A View from the Bridge


This gives an overview of the whole of 'A View from the Bridge'.
Mrs Peacock
Mind Map by Mrs Peacock, updated more than 1 year ago
Mrs Peacock
Created by Mrs Peacock almost 9 years ago

Resource summary

A View from the Bridge
  1. Tragedy
    1. Based on Greek Tragedy
      1. The tragic hero (an Everyman figure) commits an offence, often unknowingly. He must then learn his fault, suffer and perhaps die. In this way, the gods are vindicated and the moral order of the universe restored.
      2. Eddie is the tragic hero.
        1. He is a very ordinary man, decent, hard-working and charitable, a man no-one could dislike. But he has a flaw or weakness.
          1. This, in turn, causes him to act wrongly. The consequences, social and psychological, of his wrong action destroy him.
            1. Eddie's fortunes decline throughout the play.
            2. Miller uses Eddie to suggest that we all have basic impulses, which civilisation has taught us to control. We have self-destructive urges, too, but normally we deny these.
        2. Structure
          1. The use of 2 acts marks a division in Eddie's story.
            1. Act One
              1. Eddie tries to stop Catherine from falling in love with Rodolpho.
                1. Ends with a climax.
                  1. First, Rodolpho dances with Catherine, symbolically taking her from Eddie.
                    1. Second, Eddie tells Rodolpho about boxing matches and offers to teach him to box.
                      1. Third, Marco lifts the chair, and raises it "like a weapon over Eddie's head".
              2. Act Two
                1. Eddie realises that he has failed and tries to get rid of Rodolpho.
                  1. Opens with shock.
                    1. The kisses are used to repel the audience.
                    2. Ending is symbolic.
                      1. Eddie literally dies by his own hand, which holds the knife, and is killed by his own weapon; but Eddie also metaphorically destroys himself, over the whole course of the play.
                  2. Rodolpho is the catalyst which speeds up Eddie's decline.
                2. Characters
                  1. Eddie
                    1. Eddie does not really understand his improper desire, and is unable to hide it from those around him.
                      1. We are shown at first a good man who seems perfectly happy.
                        1. He. will seek to discredit any rival.
                          1. His despair triumphs over his conscience.
                            1. He has a sense of duty to his family and his community.
                            2. Alfieri
                              1. A Chorus figure.
                                1. He watches the action, comments on it, and addresses the audience directly.
                                  1. He isn't totally detached.
                                2. Represents the law.
                                  1. Alfieri's view is also the "view from the bridge" of the title.
                                  2. Catherine
                                    1. Uncertain.
                                      1. She frees herself of her dependence on Eddie.
                                        1. Intense relationships.
                                          1. Childlike but on the cusp of adulthood.
                                          2. Beatrice
                                            1. Mature.
                                              1. Generous.
                                                1. Domestic.
                                                  1. Frustrated.
                                                  2. Marco
                                                    1. Dark and powerfully built.
                                                      1. Often silent.
                                                        1. Misses his family.
                                                          1. Strong sense of community.
                                                          2. Rodolpho
                                                            1. Slender, graceful and blond-haired.
                                                              1. Talks a lot.
                                                                1. Wants to be an American.
                                                                  1. Considered to be effeminate.
                                                                2. Action
                                                                  1. Ideas are often shown in gesture and action.
                                                                    1. Sometimes this is apparently minor detail, but at times it is highly symbolic.
                                                                      1. At moments of high drama or climaxes, we often see some very striking action.
                                                                  2. Language
                                                                    1. Only Alfieri, is a properly articulate, educated speaker of American English: for this reason he can explain Eddie's actions to us, but not to Eddie, who does not really speak his language.
                                                                      1. Eddie uses a naturalistic Brooklyn slang and his speech is simple.
                                                                        1. Catherine's meekness is shown in the frequency with which her speeches begin with "Yeah", agreeing with, or qualifying, Eddie's comments.
                                                                          1. Rodolpho speaks with unnatural exactness.
                                                                            1. Marco has to think before he can speak in whole phrases or sentences; he is a man of actions rather than words.
                                                                            2. Symbolism
                                                                              1. Dancing.
                                                                                1. Physical closeness.
                                                                                2. The chair.
                                                                                  1. Male power (phallic symbol).
                                                                                    1. A weapon.
                                                                                    2. Eddie's death.
                                                                                      1. Self destruction.
                                                                                      2. The setting.
                                                                                        1. The apartment (home, where the family is).
                                                                                          1. The street (the wider community, where he meets friends).
                                                                                          2. Story of Vinny Bolzano.
                                                                                            1. The need for solidarity and loyalty in the community
                                                                                              1. Eddie's own treachery.
                                                                                              2. Lighting the cigar.
                                                                                                1. Phallic symbol.
                                                                                                2. The title.
                                                                                                  1. We are given a detached and objective view from 'the bridge'.
                                                                                                3. Plot
                                                                                                  1. Act One
                                                                                                    1. Prologue: (Spoken by Alfieri).
                                                                                                      1. Episode 1: Eddie, Catherine and Beatrice look forward to the arrival of Beatrice's cousins.
                                                                                                        1. Interlude: (Alfieri).
                                                                                                          1. Episode 2: Later the same evening the cousins arrive.
                                                                                                            1. Interlude: (Alfieri).
                                                                                                              1. Episode 3: Some weeks later Catherine and Rodolpho have been to the cinema.
                                                                                                                1. Interlude: (Alfieri).
                                                                                                                  1. Episode 4: Eddie consults Alfieri.
                                                                                                                    1. Interlude: (Alfieri).
                                                                                                                      1. Episode 5: A domestic scene; dancing, boxing, chair-lifting.
                                                                                                    2. Act Two
                                                                                                      1. Interlude: (Alfieri).
                                                                                                        1. Episode 6: December 23rd; Catherine and Rodolpho; the two kisses.
                                                                                                          1. Interlude: (Alfieri).
                                                                                                            1. Episode 7: December 27th; Eddie visits Alfieri, warned against phoning.
                                                                                                              1. Episode 8: Same day; Eddie and Beatrice; Marco and Rodolpho arrested; Eddie accused.
                                                                                                                1. Episode 9: Some days later (wedding day); Alfieri counsels Marco.
                                                                                                                  1. Episode 10: Just before the wedding; Eddie confronts Marco, who kills him.
                                                                                                                    1. Epilogue: (Spoken by Alfieri).
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