Discussion of the representation of masculinity in the Arthur Miller's 'A View From the Bridge', considering the extent to which the male characters are more acted upon than acting.

Essay by EnglishLitStudentHigh School, 12th gradeA-, July 2005

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Masculinity is a prevalent theme in Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge. The four leading male characters in the play; Eddie, Rodolpho, Marco and Alfieri; each play different roles and different types of men. Miller has represented men and masculinity in an unforgiving light in the play. It appears that it is men that confuse and create problems in the characters' lives. Each character's actions are effected by the conflicting forces of determinism, where every event and situation is the inevitable result of its preceding states of affairs; and freewill. It could be said that the male characters in A View From The Bridge are not acting, but being acted upon.

The main character in A View From The Bridge is Eddie. He is forty years of age, slightly overweight and is described as "husky". The huskiness used in the description refers to both Eddie's roughness and his strong, burly build.

His age suggests experience, another masculine quality. Eddie's appearance reflects his attitude, strong and intimidating. In trying to prove his masculinity, Eddie is the focus of many conversations, as he feels that he must dominate the conversation. Eddie's speech is very direct, with blunt wording. He constantly uses contractions and drops the last letter off words, such as in the phrase "I didn't say nothin'". Eddie's language is not sophisticated in any sense. This is because Eddie spent his time working instead of getting a proper education. Eddie also comes from a working class family, which would mean that his education is limited. The conglomeration of these factors conveys Eddie to be even more masculine. It is very clear that Miller has constructed Eddie to represent the epitome of masculinity; however the character has a propensity to be acted upon rather than acted.

Although Eddie is...