Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A View from the Bridge

A View from the Bridge was written by Arthur Miller from new york, before a view from the bridge Arthur miller wrote many other plays which were also success storys but some weren’t “a death of a salesman,” which didn’t have a narrator in it so the audience didn’t immediately understand the meaning of the play when it was first performed on stage. A view from the bridge used Alfieri as the narrator so the audience understood the play with alfieri and the message of the play which was to compromise in life which Eddie failed to do and the message was more clear.some of Millers plays such as “the man who had all the luck” weren’t successes.

Many of hundreds of years ago, the ancient greeks produced Greek trajedy.alfieri is connected to Greek tragedy because in a view from the bridge Arthur Miller uses a narrator which in Greek culture is a chorus which is the role of alfieri.a view from the bridge ends in a tragic ending where rodolpho stabs eddiethe main hero in the play.trajedy is a type of drama composed in the Athens in the 6th century.

A view from the bridge uses Alfieri as the narrator who tells the story to the audience.althought he is a narrator he doesn’t just tell the story and the meaning of the play but he also tells the audience of the time and place of every event that takes place. “On December 27th I saw him,” Alfieri talks about Eddie when he comes to see him. By talking to the audience he makes it more clear of what is happening and makes the meaning of the play more explicit. He also comments on the action in a previous scene and gives hints as to what is happening next.

Alfieri is a lawyer as well as a narrator at the same time. In a view from the bridge alfieri is a wise and intelligent character, unlike Eddie who thinks that being manly is very important and Eddie even tries to challenge rodolpho, when rodolpho asks Eddie to hold a chair up from it’s leg but Eddie cant and rodolpho manages to.alfieri doesn’t need manliness he has inner strength because he is very wise and strong minded. “Eddie im a lawyer’” alfieri hears both sides of the story.e.g when Marco falls in love with Catherine and he wants to marry her but eddy is very against it, and asks alfieri for legal advice about it. but alfieri just says that there is nothing wrong about a marrying a immigrant.

Alfieri’s character is to work out what is right and wrong, and as a lawyer he is there to make peace. In a view from the bridge Alfieri tries to sort out eddy problems. Eddie is a very much against Marco marrying Catherine and goes to alfieri for help.alfieri helps people by compromising and hearing both sides of the story.alfieri is a smart man with a intelligent mind.alfieri compared to other characters in the a view from the bridge speaks proper English because he is well educated. “Yes we eat very good on the boats,”Marco says this quote. “Wait a minute….which is….i mean its allright….i mean you know what I mean? This is eddies quote. “Im inclined to notice the ruins in things,”compared to Marco and Eddie, Alfieri is much more articulate.

A view from the bridge is a play with an audience, alfieri is a bridge between the audience and the characters, because for the characters he is a lawyer and for the audience he is a lawyer and a narrator.alfieri also helps the characters make the right decision and points them to the right direction that is what his role as a lawyer is.alfieri has the perspective of knowing everything.alfieris theme is to make the mood of the play moving.alfieri hears both sides of the story. In the community Alfieri is a most respected.

Arthur Miller put Alfieri into this play as a lawyer because a lawyer can talk to the characters and give them advice.alfieris feelings towards Eddie are sympathetic. Eddie confides in Alfieri and asks him what he should do; Alfieri wants Eddie to let Catherine marry Marco. the audience must be thinking that Eddie isn’t compromising and being very selfish.alfieri tries to make Eddie compromise, and reveals eddies feelings, and inner most thoughts through their conversations.alfieri tries to make Eddie see sense. “She can’t marry you, can she?”He also sees eddies feelings for catherince, and Alfieri sees that Eddie is a desperate man, so desperate, hell do anything. Its the point where Eddie realises that the only way he can stop the marriage is by calling the immigration officers and he does and Marco and rodolpho are taken by the immigration.at the speech Alfieri says “he allowed himself to be wholly known and for that I will love him more than my sensible clients. he means that even though Eddie was wrong he still believed in himself and if he wanted something he would go for it.

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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire is a play written by Tennessee Williams and is about the two basic humans drives; which are death and desire. The two main drives could be representative of the state of America after WW1 a country wavering between a dying past and the adolescent new world. The reader/viewer of the play will experience these two basic drives through the characters culture, background, imagery, music and symbols. For the characters to have the direct effect of representing the textТs underlying values and attitudes the main characters of the play are constructed in a particular way.

This is a play of Culture Vs Brutality, Illusion Vs Reality, Civilization, Culture and Tradition Vs Natural, Passionate and Primitive.

The culture of the characters is an integral part of identifying the issues that the playwright is trying to Address, For example in two of Williams plays he has a southern gentile woman as the main character (the Glass menagerie and a streetcar named desire) who's world is shattered by the harsh treatment of the changed modern world.

Where as with the stronger character of Stanley is a new world, working class, animalistic brute is more adapted to the harsh world, Williams shows this is one of the issues of the play through the various scenes of disaster and dislike between the refined and cultured past and the uncouth, working class, un traditional future.

Other issues or themes of the play is the nationality association; It is assumed the Du Bois is an aristocratic surname and this is proven later on in the play, It can also be assumed the Kowalski is a foreign name (which is turns out to be) and the foreign people in those times were highly likely to be those of working class.

This is represented through the speech of the two characters e.g.; Stanley speaks loudly and speech to Stanley is getting across what he wants, likes, dislikes and so on where as Blanche speaks more flittingly, on a higher level. Speech to Blanche is a searching for values and her speech reflects her education.

Another issue that comes into play in A Streetcar named Desire is Williams exposure of the inadequacies and hypocrisies of American mythologies, by this I am referring to the myth of an unfallen Eden (Blanche) whom is a representative of chivalrous and civilized men and gentile sensitive women, For example a very similar character to Blanche is that of Daisy from "Schindlers list".

It has also been stated that a theme prevalent in A Streetcar named Desire is that of homosexuality, it is said that Williams is representing a suppressed interest or attraction with homosexuals through the characterization of Blanches young husband, whoТs death drover her to insanity.

Background is also an important part of the characters representing the issues and values that Williams created them to convey, for example the first setting is New Orleans a rough tough new world city filled with liquor, card games and adultery.

The new world is presented as a sexually laden and sensual world.

This is represented by the characters living in the area, there interaction with the area and mainly blanches unsavory reaction to the setting. Elysian fields is an ironic and amusing name for the sector in which Stanley and Stella live, This is because in mythology Elysian fields was the name of the so-called heaven for the gods but elysian fields is the complete opposite for blanche as it is the setting in which she is eventually driven mad by herself.

Imagery is another factor that is used through the characterization of the main characters to represent themes and issues, For example there is the imagery of Stanley whom is always in bright colors e.g.; silk pajamas, bowling shirt, watermelon, cards and the meat Stanley brings from the butcher are all bright noticeable colors, which are like Stanley in a way because they cannot be ignored.

Blanche is represented by pastel shades and whites, like a moth she is delicate and frail so the pastel colors of a gentile woman or creature are used to represent her and create more characterization.

There is also imagery that connects Stanley and Stella to animalistic, modern, flesh over love and desire over love ideals.

For example the movements and brutality of Stanley have an animalistic feeling as does his behavior towards Stella in scene three. Stanley could be easily identified with an ape or another similar animal because of his primitive behaviors, his feelings of territory invasion and the way Blanche finds fault with his behaviors and manners.

The varsouviana and the jungle music (which are all parts of blanches characterization) can only be heard in her head and represent imagery of her young husbands affair, the torment it has caused blanche and her descent into insanity.

Music and sound is an important part of brining character linked issues and themes to the surface, for example when ever the varsouviana is heard it is heard only in blanches head and is usually linked to some feeling that blanche is having for the time.

The music represents her frailty towards her husband's death and towards the new world that she sees's as alien.

The jungle music is important in developing the animalistic tendencies of Stanley and when the jungle music is heard it is usually at the time Stanley is being most uncouth.
The cries of streetwalkers, the Mexican woman and the street vendors are all part of the cultural fabric in the experience of Elysian Fields, New Orleans.

There is much use of symbols in juxtaposition of the new and old worlds and the representatives of each world, e.g.; Stanley and Blanche. The most prevalent use of symbolism is that of the title, and its reference to the two streetcars; desire and cemeteries Blanche takes to Elysian fields e.g.; Heaven. This is representing Blanches journey to New Orleans and her journey through desire to insanity to death and eventually heaven. This is also made obvious by the character change of Blanche who starts out as someone looking for love and understanding but there is always the fear of death and destruction nearing her.
"Death- I used to sit here and she used to sit over there and death was as close as you are"- Blanche.

Elysian fields have a strong symbolic significance in A Streetcar named Desire, This is the place in which the main characters live and is a reference to Greek mythology and it means "Paradise".

Paradise was originally created for two and the intrusion of the new world territory by an old world gentile female has caused sin and despair, Elysian fields is Stanley and Stella's paradise but Blanches Hell.

Shep Huntleigh is the representation of the perfect generous, chivalrous southern gentleman (Blanches perfect man) and also a representation of Blanches impending insanity.
There is also a lot of reference to light, as it is used as a symbol. For example blanche is always in flattering light such as candlelight and she puts lanterns over the naked light bulbs, which could be a comparison to the saying "pulling the wool over someone's eyes". The references to light are representative of Blanches illusionary tactics and how she doesn't break the truth she merely distorts it to be more favorable.

The characters in A Streetcar named Desire are representative of themes and issued related to the change of American society during that time, the issues of homosexuality and the issues of the new modern, fleshy and animalistic world and the old charming, gentile and traditional world of the past and it's one of it's deacaying last remnants of a southern gentile woman and her descent into insanity caused by the death of her husband, the harshness of the new world, the forced changes in her character and the way she has been made redundant for the new world. For if the society in Blanche was once accepted decays and she doesn't change with the times she becomes unimportant to those whom have changed.

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