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Arthur Miller's use of symbolism in "A View from the Br

Arthur Miller's use of symbolism in "A View from the Bridge"

The whole of this play involves symbolism, on many different levels. The end scene, in which Eddie takes his own life with his own knife is symbolic of the self-destructive nature that led to such an ending. As Arthur Miller wished to write ‘a modern Greek tragedy´ it is likely that the symbolism of the dagger is Eddie´s sexuality, which drove him to his drastic actions and eventually death. During the confrontation earlier in the play Marco raised a chair like a weapon, symbolic of

the fight yet to come. Rudolpho danced with Catherine when she had previously been attending to Eddie, symbolic of him taking her from Eddie´s life.

Therefore it seems natural to reason that Miller intended the title of the play to have some significance other than the geography of the location. The most obvious interpretation is of the audience sharing with Alfieri an unbiased overview of the unfolding of events. It is like being able to see from a bridge over a river, our vision uncluttered by opinions as it would be by the side of the river, or perhaps even as part of the river. The spray and swirling of currents of a river could represent the uncertain nature of life that clouds our perceptions and the flow of water the rush of emotions that carry us from birth to death. Though, even Alfieri is not completely removed from the happenings of the play, he takes an active part in the play as well as providing the ‘chorus´ character of the Greek format that Miller used. He is part of the American culture, but also part of the Italian culture, he also knew the family “I had represented his father in an accident case some years before, and I was acquainted with the family in a casual way.” Perhaps this is why he is able to give a balanced opinion and to counsel Eddie (though his advice is unheeded). On the bridge we have time to form opinions, to judge other people, to ‘settle for half´. It was his American audience that Miller addressed through Alfieri:

“Most of the time now we settle for half and I like it better. But the truth is holy, and even as I know how wrong he was and his death useless, I tremble for, I confess that something perversely pure...

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Category:   Art and Music

Length:   10 pages (2,340 words)

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