Manliness, Hostility, and Aggression in A View From the Bridge

Powerful Essays
Manliness, Hostility, and Aggression in A View From the Bridge

Arthur Miller’s ‘A View from the Bridge’ represents the ideas of

manliness and how the perception of certain individuals (Eddie)

affects the lives of their fellow friends and family. The play is

based around the views of the play’s protagonist, Eddie. His analysis

of the male personality leads to conflict when other males, in this

case Rodolpho, do not conform to his ideas of manliness. Hostility,

aggression and masculinity are the main themes which influence the

mood of the play and the way they are associated with each other allow

an increase in tension in the minds of the reader.

Eddie is the play’s main character who has very distinct views on what

a man should be like. He feels it is necessary for a man to be

aggressive and to use violence in order to state his authority and

power. This is evident when he asks Catherine “What’s the high heels

for, Garbo?” Eddie asks this in a very sarcastic manor, however, he is

fully aware that he wants things his own way. Eddie also considers

bravery and the reputation of the male to be vital in a man’s

personality. This is shown by the way he battles Marco nearer the end

of the play, not to make friends but to restore his reputation. The

language in which Arthur Miller employs when Eddie is speaking tends

to be fairly provocative for the person he is addressing, particularly

with the way he has primarily been shown to ask or talk to other

people in a challenging manner. This is evident when Eddie refers to

Rodolpho as “fruit”; “aint right” and “no good”. These quotes show no

manners what so ever and portray a very negative approach indicating

confrontation to the reader. However the quote “sees the...

... middle of paper ... carefree personality shows us how life

should be lived. Arthur Miller’s views on masculinity are introduced

into the character of Alfieri, through this character he reveals how

he feels “it is better to settle for half.” This means settling for

what is available to you having worked out a compromise. With his

perception on manliness he includes Eddie, Marco and Rodolpho. These

three characters portray Miller’s views on masculinity on three

different levels, showing that Marco being in between Eddie and

Rodolpho is the real man as he enforces violence when need be and also

being in touch with his feminine side shown by his family values.

Miller has Eddie killed by Marco at the end; this is a metaphor and a

sign of the real man winning in his eyes and believes that living the

life of Eddie will not allow you to achieve everything you ever want

in life.
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