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Struggle In A View Form The Bridge

1061 words - 5 pages

Both plays explore struggle, Tom’s struggle to find creative expression and freedom which makes family commitment a burden and Eddie’s struggle to retain his central role in his community.  The allusion to Guernica and the turmoil in Spain in The Glass Menagerie, juxtaposed to the uneasy peace in America, establishes a tense atmosphere as the play's background. The great depression and economic hardship is essentially what drives Tom to entrapment. Similarly Miller  uses economical context to shape his play, A view from the Bridge. If it were not for the economical conditions Beatrices’ relatives would not have the need for a roof over their heads, and the love between Catherine and ...view middle of the document...

Alfieries role as narrator in Miller’s A view From The Bridge is very different when compared to Tom’s, he is constantly in and out of the play, acting as a reinforcment of Eddies inability to understand what he is doing is wrong and reminding us of his inarticulate behaviour. Alfieri’s commentary on the action of the play is integral within it, he adresses the audience directly and presents the events with a more impartial and credible perspective. By doing so he represents Eddies struggle for identity and the inevitabilty of his fate. Tom’s role as narrator allows Williams to represent struggle as a central theme.  Tom addresses the audience directly, also telling us that he is going to deliver truth disguised as illusion, making the audience conscious of the chimerical quality of theatre. By playing with the theme of memory and its distortions, Williams is free to use music, monologues, and projected images to haunting effect. Tom's fascination with the movies and the magician reveals his need for fantasy and escapism, Williams uses the rainbow coloured scarf and coffin in scene four to mock Tom’s beliefs. They demonstrate illusion in that the rainbow offers nothing and emphasise false hope in Tom’s dreams. The magician's most impressive trick becomes a symbol for what Tom wishes he could do - to make a clean, easy escape, without destroying the coffin or removing any nails. The use of the coffin as a symbol for Tom's predicament shows the depth of his unhappiness and emphasises the main theme-struggle. The play is episodic so we can presume Tom withholds what he does not consider significant, therefore we can never be secure in believing what Tom says. Wlliams also uses the screen legend ‘jolly roger’ to mock Tom’s beliefs.


 We compare Tom to Alfieri in A View from the Bridge, both plays are dependant upon the narrator to a certain extent. Miller successfully creates suspence from the beginning of the play in his use of …Alfieri plays a choric role, he watches the play ‘run it bloody course’ as it unfolds,...

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