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Copy of A View from the Bridge
Transcript of Copy of A View from the Bridge
Analysis Characterisation Eddie.
-Lives in Redhook with Wife (Bea) and Niece (Catherine)
-Overprotective of Catherine
-Unnatural attraction to Catherine
-Marriage is failing
-Tries to discredit his rival (Rodolpho) Catherine
-Lives with Bea and Eddie
-Typical young woman: Clothes, shoes and boys
-Naive and childlike
-Left school to become a stenographer
-Wants to be out on her own but doesn't want to hurt Eddie
-Has failed to establish traditional relationship boundaries with her Uncle, hence Eddie's attraction.
-Her attraction to Rodolpho is a
catalyst for Eddie's demise. Rodolpho
-Sings tenor at inappropriate times
- In his 20s
-Bit of an 'odd-ball'
-Unaware of people mocking his actions. Beatrice (Bea)
-Traditional Italian housewife
-Sidelined by Eddie in favor of
his attraction to Catherine
-Still has some control over
-Protective of Rodolpho
-Emigrates to provide for
family back in Italy Alfieri
-In his 50s
-Seen it all
- Serves as a chorus
-Trusted by the characters
-Also the audience trusts a lawyer to be a good and fair judge of the other characters. Structure Narrative
- Alfieri functions as a chorus:
tells audience what will happen
informs us of off-stage action
informs us of events before the play
comments on characters
tells us what to think
-Decline of a hero- due to flaws/foibles/hubris
-single time and setting.
* Miller tried to make this play resemble,
as closely as possible, a traditional Greek Tragedy Setting
-Redhook, Brooklyn, New York
-Late 1940s, post WWII
-Immigrant community (Slums)
-Unusual social situation. Love
There is a chain of loving relationships in the play:
Beatrice → Eddie → Catherine→ Rodolfo→ Marco
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Marital love Parental/Obsessive Romantic love Brotherly love
Love brings about the actions in the play; it is love, not hate that fuels the violence.
There are question marks about the two central loving relationships; Eddie & Catherine and Catherine & Rodolfo.
Catherine loves Eddie as a daughter, but what is the nature of his love for her?
Is Rodolfo as devoted to her as she is to him?
It is love that creates Beatrice’s problems – she loves Eddie, but that brings her into conflict with Catherine and her cousins, whom she also loves.
Marco’s actions are directed by love, he comes to the U.S.A. to earn money for his wife and children. It is his love for his brother that provokes him to anger later in the play.
-Decline of relationship boundaries
-Inability to control baser emotion
-Escalates to physical violence
-Honour vs. sense of injustice.
-Mafia-esque code of behaviour/actions.
Betrayal always punished by death.
-There is conflict within us all Role of Vinnie Bolanzo story
This shows us his belief in loyalty to family and community. There is also irony in Eddie's doing exactly the same thing of which he has spoken with such horror. Eddie has warned Catherine that "you can quicker get back a million dollars that was stole than a word that you gave away". Now he find this to be true. Eddie tries to outface Marco, but the accusation is believed. Lipari and his wife, Louis and Mike, the stage representatives of the wider community, one by one leave Eddie alone, symbolizing his isolation. Family
Family loyalty is very important; Beatrice to her cousins, Marco to his wife and Rodolfo, the Liparis to their relatives.
Don’t forget these characters originated from Sicily, the home of the Mafia, where family loyalty is very important.
The Mafia believe that the law is useless and ‘direct justice’ (an eye for an eye) is better.
In the Mafia family members are protected eg. The mysterious ‘they’ who organise the illegal immigration and provide work for the ‘submarines’ until they have repaid their debts.
Those who betray the family are dealt with ruthlessly, they have broken a ‘code’, a ‘rule of behaviour’ eg. Vinny Bolzano. They are also seen to have betrayed the whole community.
Justice and the Law
Justice and the law are two separate things and the play deals with the conflict between them.
Remember we are dealing with Italian immigrants, they do not believe in the law.
Alfieri’s attempts to explain the law both to Eddie and Marco fail.
Both characters are shocked and frustrated when they find out that the law does not support them; Eddie when he wants to stop Rodolfo from marrying Catherine and Marco when he wants revenge on Eddie.
What they see as the noble and honourable course of action (preventing marriage, avenging family dishonour) is in fact not within the law. The law therefore goes against their traditional codes of honour.
This is a community living by its own laws within a nation living by orthodox (proper) laws.
Eddie has the power to go against the rules of his community and phone immigration but when his actions are revealed he dies because of Marco’s code of honour.
The play encourages us to ask what justice is. What makes justice?
Justice & Law Key Quotes
Alfieri: “Oh, there were many here who were justly shot by unjust men. Justice is very important here.”
Alfieri: “Now we settle for half, and I like it better.”
Marco: “In my country [Eddie] would be dead now.”
Marco: “All the law is not in a book.”
Alfieri: “This is not God, Marco. You hear? Only God makes justice.”
Alfieri: "We’re only thought of in connection with disasters”
Family Quotes Marco: “Yes. I have three children”
Alfieri about Eddie:"His eyes were like tunnels; my first thought was that he had committed a crime, but soon I saw it was only a passion that had moved into his body, like a stranger."
Beatrice to Eddie: "You want somethin' else, Eddie, and you can never have her". Honour & Respect The theme of honour is first raised in Act 1, when Eddie tells the story of Vinny Bolzano, the neighbourhood boy who “snitched to the Immigration” about his uncle, who was an illegal immigrant. Because of the emphasis on the family loyalty within the community, honour (or pride, dignity) must be maintained.
Insults to the family must be avenged that is the motivation for both Marco and Eddie.
When Marco spits at Eddie he is disgracing him.
One of the reasons Eddie dislikes Rodolfo is that the other workers laugh at him, an insult to Eddie and his family.
Eddie also needs his personal honour, which Marco removes when he spits at him. His personal honour is symbolised by his name, ‘I want my name Marco’.
Connecting the themes of Justice and the Law and Love is the theme of Honour. Honour is shown to be very important, especially to the male characters. It means far more to them than the law. To be honourable is to be respected.
There are three main ways of looking at honour and respect. The first is to look at Eddie, then we could look at the other characters and finally we could look at the incidents and action of the play and see how these would make an impression on an audience.
In the play, honour means many things, including approval from others, having integrity, being liked, being honest, having courage, having a good reputation, standing up for what’s right and having principles and morals;
Honour & Respect Quotes Eddie: “I want my name...Marco’s got my name…he’s gonna give it back to me in front of this neighbourhood”
Marco to Eddie: “Animal You go on your knees to me”
Eddie in his final moments: “You lied about me, Marco. Now say it. Come on now, say it”
Eddie: “I want my respect. Didn’t you ever hear that? From my wife?...He’s going to come here and apologise to me or nobody from this house is goin’ into that church today.”
Marco: “ …Such a promise is dishonourable…He degraded my brother. My blood. He robbed my children, he mocks my work
Alfieri to Marco: “You’re an honourable man, I will believe your promise”;
“I’m ashamed. Paper Doll they call him. Blondie now.”
“I want my respect, Beatrice”
The American Dream • In the American Dream, the goals of all people (citizens and residents) to secure a livelihood, gain an education, build friendships and family, and live free of oppression and in peace, are regarded as fundamental to the philosophy, principles, and purpose for which the United States exists. The American Dream is the belief that everyone is entitled to success and a happy life through hard work, regardless of class or circumstances of birth. This was especially true of immigrant communities who moved to America to earn money in order to support their families.
• The American Dream also promoted the idea that the current generation should aim to do better than the one before it by working to place itself in a higher social position.
American Dream Quotes "Katie you are walkin’ wavy" “When am I going to be a wife again, Eddie?” "...there is too much love for the niece" “Me, I want to be an American. And then I want to go back to Italy when I am rich, and I will buy a motorcycle.” Marco: “When you have no wife, you have dreams.” “Eddie Carbone had never expected to have a destiny.” “I would be a criminal stealing your face. In two years you would have an old, hungry face.” “Once I am a citizen […] I would start to be something wonderful here!” Beatrice to Catherine: "Go. God bless you, God bless your children." “You’re getting to be a big girl now, you gotta keep yourself more, you can’t be so friendly, kid.” "What’s the high heels for, Garbo?" Catherine: “He still thinks I’m a baby.”
Beatrice: “Because you think you’re a baby.” Catherine: “If I was a wife I would make a man happy instead of goin’ at him all the time.” Eddie: “A wife is supposed to believe the husband.” “Katie…if you wasn’t an orphan, wouldn’t he ask your father’s permission
before he run around with you like this." Marco: “That one! [Eddie] He killed my children! That one stole the food from my children!” Catherine: “He’s a rat He belongs in the sewer”
Love Quotes Eddie to Beatrice: "I just don’t want you bein’ pushed around, that’s all. You got too big a heart." (He touches her hand.) Eddie to Catherine:"I supported you this long I support you a little more." "Katie, I promised your mother on her deathbed. I’m
responsible for you."