‘A view from the bridge’ has its roots in the late 1940s, this is shown by the speech that they use, the names that they give to certain professions and how they address things. In this particular place, Brooklyn; New York, there were a lot of people who were poorly paid, exploited by their bosses and who were in many cases only recent immigrants to the United States, having come to America in hope of the work, wealth and security that their home countries could not guarantee; such as Beatrice’s cousins.
The Carbones’ living and dining room is the focus of the action; this may be due to the space in the house, quite small, cramped which meant that they would be in each other’s faces all the time. At the beginning of the play there isn’t much space as it is and now that they are expecting two of Beatrice’s cousins it will be a little more pressured. Less space will be available for the family and they will have to learn to get along with each other much better then before because of the space available when the cousins come. Also the main action is placed in the living room always. It is sort of the centre of attention in the play, all the important scenes are set in here, most of them anyway, some other scenes are set out in the street showing the public side of the Carbones’ position in the community, which is important in this play as we see near the end.Order now
There is a lot to take in when talking about the background of the Italian/American community, from the following discussion we can tell that the background of this Red Hook community is not one to mess with that there is a general mistrust of authority, especially the police and that informers are dealt with severely: EDDIE: “I don’t care what questions it is. You – don’t – know – nothin’. They got stool pigeons all over this neighbourhood they’re payin’ them every week for information, and you don’t know who they are. It could be your best friend. You hear? (To BEATRICE) Like Vinny Bolzano, remember Vinny?
Beatrice goes on to describe how the community punished a boy who informed on his own uncle: “Oh, it was terrible. He had five brothers and the old father. And they grabbed him in the kitchen and pulled him down the stairs – three flights his head was bouncin’ like a coconut. And they spit on him in the street, his own father and his brothers. The whole neighbourhood was cryin’. This story shows how the informer was disgraced, by his very own family, in front of the whole neighbourhood.
The Italian/American community is all about family, trust and justice. Alfieri comes into the first act at the beginning he acts as a narrator throughout the whole play coming in through scenes and explaining to the audience what has happened, basically analysing the scenes. Miller uses Alfieri as a connection to the audience; conveys his own feelings and thoughts to the audience through the character of the lawyer, Alfieri.
“…I am inclined to notice the ruins in things, perhaps because I was born in Italy … I only came here when I was twenty-five. In those days, Al Capone, the greatest Carthaginian of all, was learning his trade on these pavements, and Frankie Yale himself was cut precisely in half by a machine gun on the corner of Union Street, two blocks away. Oh, there were many here who were justly shot by unjust men.
Justice is very important here.” Here he is trying to tell the audience that people sort out their own business in Red Hook and that they don’t go through the legal procedures that are usually carried out, through lawyers, courts they head straight for the action and sort their business by themselves. This serves as another warning to the audience of what is to come. Things within the Carbone family are about to take a major change for the worse as the arrival of Beatrice’s cousins. This is because of the facts that are set out for you before the cousins actually arrive; firstly there is the opening speech that Alfieri makes at the beginning of the play and Alfieri’s hint at the action rolling on taking its own “bloody course”.
If we look at the three main characters in a more detailed way then maybe we would be able to decide whether what Beatrice said was true and whether we agree with her or not. The three main characters are obviously the members of the Carbone family; Eddie, Beatrice and Catherine. Eddie a caring man described by Alfieri: “He was as good a man as he had to be in a life that was hard and even. He worked on the piers when there was work, he brought home his pay, and he lived. …”