Stage directions, imagery and lighting are also main devices used in creating the feeling that Eddie’s fate is inevitable. After Alfieri has said, “watched it run its bloody course”, Eddie is introduced through stage directions as ‘highlighted among them’, implying the bloody conclusion will apply to him. ‘Where the open sea begins’ is extremely powerful as it symbolises Eddie is already out of his depth and could easily drown. The symbol of the Brooklyn Bridge shows the contrast and juxtaposition of the two cultures and classes and how they are divided.
The clash of these cultures could prove dangerous and so when the cousins illegally visit Eddie and his family, the reader instantly anticipates a turn for the worse in Eddie’s fate. Stage directions are also used when Eddie visits Alfieri to portray Eddie’s desperateness and to show the unavoidability of the tragedy. ‘Alfieri rises with new anxiety’ with ‘a tougher tone… calling desperately’, this implies he is helpless in preventing the outcome of Eddie’s fate.
When ‘a phone box begins to glow’ it is drawing Eddie towards it, and drawing him towards the end of his life.
It shows the balance between good and evil and this ties in with the theme of having to settle for half. Thus his decision will decide his fate. Lighting is used powerfully. The white lights ‘go down, as they rise on Alfieri’, whereas on the other side of the stage, ‘a phone booth begins to glow a faint, lonely blue’ and these colours contrast.
The phone booth glowing brighter is symbolizing Eddie’s temptation to call the immigration officials and has connotations with the bright light you see before you die – anticipating the arrival of Eddie’s death.
An important symbol that emphasises the inevitability of Eddie’s fate is Rodolfo’s motorcycle. It shows Rodolfo still has dreams and his manliness and youth and therefore represents all the things Eddie is threatened by. Eddie is often overshadowed by Rodolfo, C: “you like sugar? ” R: “I like sugar very much”. Stage directions state, ‘his face was puffed with trouble’ and ‘the room dies’. This creates a cold atmosphere and there are links between Eddie and death. Lastly, even the structure of the play creates the feeling Eddie’s death is inevitable.
Act one and two mirror each other, as the end of Act one builds up to the conflict at the end and prepares the audience for events that will occur later on in the play. The audience therefore anticipate something tragic to happen at the end of Act two. Marco and Eddie fight over who is the most powerful and Marco holds a chair over Eddie. This is the point Eddie realises he does not like Marco as he is stronger than him and this anticipates a fight between the two later on in the play and Eddie to lose. Being the protagonist, the action revolves around Eddie.
When he is calm, the atmosphere is calm and when he is hostile, the atmosphere is uncomfortable. This shows Eddie has the ability to create huge tension just through the mood he’s in – which the audience realise could be dangerous. Throughout Act 1 dates and times are just approximate but during Act two they are precise; ‘December 27th’, ‘just after 6 o clock’. This expresses to the audience that the tragic outcome is drawing nearer. In conclusion, I believe Miller creates the feeling Eddie’s death is inevitable through various devices.
From the very beginning Alfieri suggests the story will not have a happy ending and instead will have a bloody conclusion. The lighting and stage directions bring about a certain gloom to the set which creates a powerful feeling of dread so that the audience prepare themselves for the worst. As the story unfolds more clues are given through imagery and what characters say and how they act to reinforce this; ‘a glare of warning’, ‘a trouble that wouldn’t go away’ and ‘pray for him’. However, despite the various warnings concerning Eddie’s fate, his death is still a shock and the audience are kept of the edge of their seats.