In this essay I will be discussing the playwright's ideas of

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In this essay I will be discussing the playwright's ideas of

Manliness, Hostility and Aggression in A View from the Bridge.

'A View from the Bridge' is a play set in Brooklyn in the 1940s. The

protagonist is Eddie, an Italian immigrant and longshoreman living in

Brooklyn. Eddie lives with his wife and niece, and the play starts

with them waiting for the arrival of Beatrice's two cousins, Marco and

Rodolpho. They are illegal immigrants looking for work in order to

fund their families at home in Italy. Rodolpho and Catherine seem to

like each other, which upsets Eddie, as he seems to love Catherine for

more than just a daughter or niece. This ultimately leads to the

downfall of Eddie. The ideas of manliness, hostility and aggression

create conflict in the play as Eddie and Marco are both battling to be

the man of the house. These ideas also create conflict between Eddie

and Rodolpho because, in Eddie's eyes, Rodolpho does not live up to

the expectations of what a man should be. Eddie is also jealous of

him, because of Rodolpho's relationship with Catherine.

"A view from the Bridge" deals with the 'American Dream'; this is that

immigrants came from countries, such as Italy, in order to make a

better life for themselves. Arthur Miller was concerned with this

living through the Depression, which bankrupted his father, and he saw

the effects on the ordinary people. The play can be described as a

Greek tragedy set in America. The play is set in the 1940's and so

reflects the attitudes and feelings of the time, this is why it may be

a little difficult for a modern day audience to relate to. America was

seen as the land of opportunity for many people, to start a new life,

escape their past or just for a change .People believed America held

the key. However, this was not the case, as immigrants often lived in

the most run down parts of town and found themselves out of work and

with little money to live on or send to their families at home.

The qualities that Eddie considers to be manly are the stereotypical,

traditional views of manly qualities. One of these qualities is to be

strong. Eddie tries to intimidate Rodolpho by getting him to box with

him. Eddie is a good boxer and has had many years practise, however

Rodolpho has never boxed. He is reluctant to box with Eddie 'I don't

want to hit you, Eddie'. Another quality that Eddie considers to be

'manly' is for a man to provide for his family.
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