Examine the ideas of Masculinity, Hostility and Agression in “A View from the Bridge”. How are these ideas connected?
In Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, Eddie, the play’s main character,considers someone as masculine only when certain characteristics are part of that someone. This narrow point of view leads to conflict when Rodolpho, a character with none of those masculinecharacteristics, makes Eddie feel threatened due to his relationship with Catherine. The fact that Rodolpho can have Catherine and Eddie cannot, makes the tragic hero react in aggressive ways.
Eddieconsiders mainly three things as characteristics of someone masculine: physical strength, being a breadwinner and not being too sensitive. All of these characteristics are seen in Marco and not in Rodolpho.Eddie’s admiration for Marco’s masculinity is clearly seen when talking to Louis and Mike about the fact that he is a strong and a hardworking man: “they leave him alone he woulda load the whole shipby himself.” (p. 37). Eddie hates the fact that, in contrast to Marco, Rodolpho is not strong; he is obliged to say, not in clear words, that Rodolpho is not a real man: “Yeah, well … he’s got a senseof humour.” (p.37). It is also seen Eddie’s hate towards the fact that Rodolpho is not a breadwinner, he even uses it as an argument against Rodolpho’s relationship with Catherine: “What does he dowith his first money? A snappy new jacket he buys”(p. 41). Finally, Eddie dislikes Rodolpho’s ability to express himself in poetic and romantic ways such as when talking passionately about his life inItaly while Eddie gives him a look of “concealed suspicion”(p.33). This characteristic is also contrasted with Marco’s way of communicating with actions instead of words such as his episode with thechair. Eddie does not consider this only as a masculine act, but also as a threat in order to protect his brother from Eddie’s jealousy because he is obviously aware of Eddie’s dislike towards...
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