Explore the Role of Alfieri in ‘a View from the Bridge’ by Arthur Miller

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‘A View from the Bridge’ was written by Arthur Miller in 1955. This was ten years after the Second World War; the play was set around the same time in Red Hook, New York. Arthur Miller’s family were immigrants but they were legal so he knows what its like to be poor and an immigrant because of the Wall Street crash. A lot of the people who moved to Red Hook were from Sicily, Italy this was because Italy was involved a lot in the war, so the country was poor and had no work so people went to Red Hook looking for work. The work was only Casual Labour; they worked as long shore men, unloading ships. Alfieri is a lawyer he was born in Italy but when he was 25 he moved to Red Hook and he still lives there. He’s lived in Red Hook for about 25 years which means he’s around 50 now. Alfieri moved to Red Hook to study American Law, lawyers get paid a lot of money but Alfieri wanted to live the Red Hook a slum area because he wanted to be with the other Italian immigrants. Alfieri knows the lawyers in Red Hook are seen as unlucky and not generally trusted but now they nod to him which means he is now trusted. Alfieri says, “I am inclined to notice the ruins in things” this is how he views Eddie, who is ruined by his own actions. Alfieri is a reliable narrator because he is a lawyer. Alfieri plays the part as a Greek Chorus this means a single person or a group of people who would be watching the play and then commenting on pasts of the play. It comes from Greece. He shows us the tragedy of Eddie who is destroyed by his love doe his niece that he should have. The effect of Alfieri sitting on his desk shows the he’s gone from being a character to a narrator or chorus and he’s much more relaxed. When Alfieri talks to the audience in his speech he speaks as if he’s talking to the audience as his friends in a very formal way. The point of Alfieri’s speech at the
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