A-View-from-the-Bridge-Exemplar-Essay1.docx - u2018A View...

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‘A View from the Bridge’ Critical essay on Conflict In writing his play “A View from the Bridge”, Arthur Miller contemporises the structure of a Greek tragedy and, in doing so, creates a character in his male protagonist who epitomises the role of the tragic hero. Eddie Carbone is a character whose deep-rooted inner emotional conflict leads him into further conflict with those closest to him, including his long-suffering wife Beatrice, niece Catherine and his wife’s cousins, Marco and Rodolpho. Ultimately, Eddie is the maker of his own destruction and it is his battle with his inner conflict which leads to his demise. Miller successfully illustrates the theme of conflict throughout the play through his sophisticated use of characterisation in his development of Eddie’s character, and in his effective and dramatic use of symbolism. The play centres around the Carbone family where Eddie and Beatrice have raised their niece, Catherine, from an early age and treat her as their own. On the arrival of Beatrice’s cousins, Marco and Rodolpho, who enter the country illegally for work, it is clear there is an attraction between Catherine and the young Rodolpho, which infuriates a jealous Eddie. After much conflict between all members of the family, Eddie commits the ultimate ‘crime’ in the eyes of his tight-knit Italian-American community of Red Hook, Brooklyn, when he reports the cousins to the immigration bureau. Thirsting for justice in a legal system that offers none, Marco ‘calls out’ Eddie and, in a battle for honour, Eddie is killed by his own knife. The inner conflict present in the character of Eddie Carbone is evident from the outset of the play. Initially presented as an honourable and well-respect family man, it is clear that Eddie is protective of his niece, Catherine, and displays all the usual paternal concern over her desire to leave college and begin a new career. Yet, Miller also makes it clear that these concerns run deeper than those of traditional family bonds and suggests that Eddie’s feelings for his niece are not the norm: “Listen, you been givin’ me the willies the way you walk down the street, I mean it.” Eddie’s chastising of Catherine over her appearance reveals an underlying jealousy on his part and fear that Catherine should be seen in a sexualised manner by other men. This highlights Eddie’s inner conflict with regards to the propriety of his attraction to Catherine and, in turn, makes clear his biggest fear – that she will leave him for another man. Miller,

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