influenced by this immigration system in America as he had heard stories and personal experiences involving illegal immigrants.
At first he didn’t act upon this idea, but after visiting Italy it inspired him to write a play influenced by the social, historical and cultural background of these Italian communities. At the beginning of the play Alfieri sets the scene by showing his perspective through a monologue. The language he uses is direct, formal and expressive of what the characters mean.
By the end of Alfieri’s first speech Miller uses the dialogue to influence the audience into thinking their interpretation of Eddie Carbonne to be one of the main characters and to be identified as the hero of this particular tradgedy.
The opening of the play also highlights Eddie to be seen as a decent and respected member of the community as he and his wife Beatrice were responsible for bringing up Catherine, Beatrice’s niece, when her parents died. This established Eddie as a father figure, which could explain why Rodolpho and Marco came to stay with him when they first arrived in America.
The respect earned from this conveyed in many ways, such as Catherine fetching and lighting a cigar for him, and a more important way in terms of status, twice interrupting his wife in mid speech, and putting words into her mouth if anyone asks her about the immigrants in their house:’ Eddie suppose somebody… ‘ ‘I don’t care what the question is. You-don’t-no-nothin’. He is drilling this idea into her head slowly so she understands the importance of not telling anyone about the Marco and Rodolpho.
Miller uses this repeated interruption, which happens towards the opening of the play, to show how early on tension is evident in Eddie and Beatrice’s marriage therefore showing Eddie to be considerate. The first characters Miller presents to the audience are Catherine and Eddie. At first we see Eddie to be quite an overprotective father who sees the naivety of Catherine and tries to explain to her the fact that she’s, “Getting to be a big girl, you got to keep yourself more, can’t be so friendly”.
Eddie still sees her as a “baby” as does not seem to be able to handle the fact that she is growing up and wants to be noticed by boys. Catherine’s character is presented to the audience as happy and confident, but maybe a bit forward. Eddie sees the craving of attention when she is “walking wavy” like she is selling her body to the opposite sex. Eddie does not like the fact that the boys “heads are turning”. This conversation takes place early in the first act into the story and already there has been a change in relationship whereby the audience question Eddie being jealous of the younger boys.
Catherine is naive about Eddie’s reactions and thinks nothing of it. There is a lot jealousy developing in their relationship between Eddie and Catherine. Eddie becomes upset at the fact that maybe Rodolpho has won over the affection of Catherine and Eddie has been unsuccessful. Eddie retaliates through jealousy by telling Catherine that Rodolpho is using her for an American passport when they are alone. The stage directions influence the audience, as Catherine is “smiling but tense”. It is as if you can feel the friction in the air.
We sympathize with Catherine as she only wants to grow up and Eddie is holding her back and still treating her like a child. Eddie is doing this because he is scared of the fact that Rodolpho is taking his “baby” away. However, later on in the play, another side of Eddie is shown. When Eddie had finished the phone call to the immigration bureau and is own his way home he bumps into Louis and Mike, they ask him to come bowling but Eddie at this time turns down the offer, as he is feeling guilty. When Eddie is back into the house Miller presents to the audience the development in Eddie and Beatrice’s relationship.
Eddie expects Beatrice to respect him and do as he says “a wife is supposed to believe a husband. ” This dialogue highlights Eddie’s character as being very demanding and uncompromising. The final paragraph uses poetic language and Alfieri says it in an emotional tone. Alfieri shows some admiration in his ending speech for Eddie, “I will love him more than all my sensible clients. ” Alfieri admires Eddie as his heart was in the right place and he didn’t settle for half. This last speech influences the audience into thinking that throughout the play Eddie had always been loyal and decent to his family.
Eddie Carbonne is a prime example of a tragic hero, as he was an honest man who nurtured and raised an orphan and gave a home to illegal immigrants. He had a fatal flaw, which, combined with other negative characteristics such as stubbornness and selfishness, led to his downfall. His death was an indirect result of his own actions, and he would have stayed alive had he not incestuously loved his niece, and tried to stop then getting married. Eddie allowed himself to be open with his personality as he portrayed his whole character in the play, from kindness to cowardness.