The title of ‘a view from the bridge’ refers to very specific parts. The bridge mentioned is the famous Brooklyn Bridge which joins Brooklyn and Manhattan. Brooklyn is a very industrial city which relies on deliveries to the port whereas Manhattan is a more commercial town that is a lot richer. The view in the title is a pun as it could mean a physical view of the community or an opinion of how the community lives. Moreover the audience is being asked to vie the events on stage.
The ‘view’ which is seen on the cover from the Brooklyn Bridge on the cover is a picture of the tenements, Brooklyn’s style of housing which provides most of the residences for Brooklyn’s society. Miller saw this as a community populated and worked by people who were poorly paid and in many cases, recent immigrants working in the United States. Brooklyn as portrayed by miller was a very tight knit community. Everyone knows each other and no secrets would be kept, for example the whole neighbourhood would know Marco and Rodolpho were there as soon as they arrived.
The waterfront community of Brooklyn Arthur Miller described as a very dangerous and mysterious place. The area was considered dangerous because of the code of honour. If this was broken the consequences were violent and considered very dangerous indeed. The area was also very mysterious to the audience as well as Arthur Miller as they don’t understand why the community is controlled by the syndicate and not the law. The syndicate were the people who organised all the illegal immigrant transfers from Sicily to America.
The people in the audience were probably better of and well educated and didn’t know the ‘schedule of the community’ and the way the residents behaved and acted towards each other. Miller first wrote ‘A view from the bridge’ as a Modern Greek tragedy in which the central character is led by fate towards a destiny that cannot be escaped. Miller also first produced ‘a view from the bridge’ in verse but then later changed it to prose. Miller first wrote ‘A View from the Bridge’ in verse because many Greek tragedies were written in verse and because Shakespeare wrote his plays in verse.
Miller changed it to prose because it reflects the community the play is based upon, However Alfieri uses poetic images. ‘ the flat air in my office suddenly washes in with the green scent of the sea, the dust in the air is blown away and the thought comes that in some Caesars year, in Calabria perhaps or on the cliff at Syracuse, another lawyer, quite differently dressed, heard the same complaint’ The dramatic effect of Alfieri’s words is that when the play ends the final word is ‘alarm’, This means a type of warning . Before ‘alarm there is a dramatic pause and Alfieri hesitates during the final speech.
Miller wanted the audience to leave with a type of warning message as they recall the last word of the play the most. There are some operatic overtones in his play. Miller also changed it to prose although verse fits opera better than prose. By these images Miller is suggesting a difference between the Sicilian background of the immigrants and the harsher, duller tenement background to Brooklyn. Moreover, the allusions to Ceaser reinforce the tragic nature of the play and also that the tragedy which is about to unfold is part of human nature.
There was also a strong code of honour believed in by many inhabitants of the Brooklyn Community. A code of honour is a set of regulations believed in by members of a certain neighbourhood. It only applies to that community and can cause predictable grief if broken. Miller spoke of the Brooklyn waterfront as ‘the Wild West a desert beyond The Law’ this was the idea of ‘A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do’ this was also where the idea of a duel comes from. In the play ‘A View from the Bridge’ Alfieri plays many different parts. The first of these parts was the Prologue, a typical device in Greek tragedy.
The prologue was said at the beginning of the play. This speech gives some clue about the characters, situation and theme. Alfieri refers to Sicily, which provides most of the background for many who live in his community Alfieri also uses the past tense; therefore the scenes are watched as a series of flashbacks. The second of these parts is the chorus (narrator) which also arises out of a reek tragedy. The chorus helps provide background information on the characters movement and the environment of the play. They also comment upon the actions of other characters and the environment of the play.
They chorus sets the scene for what is coming and the consequences of the characters actions. Alfieri comments upon Eddie, ‘His eyes were like tunnels’ when he goes to see him. At this time Eddie was clearly on the path to destruction ‘his eyes were like tunnels’ is a simile to show the sheer desperation in Eddie’s eyes. There was no feeling’s in his eyes, no movement, just black holes. Eddie has become depressed and desperate. Everything just disappears. Therefore at that moment he is not thinking of the consequences of his desire to split Rodolpho and Catherine up.