Essay on How does Miller Create Tension at the end of Act One?

Essay on How does Miller Create Tension at the end of Act One?

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In Act One, the social context of the characters are introduced, who come from a working class family who migrated to the United States from Italy. During the beginning of the play sexual tension is created as Miller uses dramatic stage directions to suggest that Catherine and Eddie are like lovers, for example Catherine gets lost in Eddie’s eyes that she doesn’t even realise that she nearly burns herself lighting his cigar. Further tension is created when Catherine tells Beatrice and Edie of her newly found job. Although Beatrice is fully for the prospect of Catherine having a job, Eddie on the other hand is not. Eddie repeatedly tries to put forward that he is the man of the house and doesn’t want his power overruled- especially by a woman. Tension is also created when Eddie emphasizes that Catherine doesn’t need to work because he has always provided the family just fine by stating ‘When have we ever had no food on the table?’ This emphasizes that Eddie is reliable and can do well without anyone else.
Further into the play more tension is created when Marco and Rodolfo arrive from Italy as Catherine shows an attraction to Rodolfo and vice versa, this is only the pinnacle of Eddie beginning to feel jealous and territorial over Catherine. However as the play progresses Eddie continues to get even more jealous and starts questioning Rodolfo by implying that he is no good and possibly gay. Beatrice, however always tries to steer Eddie away from arguments by asking general questions to the brothers such as ‘Did your wife get the money?’ Beatrice also thinks differently for example, Eddie thinks that singing is an embarrassing thing for a man to do, whereas Beatrice says that in Italy it’s a n...


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...arco lifts up the chair, ‘He lifted it like a weapon’ symbolizing his greater strength and how easy he makes it look compared to Eddie, and in the process humiliating him too.
This is in turn shifts tension between Rodolfo and Eddie to between Eddie and Marco, which also shows that Marco played a bigger part than the audience thought was possible because of his greater strength over Eddie and his ability to lead Eddie into paranoia. Miller also uses descriptive language to emphasize tension such as ‘Eddie feints with his left and lands with his right, mildly it staggers Rodolfo. Marco rises.’ Which could also be considered metaphoric and very dramatic due to the short sentence used and dramatic language and stage directions used. This in conclusion creates tension between the characters tand makes the play very tense and full of suspense.


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