A View From the Bridge: In depth analysis

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A View from the Bridge

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Title: A View from the Bridge              Genre: Modern Drama

Author: Arthur Miller                        Language: English  

Type of Work: Play                          Narrator: Alfieri  

 

Tense: Alfieri narrates the play in the present and describes the events in the past tense. The action occurred sometime before the present

Time and Place written: 1950’s, United States

Protagonists: Eddie Carbone

Setting: 1940-1960 Brooklyn, New York

 

Major Conflict:Eddie Carbone and his wife Beatrice house illegal immigrant cousins from Italy. When one of the cousins falls in love with Catherine, the niece of Eddie, whom Eddie has incestuous desires for, Eddie betrays his family and calls Immigration to stop the marriage of his niece and cousin.

Rising Action: Eddie is protective of his niece Catherine, Marco and Catherine fall in love; Eddie is determined to stop the marriage

Climax: The immigration bureau comes to arrest Marco and Rodolpho

Falling Action:  Alfieri pays bail for Marco and Rodolpho, the day of Catherine and Rodolpho's marriage Marco unintentionally results in Eddie's death.

 

Foreshadowing: Eddie tells the story of Vinny Bolzano, a boy who rattled on his family to immigration; Alfieri’s speeches

Themes:

§  Allegiance to community law

§  The irrational human animal

§  Naming names

Motifs:

§  Geography

§  Community

§  Betrayal

 

 

Symbols:

§  High Heels

§  Brooklyn Bridge

§  Italy


 

The Title

Many critics say that Arthur Miller was referencing just this view when he titled his 1950s drama, A View from the Bridge. Of course, no one in the play ever goes to the bridge, which is so close their Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. In fact, the bridge is barely even mentioned. So, what are the critics talking about? By far the most popular theory is that the title refers to how Arthur Miller wanted audiences to view the play. He was much more concerned with people understanding its larger context than he was with them focusing on the melodrama. How do we know this? He says so in the introduction.

But what does any of that have to do with a bridge? Think about it. When you're looking down on the world from a very high place, like oh say…the Brooklyn Bridge, you have a much bigger perspective on the world. Instead of getting caught up in all the little dramas down below, you get a great big panoramic view. You can see how all the smaller parts fit together and affect each other.

Throughout the play the narrator, Alfieri, shows up to help audiences see this larger view. Between most scenes, Alfieri steps in and asks the big questions. How does Eddie's drama fit into the bigger story of Italians adapting to American life? What are the larger moral implications of Eddie's choices? What is justice? These are questions that can only be answered if one has "a view from the bridge."

 

 

 

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