Why does Arthur Miller call his play ‘A view from the Bridge’? Essay
Why does Arthur Miller call his play ‘A view from the Bridge’?
Many of Arthur Miller’s plays examine the position of individual in relation to their responsibilities and position in society and may be seen, as a result, to be political. ‘A view from the Bridge’ has its roots in the late 1940’s when Miller became interested in the work and lives of the communities of dock workers and Longshoremen of New York’s Brooklyn Harbor, and where he had himself previously worked.
Miller found that the waterfront was the ‘Wild West, a desert beyond the law’, populated and worked by people who were poorly paid and exploited. The play tells a story of an Italian Longshoreman, Eddie Carbone, working in the New York docks. His wife’s cousins, Marco and Rodolfo seek refuge as illegal immigrants from Sicily. Trouble begins when his wife’s niece, Catherine becomes attracted to the younger of the two immigrants, Rodolfo.
Eddie’s baffled jealousy culminates in an unforgivable act against his family and the Sicilian community. The Character of Alfieri is seen as the narrator, yet is involved in the action as well. It is as if he is standing on a metaphorical bridge, looking over the Carbone family, and everyone else involved. He tells us what is happening outside of the house, he speaks in the second person, directing everything at the reader, thus giving the effect of an outsider within the community.
With Alfieri being an American lawyer, and still a Sicilian citizen he can understand both sides of the ‘bridge’, “I am inclined to notice the ruins in things, perhaps because I was born in Italy. ” On many occasions Arthur Miller refers to the difference between American and Italian societies, as Eddie has lived in both worlds he realizes the little and big differences, pointing them out to the reader, when Eddie is told of Beatrice’s wages a state of surprise is shown by Eddie, ‘Fifty?
‘, Eddie reacts in such a way because the pay back in Italy was nothing compared to this, and especially for an unqualified young girl such as Beatrice. Arthur Miller relates to the technology to show the differences between the two societies, a ‘stenographer’ is mentioned, something which in Italy would be a very rare site, and the fact that Beatrice says it so casually,