Discuss the dramatic effectiveness of A View From the Bridge with
reference to one or two key scenes.
Arthur Miller wrote 'A View form the Bridge' in 1955. He wrote the
play in the style of a Greek tragedy set in the 1940s America. Arthur
Miller was interested in the lives of dockworkers and longshoremen.
This was because he previously worked in Brooklyn on the docks and his
parents were immigrants. He wanted to write about something that had
never been written about before. He got the idea from a true story
when he heard about a man telling the immigration bureau that he had
illegal immigrants living with him. He did this to break up an
engagement between one of them.
In the play there are many dramatic scenes and themes. These
relationships in particular are Catherine and Eddie's and manliness
(stereotypical ideas). I have chosen two key moments to comment on.
They are the boxing moment between Eddie and Rodolpho and when Eddie
During the play we soon learn that Eddie's love for Catherine is more
than just that of an uncle and niece. The love Eddie has for Catherine
is not allowed in their society as it is seen as incest. This
‘forbidden love’ and Eddie's jealousy and protectiveness over
Catherine are what make dramatic effectiveness; the tension builds up
throughout the play particularly between Eddie and Rodolpho.
The first key scene I have chosen to comment on is the boxing moment.
Eddie is very protective over Catherine. He gets very jealous of
Rodolpho when he starts seeing Catherine. "It ain't so free here
either". The stage directions given make the characters and the
audience aware of the tension in this particular instance. This shows
dramatic effectiveness. The stage directions are used as a dramatic
devise throughout the play. Eddie holds "back a voice full of anger",
this is showing that Eddie’s jealousy is getting to him and he is
taking his responsibilities as an uncle to protect Catherine too far,
he goes over the top. The characters and the audience are aware of
this. This is another example of dramatic effectiveness. Arthur Miller
creates an image of Eddie as a ‘ time bomb’ ready to go off. The
audience would be thinking about what Eddie might do to Rodolpho and
when. This builds up the tension again.
“There is a pause, an awkwardness,” this adds to the tense atmosphere.
Eddie makes the other characters feel on edge. Catherine tries to
break this tension by asking Rodolpho to dance. The audience is aware
that this is the wrong thing for Catherine to do as Eddie is already
clearly ‘livid and this would simply provoke him further. He doesn't
like Rodolpho touching Catherine. Rodolpho tries to protest against
dancing because he can tell Eddie doesn't like it. He is being polite
and respectful. The stage directions again, show this. "Eddie
freezes", "feeling Eddie's eyes on his back".
While Catherine and Rodolpho are dancing the others are talking about