View from the Bridge Essay
View from the Bridge
The background of this play is incredibly important when looking at the way the story unravels and how the ending comes to place. From early in the story, Eddie and the rest of the cast are presented with the story of Vinny Bolzano – a boy who snitched on his family who were hiding his uncle – an immigrant. The moral presented in this story is that betrayal never pays off; since Vinny is told to have lived a miserable life, alone, afterwards. This tale is used early within the play as a sort of precursor to the main story, showing readers that Eddie’s actions will have ramifications.
This running theme builds and sets up Eddie’s death as an inevitable ending from the moment he betrays Marco and Rodolpho. This whole idea is based on Millers own experiences – being asked to report communist associates to the HUAC – and with Kazan and the government – where Kazan betrayed his moral values and friends to avoid prison time. After his betrayal, Kazan was shunned by all of his colleagues and friends much in the same way that Beatrice, Catherine, Louis, Mike and the rest of the cast turn against Eddie in the final scene before he dies.
Miller uses the book and its overarching message to convey the paranoia and suspicious attitudes of the American government to his audience and Eddie’s death is necessary to convey the idea that betrayal helps no one. Another conclusion that can be drawn from A View from the Bridge is that Eddie’s jealousy and stubbornness lead to his fight with Marco, which, in turn, causes his death. From the beginning, Eddie’s opinions can be viewed as jealous and his actions stubborn.
At the start of act 1, Eddie tells Catherine “you been givin’ me the willies the way you walk down the street” (page 14) in reference to the length of Catherine’s skirt. On the surface, this is seen as Eddie’s traditional character and protective instincts for Catherine but beneath this, his jealousy is shining through. Previous to this comment, Eddie’s initial reaction to Catherine’s skirt is that “it’s nice” (page 13) and he and Catherine share a brief flirtatious moment before Eddie grows jealous and protective of Catherine and tries to dissuade her from wearing the skirt.
This brief conversation shows the seed of Eddie’s jealousy and stubbornness begin to grow and sets the ball rolling for his fight with Marco. Later in the play, Eddie’s emotions are shaken up by the introduction of Rodolpho as he sees the relationship between Rodolpho and Catherine beginning to threaten any feelings that he holds strongly for Catherine. To Eddie, Rodolpho’s feelings for Catherine are disrespectful to him and this is how Eddie justifies his aggression towards Rodolpho to Beatrice during their fight – “I want my respect” (page 69).
However, Beatrice sees Eddie’s hatred for Rodolpho as something else. Just before the fight begins, Beatrice, in a frantic attempt to stifle his anger, tells Eddie “You want somethin’ else, Eddie, and you can never have her! “(page 83). By this, she is implying that Eddie’s feelings for Catherine go beyond that of the standard fatherly figures. This suggests that Eddie’s death is motivated by his feelings for Catherine and that his jealousy and stubbornness is the cause of his death.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 13 October 2017
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