Places in the play – A View for the Bridge

In the play, I think that the title ‘A View from the Bridge’ describes the main point of the play. The title is symbolic, which is one of Miller’s main techniques. Metaphorically, I think the title stands for the divide between different cultures and ideas in the play. Its literal meaning is that Miller was writing about a real place, the bridge is Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn Bridge divides Brooklyn and Manhattan.

All through the play, it is all the things about Brooklyn versus all the things about Manhattan. I get the impression that Brooklyn represents poverty, immigration and Manhattan represents wealth, American values, and change, and Eddie, Beatrice, and Catherine represent the poor conditions of people in America. Alferi represents the tradition of law based on Greek tragedy, he is also the chorus in the play, which means he has the view from the bridge, he can see everything that is going on, but he cannot do anything about it.

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“As he sat there as powerless as I, and watched it run it’s bloody course.” Miller links different places in the play with different character’s points of views, showing how much or how little power each character has. In Eddie’s and Beatrice’s flat, Eddie is strong and has lots of power but on the street he does not. The telephone booth represents justice and the office represents the place of law. Eddie’s and Beatrice’s flat is the main centre of action. The stage is the living room and you do not see another room. It is like a Mellor-drama as the play is presented in a tiny space.

“It’s a worker’s flat, clean, sparse and homely. There is a rocker down front; a round dining-table at the centre, with chairs; and a portable phonograph.” The flat is a safe place for some but this soon changes. The flat becomes a prison for Catherine, Catherine becomes afraid of Eddie because he restricts her from moving on with her life. Beatrice is based at the apartment where she organises the domestic arrangements. The flat is where Eddie has power. He is head of the household, and his chair is a symbol of this. Miller uses this to tell us there is change later on in the play. This is done by Marco challenging Eddie to lift a chair from the bottom of a leg with one hand.

“He grasps the leg rises the chair one inch but it leans over to the floor. He tries again, and again fails.” Marco then lifts the chair and holds the chair above his head in a fretting manner, which shows a change in masculinity and power. Before Marco lifting the chair, Eddie proves his power in his home. He does this by teaching Roldopho to box. This gives Eddie a chance to prove his power and masculinity over Rodolpho and Eddie hits him. I think Eddie does this to prove to Catherine that Rodolpho is weak and not as masculine as him. Miller then leaves us with the question, was Eddie male bonding or just wanting revenge?

“I didn’t hurt him. Did I hurt you kid?” I think Miller is making out that the flat represents Eddie’s point of view, and he proves this by Eddie not letting Beatrice be able to return to the flat it she goes to Catherine’s wedding as it is against Eddie’s will. “Nobody from this house is going into that church today. Now if that’s more to you than I am, then go. But don’t come back.” I get the impression this shows that Eddie is very upset and is doing all he can to stop it going on.

As the apartment is Eddie’s point of view, you never see upstairs or in the kitchen, as it isn’t what Eddie believes to be manly. He believes that the kitchen is a woman’s role hence we only see Beatrice and Catherine go in and out of the kitchen. Eddie also sees it unmanly to have sex before marriage without permission; Eddie is incompetnt that is why it infuriates him when Rodolpho has sex with Catherine. “When am I going to be a wife again?” This is said by Beatrice on the streets where Beatrice can confront Eddie. Eddie believes that he should have respect and demands respect several times.

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