A view from the bridge – Arthur Miller

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A view from the bridge – How does Arthur Miller

A view from the bridge – How does Arthur Miller prepare the audience

for the dramatic events at the end of the play?

Arthur Miller was born in New York City on the 17th of October 1915.

The son of a small businessman, Miller worked in a warehouse after

graduating from high school. When he saved enough money he attended

the University of Michigan. During the Second World War Miller moved

to New York where he began writing plays. A View from the bridge was

written in 1955, it was partly based on the idea that his parents were

both immigrants into the United States.

When writing the play Miller was trying to create a real life story,

concerning a tragedy of ordinary people. In the late 1940’s Miller

became interested in the workers of New York’s Brooklyn Harbour, which

was where he had previously worked. Writing this play allowed him to

express his feelings towards poorly paid workers; most of whom were

immigrants.

The first character introduced in the play is Alfieri; he is a ‘big

time lawyer’, who speaks a recognizable standard American English,

unlike everybody else featured in the play. Alfieri is a very

mysterious character; he is constantly appearing and disappearing into

the shadows, or the ‘black of the night,’ which leaves an impact on

the audience as they are curious to whom this person is and what his

role is in the play. He basically recites the prologue and epilogue to

the play and comments on the main action.

The audience are constantly kept on their feet guessing as to what

will happen to the relationship between Eddie Carbone and Catherine.

Instantly they realize that throughout the play there will be a lot of

conflict between these two characters. However they are not sure what

all the arguments will result in. The most anticipating moment of the

play is the final scene; Miller has prepared the audience for this

ending throughout the play. Miller creates plenty of tension during

this scene, because there are a number of endings that can be used,

the audience is eager to find out which one will take place.

Miller had prepared a number of endings but thought that the chosen

ending would have the most effect. Another possible option to end the

play was Eddie committing suicide, although this is very dramatic, it

did not suit Eddie’s character. Miller describes Eddie as a

strong-minded man, who is always willing to fight for what he wants.

Therefore the chosen ending was much more effective as Eddie didn’t
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