Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge can be said to be an expression of love and desire with various forms of love manifesting themselves in the play. The author undertakes to represent this love using various techniques enshrined in the language, form, and dramatic techniques. This essay will illustrate how Miller represents this love with evidences from the play and support from various literary resources where possible.
?The tone and language used in the place in a number of instances create a love atmosphere, whether expressed or implied. A very good example is the conversation between Eddie and Catherine in Act 1 (Miller, 2010). Eddie walks in and finds Catherine in a new dress and new hair make up. To him, the dress is a little bit short. Catherine expresses that this is the new trend and, furthermore, the dress is not short while she is standing. In a tone clearly manifesting jealousy, Eddie informs Catherine that she will have to sit down at some point. More so, there were some guys ‘looking’ at her in a way that Eddie did not like. Eddie says:
“Now don’t aggravate me, Katie, you are walkin’ wavy! I don’t like the looks they’re givin’ you in the candy store. And with them new high heels on the sidewalk – clack, clack, clack. The heads are turnin’ like windmills” (1.26).
?The language and tone of this statement clearly shows that Eddie is in love with Catherine and he does not want to compete for her with the other guys. Other than jealousy, the statement also depicts someone who is quite protective (or a bit overprotective). There is no expressed love in this situation, but it is all implied. If Catherine could read the tone in Eddie, it could be possible for her to get the real message conveyed in this statement. There are also other statements in the form of compliments that are exchanged in several instances in the play that create the impression of love. It has been established that a compliment speaks a thousand words (Chapman, 1995, p. 4) and, in this case, a compliment can communicate love. For example, Eddie tells Catherine that the way she walks down the street has been giving him the willies. The ‘willies’ in this statement mean a spell of nervousness. Apparently, Miller intended to use some hidden languages to represent love.
?Miller represents love as a feeling that can be dangerous sometimes, or that can cause dangerous reactions. It is dramatic that by the end of the play, Eddies has had feelings towards Catherine throughout, but no one has talked about these feelings. For this reason, Beatrice (who has always known) feels that Eddie will never have Catherine and ends up telling him so. Beatrice tells Eddie that he can never have her and that he should indeed bid her goodbye forever… “The truth is not as bad as blood, Eddie! I’m tellin’ you the truth – tell her good-bye forever!” (2.77). Miller creates drama that expresses a sad turn of events when Eddie feelings for Catherine do not end with him marrying her. The violent turn of events towards the end of the play expresses that Eddie’s love for Catherine is frustrated when Catherine marries someone else.
?Apparently, Miller (2010) represents love as something that does not always result in people ending up together. This is illustrated manifested by the expression of Eddie’s love for Catherine and Catherine ending up with another man. This illustrates the complexity of the concept of love. It is expressed in the play that Eddie was a friend of Catherine’s parents, and that the demise of her parents left her in Eddie’s care. Now, she is all grown up to be a beautiful woman and Eddie definitely falls in love with her.
?Eddie also represents love as having different levels. Basically, love does not have to be associated with intimacy, but could be an expression of great friendship between two people. For example, Marco loves his family, and this is the feeling that one gets for being attached to family. It is blood that brings them together. Beatrice loves her extended family, again showing love resulting from the blood ties. Beatrice cares for everyone, and this includes Catherine and Eddie. When things turn sour, it is Beatrice who ties to cool things down, actions she take for the love of everyone. She tells Eddie “Listen to me, I love you, I’m talkin’ to you, I love you; if Marco’ll kiss your hand outside, if he goes on his knees, what is he got to give you” (2.77). This is a different kind of love that Beatrice has for Eddie, not like that of Eddie towards Catherine.
?It can be seen, therefore, that Miller uses language and tone, drama and structure of the play to represent the various levels of love, as well as the outcomes of love. As seen in this essay, love may end up in happiness or in pain, depending on which direction it takes. There is love for family and friends, and then there is deep affection for someone. All these levels of love have been represented in the play.