Arthur Miller was born on October 17th, 1915. He is the playwright of A View From The Bridge. He grew up in the city of New York and his parents’ are immigrants to the United States. These have inspired the play, which is set in New York City. A View From The Bridge has its roots in the late 1940’s when Arthur Miller became interested in the lives of communities of dockworkers and longshoremen of New York’s Brooklyn harbour and where he had previously worked. In the opening stage directions Miller sets the play in Red Hook which is a slum area of New York that faces on the seaward side of Brooklyn Bridge. The play is mainly set in the Carbones living and dining rooms where most of the action arises.
I have decided to write about the final scene from the play. There are a number of the main and key characters in this scene mainly because it is the concluding scene. Alfieri a lawyer, he is a middle class man with a strong American English accent. This character appears at the beginning of a scene where he sets it and end of a scene where he usually summarises it, including a moral. The Carbones consist of Eddie, Beatrice who is Eddy’s wife and Catherine who is their niece.
Eddie Carbone is an Italian longshoreman who originally was an immigrant from Italy. He works on the New York docks and fundamentally is a simple, straightforward man who supported his family in good faith. He is also seen as a humorous and kind man. Catherine suffers with her growing maturity of Eddy’s over protectiveness over her. Eddy was also portrayed as generous and brave kind of person when illegally allowing the arrival of Beatrice’s cousins to their household. Beatrice’s two cousins’ Rodolfo and Marco were immigrants from America looking for a better life in the land of opportunity.
Eddies over protectiveness of Catherine takes a bad turn when it catches the eye of Rodolfo. After the physical and sexual part of the Carbones marriage breaks down, Beatrice begins to suspect Eddy’s attraction towards Catherine. Rodolfo is the younger of the two brothers and has no such responsibilities. He has a more frivolous, light-hearted attitude to life. Marco is the older, stronger who came to America to earn money to support his starving wife and children in Italy. Marco tends to be the maturer personality of the two.
Here is the stage set. As you can see the main acting area is in the living/dining room. This area is the largest of the rooms on show. The bedroom and kitchen are situated at the back of the set and are not visible as interiors to the audience. In the play they provide the backstage when characters have to exit. At the right front stage there is Mr. Alfieri’s office which has a bookshelf, desk and chair. The living room/dining room has a table in the middle of the room with three chairs leaving a space at front stage side for the audience to see also a rocker and a phonograph. There Is a street out side the apartment where some key scenes take place. On this street there is a phone box.
The accents would be a key part of how the play works. The play being set in New York would have Beatrice, Eddie, Catherine and Alfieri talking in a typical American accent with a tinge of Italian. This is because of their Italian origins. Marco and Rodolfo would have Italian accents. Rodolfo would know only the basics of English. Marco would know a fair bit more than his brother would, with English because of being older.
This scene has a lot of tension built up from the penultimate scene. The scene opens with Eddie on the rocking chair in little surges with a nervous attitude. The light is focused on him leaving the rest of the room dimmed. Beatrice emerges from the bedroom in her best dress and a hat. Beatrice walks up to Eddie with fear ”I’ll be back in about an hour, Eddie, All right?” she says. The audience recognises the dramatic tension here as Eddies rocking becomes more intense. Quietly and drained as though he had given up hope Eddies replies with ”What, have I been talkin’ to my self”. Again the audience see tension between Eddies and Beatrice’s relationship.
He is not letting Catherine go to her wedding or Beatrice. The audience knows that he is over protective of her and that he has more intense feelings for her, this is the ulterior motive Eddie has. The dramatic tension keeps on rising as Catherine walks in to the room and realises what the scenario is. She starts to express her anger in a way not shown in the play previously when she says ”Who do you think you are” to Eddie. This anger is aimed at Eddie for not allowing her goes to her wedding, also here Beatrice is not sticking her up for as what previously happened. Catherine hurls abuse with some reasoning to Eddie ”This rat”, in reply to this Beatrice switches sides ”Don’t You call him that”.
As tension seems to reach its peak in the Carbone household terms are made worse with Rodolfo entering the scene who is the groom of Catherine. Eddy’s instant reactions are furious ”Who said you could come in here? Get out”. The tension increases as Rodolfo say’s’ ‘Marco is coming”. This makes Beatrice attempt to usher Eddie out of the house but this attempt collapses as Marco enters the room. There is a grudge between Eddie and Marco because Marco accused him of killing his children to the two officers in the previous scene Eddie wants revenge. The dramatic tension continues Eddie accuses Marco of his doings in front of the group.
This makes the two men more and more eager to fight each other ”Tell the people Marco”. Now the two men are squaring up to one another with each other’s arms wide out. Here the audience realise a battle will be fought and have an idea of who they think and want to win. Marco lunges at Eddy’s neck with a punch. Eddie goes down on the floor. Marco provokes Eddie with saying ”Animal, You go on your knees to me”. Marco raises his foot as though to stomp Eddie when Eddie springs a knife in to his hand, Marco takes a step back.
By now the audience are sensing the one to live and the one to die. The tension is unbearable as Eddie stands ”You lied about me, Marco. Now say it, come on now say it”. Marco replies with ”Anima-a-al”. The audience are experiencing dramatic tension at its highest at this point. Eddie lunges with the knife at Marco. Marco holds the arm in with the knife is held. Marco turns the direction of the knife inward and pushes it in to the chest of Eddie Carbone as the women cry out.
A lot of emotion is sensed at this point as Catherine apologises ”Eddie, I never meant to do nothing bad to you”. At this point Eddie begins to reply to Catherine but then turns his attention towards his wife Beatrice ”Then why-oh B”. The ”oh B” is pronounced in a sigh as if to say what a waste of my life and this was not worth it do die for the petty reason of competition. Eddy’s last words are ”My B!” Eddie dies in her arms, and Beatrice covers him with her body.
The audience is at this moment relieved for the end of such prolonged tension but sad to hear Eddy’s regret that his time spent in his recent life was concentrated on Catherine rather than his one love and wife Beatrice. The play comes to a climax with Alfieri’s final speech in which he confesses his support of how Eddie live his life truly but then says that this way of life can be dangerous with bad consequences as show in this play.