A View from the Bridge
By ARTHUR MILLER
it’s central themes of obsession, jealousy, pride and betrayal,
Arthur Miller’s classic play crackles with all the passion and raw
emotion of the Sicilian community in which it is set.
The protagonist Eddie Carbone, an illiterate Italian longshoreman living
in 1950’s Brooklyn, USA, must confront his obsessive and incestuous
love for his adopted niece Catherine, when his wife’s two Italian
cousins illegally lodge at their home. Romance blossoms between her and
one cousin, Rodolpho, who ultimately acts as the catalyst for Eddie’s
Intent on preventing their marriage and possessing her himself, Eddie’s
manipulative manoeuvres and warnings to Catherine fail - “Most people
ain’t people”. Anonymously tipping off immigration, he breaks
a strict Sicilian code due to unnatural passion and desperation.
Eventually exposed as a traitor, Eddie’s accidental suicide by
his own knife in a fight during the closing scene is symbolic of the self-destructive
nature that led to this. Yet his Everyman persona and tragic heroism ensures
we empathise with his fragility.
The narrative voice provided by Eddie’s lawyer, Alfieri, is a deft
mechanism as his “view from the bridge” is as an unbiased
participator and spectator offering a first-hand account of events. His
friendship with Eddie reassures us that he does possess positive traits
and assures our sympathy.
Extremely tautly-enacted with engaging and humorous dialogue and authentic
accents, this production proved a success. Moreover, with it’s subject
matter of immigration issues it remains as relevant today as when it was
written half a century ago.