"A View From The Bridge" By Arthur Miller.

1199 words - 5 pages

A View from the Bridge, by Arthur Miller, is a study in manipulation. Throughout the text, the main characters of Eddie, Catherine, Beatrice, Rodolpho and Marco both struggle to dominate others and accept being dominated. The lines of power are drawn quite clearly to begin with Eddie is evidently the dominant power-holder. However throughout the narrative there is a shift in power and those who once held little sway over others become the deciding forces. This transfer in power becomes apparent to the reader through a variety of techniques, such as dialogue, stage directions (for example, the chair - lifting incident) and non - verbal interaction between the characters. "A View from the Bridge" is a text which appeals to the reader's understanding of the characters by forcing audiences to understand their hierachy and also contributes to the evaluation of the transfer of power between indivisuals and the manipulation of others.The power structures apparent in the opening stages of "A View from the Bridge" are headed by Eddie being the most dominant. Catherine and Beatrice are clearly subservent to him, with this obedience revealing itself on numerous occasions such as when Catherine lights his cigar and the constant setting of the table and other 'woman duties' by both women and later on Rodolpho. Eddie holds power over the women by deciding their submissive positions for them, such as his dissaproval of Catherine's independence, shown when he states that Catherine is ''walkin' wavy''. However his placement of Catherine as an alternate wife figure is what ultimately leads to his downfall ; the others see this as unsuitable and when there is an attempted shift in role such as Rodolpho's engagement to Catherine, Eddie tries to assert his power of Catherine and manipulate her into remaining in her position as substitute wife, although this only succeeds in alienating the other characters further such as Beatrice and alerting Catherine to his true intentions when Catherine shuns Eddie but in Eddie's eyes still remains subservient to Rodolpho, it's as though she is saying to Eddie that he is lower in the hierachy than Rodolpho and there has been a shift in power since the arrival of Marco and Rodolpho.With the arrival of two other males, Marco and Rodolpho there is the threat of Eddie's household and initially both Marco and Rodolpho respect and honour this leadership, realising they are indebted to Eddie for his hospitality and confidentiality. It's only once Eddie forfeits this confidentiality that he is publicly opposed by Marco and Rodolpho, though the shift in power from Eddie to the other characters is a gradual thing that centres on his obsession with Catherine. Eddie manipulates those around him to respect him and alow to dominate, but when his rule becomes unreasonable those around him find the power to stand up and put them in position of power. When Eddie starts physically harming Rodolpho, Marco out - performs him in a show of strength...

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