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A View from the Bridge Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 13 October 2017

A View from the Bridge

Why and How Does Eddie Carbone Change As The Play Progresses? What Leads to His Death? How Do You Think an Audience would respond To the Changes in his Personality As They Watch Him Destroy Himself? Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge is set in the 1950s, when communities were forced to reconcile between American culture and the Italian community culture that surrounds. The cultural and moral difference between the two provides one of the great conflicts in the play. Eddie is made to choose between the two, which questions his loyalty to his family. The play explores relationships.

Eddie Carbone is a tragic protagonist who needs to believe that his masculinity denies any sexual desires. To him, being homosexual is “not right”; this shows his insecurity of being a dominant character. His strong emotions for his niece suggest incestuous desires. Becoming suspicious of his own motives, Eddie doesn’t realise these feelings until at the very end. His feelings for Catherine are suppressed. He transfers this sexual frustration into a hatred for Marco and Rodolpho, which causes him to act completely irrationally. Eddie’s fear need to secure his good name from Marco is a result of his failure to ‘protect’ Catherine.

The community witness his loyalty die away due to his commitment to keeping Catherine to himself, and turning his vengeance into a need for acceptance by spending his last moments fighting Marco for his good name in the community. According to Eddie, men should protect the innocent and provide a better life for their family. Because of this devotion, he believes that men should be respected and not told what to do. “I do what I feel like doin’ or what I don’t feel like doin'”. This concept stays in Eddie’s mind throughout the play. He exercises his authority.

He believes that loyalty should stay strong, not only within a family, but the whole community. The neighbours look out for each other. The audience notices that he’s a character with passionate beliefs. Eddie’s father was a poor immigrant from Sicily. He thinks that he has worked hard to get to where they are now. “I worked like a dog twenty years so a punk could have her”. He feels that immigrants should work as hard as he had done. This is why Eddie is seen as a proud man; he has reached so far in life, without any failures as of yet, and is determined to maintain his earned respect.

Again, he believes the tight neighbourhood he resides in shouldn’t betray one other, especially if the Italian culture is questioned. He lets illegal immigrants stay with him “They’ll be thankful”. Readers believe that he’s a generous character at the start, even when he uses this generous act to prove that his loyalty is still strong at the end. When suggested that the only thing he could do to get back at Rodolpho was to betray the family, he reclined at first. “Oh, Jesus, no, I wouldn’t do nothin’ about that, I mean-“.

His beliefs for a strong community stayed persistent, until he became confused over his motives. Even when believing that Rodolpho is “stealing” from him, he doesn’t do this because he’s already losing his respect, due to his feelings for Catherine, and fears that his desires could be revealed. The audience already see that he’s changing from an over-protective father-figure to a jealous, bitter man who isn’t going to give up on what he wants. When suggesting that Rodolpho had stolen from him, we see that he isn’t generous anymore; readers wonder if his act of generosity was genuine.

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 13 October 2017

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