A View From the Bridge Detailed Analysis

An extremely detailed analysis of Aurthur Miller's A View From the Bridge, including themes, audiecen/purpose, stylistic devices, structure, and summary of each episode of both acts of the play.

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Prologue
Audience/ Purpose:
Various audiences were targeted for this play; such as people interested in history and
that specific time period (the 1950's). Adults and others mature enough to understand the
themes of the play (Love and Jealousy, Masculinity, Law vs. Justice, the American Dream) and
understand the tragedy of Eddie Carbone. These could also be mainly Americans or Italians as well
as Communist with insight on Miller's past.
In the prologue, the author is establishing the setting and initial scene and is describing
the context of the story and given the readers an idea of what the play will be about. With
foreshadowing, he has already warned them of Eddie's fate, "sat there as powerless as I, and
watched it run its bloody course."
Content/Theme:
The narrator, Alfieri, has introduced some of the main themes of the play:
Law and Justice is one of them; "Justice is very important here."
The American Dream; "I was born in Italy... I came here only when I was twenty-five."
American culture vs. Italian culture are others; "This is Red Hook, not Sicily." These last
two quotes imply that most of the people living in Red Hook originated from Italy and
they live in contrast to the Americans, striving for a better life.
Tone/Mood:
Caution is built up during the prologue because of the dark mood created. "I no longer
keep a pistol in my filing cabinet." Readers vaguely find out about what life was like before in Red
Hook and the kind of place it is. They realize that it is not going to be a happy play.
Stylistic Devices:
Alfieri crafts a lot of imagery in his dialogue through his interesting descriptive language.
The fact that his setting is familiar to audience also makes it easy for them to perceive. How
Alfieri talks to the audience alone on the stage, intimately and in a conversational way makes
them immediately feel grasped and involved in the play.
He uses effective figures of speech, describing his home, Red Hook as the "slum" that is
"the gullet of New York swallowing the tonnage of the world." This hyperbole and metaphor
demonstrates the poverty and oppression Alfieri has to live with. His job is "unromantic" and he
only has to deal with longshoremen and their families, people lacking "elegance and glamour" and
the "petty problems of the poor". He is unsatisfied with his monotonous life and he is better
suited something more. Readers now feel pity for Alfieri.
Structure:
It has a play script structure, with stage directions and dialogue.
The first half of the prologue is stage directions and a brief description of the stage's
setting. The second half is the narrator, Alfieri, talking to the audience. He reveals the background
and setting of the play and gives the audience the information before the play begins, "In Sicily,

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Greeks were
beaten."
Episode 1
Audience/ Purpose:
This first episode introduces the setting, the main characters, Eddie, Beatrice and
Catherine, and starts off the story. Readers learn about the relationship between them; how
Eddie is patriarch of the family and how the two women adore him "I'll get you a beer, alright?"
and seek his approval "Catherine almost in tears because he disapproves.…read more

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A tense atmosphere is created by the threatening tone, the unusual relationships
between the three characters and especially the frequent arguments started by Eddie, "Now
don't aggravate me Katie, you are walkin' wavy!" Readers can already see a flaw in his
character.
There is also a lighter and happier tone with Beatrice's expression of love for Catherine,
how she looks out for her and wants the best for her.…read more

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Summary: Marco and Rodolpho arrive at Eddie's apartment and introduce themselves. They
recount their hardships in Italy, and explain their plans for the future. They are both warmly
welcomed. Readers already see Eddie gain some suspicion about Rodolpho's character
which is also driven by jealousy because he can see that Catherine might fancy Rodolpho.…read more

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Rodolpho. This episode starts building tension in the story. They learn more about the feelings all
the characters have towards each other.
Content/Theme:
Themes in this scene:
Love: Rodolpho and Catherine are in love "CATHERINE, with a blush but
holding her ground: Yeah, I like him." Eddie tries to show his uncle-love by
"protecting" Catherine from Rodolpho. Beatrice loves the both of them but
takes Catherine's side and tries to help her because she knows Eddie has
flaws.…read more

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Structure:
It has a play script structure, with stage directions and dialogue.
The scene begins with Eddie waiting for Catherine to get back from her date, continues
with the arguments between them and end after the pep-talk from Beatrice.
Episode 4
Audience/ Purpose:
This episode develops Eddie's character by showing the measures Eddie is trying to take
against Rodolpho. It expands on the irritated and pitiful feelings the readers has towards Eddie
and his irrationality.…read more

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ALFIERI; Well, they entered illegally. EDDIE: Oh, Jesus, no, I wouldn't do nothin' about that." This is
an extremely ironic quote, and is now definitely foreshadowing what will happen.
Structure:
It has a play script structure, with stage directions and dialogue.
The scene begins with Eddie waiting for Catherine to get back from her date, continues
with the arguments between them and end after the pep-talk from Beatrice.…read more

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America. He is also jealous that Rodolpho gets to have a good time while Eddie has to work to
support the family. Fooling around was referring to the way Rodolpho acts towards Catherine. Eddie still
thinks Rodolpho is taking advantage of her.
Structure:
It has a play script structure, with stage directions and dialogue.
The scene starts with the five characters chatting and ends after Marco has made his
point by lifting up the chair.…read more

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Tone/Mood:
At this point, readers are relieved that the couple is finally making decisions against Eddie
and disregarding his unreasonable wishes.
A heartwarming atmosphere is created by the display of love between Catherine and
Rodolpho and how together they go against Eddie who is keeping them apart.
Readers as well as the characters themselves are left in astonishment after Eddie kisses
both Catherine and Rodolpho. "She is staring at him in horror. Rodolpho is rigid.…read more

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By the end of the scene one can immediately expect something
serious happening in the next scenes and foreshadow Eddie's fate by the end
of the play. "You won't have a friend in the world Eddie! Even those who
understand will turn against you, even the ones who feel the same will
despise you!"
Theme of Love: readers see how mad Eddie's love for Catherine has driven
him.…read more

Comments

Paul Dutton


A superb resource which covers many aspects of the play including character, theme and structure.

SLAHUDDIN Waris

i need 2016 stuff.............(for my revision, i need stuff like that and things to help me revise for my actual GCSE exam in 2018)

SLAHUDDIN Waris

i need 2016 stuff.............(for my revision, i need stuff like that and things to help me revise for my actual GCSE exam in 2018)

SLAHUDDIN Waris

this is a good websitwe

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