Arthur Miller “A View from the Bridge”

Look at the opening scene between Eddie and Catherine (Pages 5 – 12) and the scene in which Catherine has just returned from the picture house. (Pages 26 – 31). How do these scenes foreshadow the breakdown in Eddie and Catherine’s Relationship? A View from The Bridge is a play set in the 1940s in America. The themes of the play are love, honour, poverty, and mainly immigration. These are all factors that contribute to the breakdown between Eddie and Catherine’s relationship. In both the key scenes, there is growing conflict between the two main characters. These are Catherine and Eddie.

There is the main characters wife’s cousins who migrate illegally from Italy, one of whom that falls in love with Eddies niece, Catherine. The breakdown of the relationship between Eddie and Catherine can be foreshadowed through the genre, dramatic irony, context, language, characterisation, themes and stage directions. The genre of this play is tragedy. This means that the central character, the protagonist dies at the end. The protagonist who is Eddie is fine but his/her fate is imperfect because of a flaw in the character. This flaw in Eddie is quite simple. His flaw is that he cannot let go of his niece and he is very overprotective.

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The breakdown of the relationship can be foreshadowed through the genre being a tragedy because we know that at some point in the play, there will be problems arising due to Eddie being too attached to Catherine and her growing less and less fond of him. The one thing he cannot take is the fact that his power over Catherine goes, and that’s exactly what happens. Eddie is overprotective and this is an increasing problem. Catherine is a maturing girl and demands her right to independence. Eddie is a dominant figure in their relationship and wants it to remain that way.

At first, Catherine listens to Eddie and does what he wants, for example, Eddie Says “come over here”, and straight away she comes to sit next to him. Eddie commands her, and he commands her because he knows for certain that she will listen to him. This shows that whenever Eddie has commanded her in the past she has listened. This goes to show that she is loyal to him. A breakdown can be foreshadowed here easily because you know that when one day she matures, Eddie will still be attached to her and she will not listen to him. This is going to cause tension which will therefore lead to a breakdown of their relationship.

Eddie hinders Catherine’s independence which leads to a breakdown in their relationship. She finds work for herself but he refuses to let her work there. He wants her to finish school as he is concerned about her education. He starts asking her lots of questions which shows some sign of panic but mostly worry. “Why didn’t you? ” This just goes to show how dominant he is over her and how attached he is to her. The breakdown can be foreshadowed here because when she grows up, Eddie will be confused about where and if to let her work, and Catherine will retaliate.

Eddie wants Catherine to achieve his version of the American dream which is education and this leads to a breakdown in their relationship. He wants her to complete her education as that is one of the primary reasons of him migrating from Italy to America. He knows how tough life is for the uneducated with the heavy labour and necessity for strength. Eddie knows that Catherine is a girl and doesn’t want her to go through a hard time and that is primarily why he wants her to get sufficient education. The American Dream is a very important part of the play.

The breakdown of their relationship can be foreshadowed there because if she does not get an adequate education it will lead to lots of tensions. Catherine’s language shows that she is trying to please Eddie and you can foreshadow a breakdown in their relationship. There is lots of evidence of this in the first key scene. For example, when Eddie and Catherine are discussing her getting a job Eddie starts feeling distressed because he thinks that she’s going to be independent one day and abandon him. Catherine then comes in to reassure that she would not leave him.

She says “No, please” feeling uneasy about what he thinks of her. You can foreshadow a breakdown in their relationship here because Catherine will leave Eddie one day. Eddie just hates the thought of Catherine leaving him so how will he cope with the disappointment and stress when that day comes because eventually it will. Eddie disapproves of Catherine and Rodolfo’s relationship. Eddie despises Rodolfo. Eddie thinks Rodolfo is not manly enough, fake and most of all, taking Eddie’s dominance. He thinks Rodolfo is a fake and wants to marry Catherine to get legal citizenship in America.

A breakdown can be foreshadowed here because before Catherine would have been completely loyal to but this time she goes out without his permission, when he asks her she arrogantly says “Sure, the Brooklyn Paramount. I told you we wasn’t goin’ to New York. ” The effects of this kind of language are Eddie being overpowered and dominated. He is being stepped on in this conversation and At this point Eddie is most concerned about the future because Catherine is turning independent and therefore forgetting the respect she owes to Eddie.

This is one thing that Eddie is extremely terrified of in their relationship. Beatrice encourages Catherine to be independent. Catherine is attached to Eddie and does not have enough respect and ego to stay away from him. She still walks around him in her slip. She has grown up now and she needs to realise that. Beatrice is annoyed of her and tells her to be independent. A breakdown can be foreshadowed here because Beatrice is telling Catherine not to be close to Eddie and when Eddie finds out he will be angry and will be afraid he is losing his power over her and will start to argue.

Alfieri’s words to the audience foreshadow a breakdown in their relationship. This is because things have got so worse in their family that Eddie had to go seek legal advice and Alfieri tells him that the only solution is calling the department of immigration on him. He says “Because there’s nothing illegal about a girl falling in love with an immigrant. ” The reason why he uses the word “nothing” rather than “hardly anything” is because snitching on immigration about your fellow Italian is considered really bad. If someone does this they are stripped in their community of all their honour.

This is how terrible the situation is! Since Eddie knows about his only option he has, we can foreshadow a breakdown in their relationship because he might just go and make the phone call to Immigration’s department that we all fear. The main point that led to the breakdown in their relationship is the fact that Eddie was so overprotective. This was because he got in the way of everything Catherine done. At first, it was fine but then as she became more and more aware of her surroundings, he really started getting on her nerves. This had to happen one day or the other and it happened.

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