Masculinity In Arthur Miller's A View From A Bridge

1233 Words5 Pages
By using 20th century language, tableaux and the development of reputation, Arthur Miller’s A View from a Bridge explores the ideas of masculinity. Miller does this by using different characters to portray different sides of masculinity. Eddie and Marco are portrayed as the right way to be a man, whereas Rodolpho plays the softer, kinder side to masculinity. The ideal man, as portrayed in the play, is to be strong, independent and to provide income for your family, as Eddie and Marco do. Throughout A View from a Bridge, Miller uses traditional and modern ideas of masculinity as a source of conflict. Marco and Eddie are both portrayed as having traditional ideals of masculinity, despite having different ways of showing their masculinity. Marco…show more content…
Throughout A View from a Bridge, Eddie constantly feels the need to protect his family from the immigrants. Eddie is jealous of Rodolpho entrancing Catherine with his modern masculinity and attempts to cut him off at all times. He attempts to take Catherine away from Rodolpho, and this leads to him impulsively kissing her due to his jealousy. He isolates Rodolpho and leaves him on the outside. Rodolpho responds by removing Eddie from Catherine: ‘(He pulls on Eddie’s arm.)’ but the damage is done. He wishes to remove Catherine from all danger due to his connection to her and he says: ‘I’m responsible for her.’ Marco feels responsible for his family and when Eddie called the immigration officers to take them away, he shouts: ‘He killed my children!’ This is a clear hyperbole, as Eddie did not literally kill Marco’s children, but Marco blames him for it. Eddie is responsible for Marco’s inability to work, as he is in jail, and therefore Eddie is injuring Marco’s family’s income. The responsibility which the characters feel here comes from an impulse of their…show more content…
When A View from a Bridge was written, the reputation of a family was imperative to the man’s idea of honour. It was vital that the man of the house would defend their ‘name’ and, therefore, their reputation. When Rodolpho arrives in the household, Eddie struggles to defend the family’s reputation, “I’m ashamed. Paper Doll they call him. Blondie now.” Seeing as Rodolpho does not portray the traditional ideas of masculinity, the men down at the docks do not respect him. When Eddie calls the immigration office, Louis appears on stage to show how the wider community can easily strip him of his reputation, as they did with Vinny Bolzano. As reputation is so important to their society, taking away his reputation is like taking away his masculinity. Names are important in A View from a Bridge, and Miller uses names in order to show the masculinity of the characters. Respect and names are used interchangeably at the beginning of Act 2 Eddie states: ‘I want my respect!’ thrice. However, as the play draws to a close instead of Eddie saying his previous statement, he changes to ‘I want my name!’, as he believes Marco has stripped it from him. Before saying this, he repeats his name three times, ‘Eddie Carbone. Eddie Carbone. Eddie Carbone’, in order to try and reclaim the name Marco has stolen from him. By losing his name, Eddie has been stripped of his masculinity and therefore he no longer has any honour nor a

More about Masculinity In Arthur Miller's A View From A Bridge

Open Document