Cultural Arts Review

10 01 2011

Abby Murray-Nikkel

Mr. Haning

Varsity Chorus 1st period B

January 10, 2011

Cultural Arts Review-“A View from the Bridge”


“A View from the Bridge,” produced by the Cape Fear Regional Theatre, brought to life a dramatic story about prejudice, loyalty, and love. The play was done very well, with superb acting and impressive costumes and scenery. For me, it probed questions about family and independence and got me thinking about these things.

It started off with a scene full of chaos: someone screaming “Eddie Carbone!” and people running all around; then we see a murder about to happen. The lights cut off and the scene changes, and Alfieri, a lawyer, comes out and introduces a story which he says he watched happen but could do nothing to prevent. This first impression of the play had my mind running. I could tell that this story would not have a happy ending, and this set a somewhat gloomy tone in my mind.

The story revolves around Eddie, a hard-working family man who lives with his wife Beatrice and niece Catherine. Beatrice’s cousins from Italy, Marco and Rodolpho, are smuggled into the country and stay with the family. Eddie has already been struggling with allowing Catherine to be more independent and have a job on the other side of town, and when she starts to fall in love with Rodolpho, Eddie gets very jealous. Catherine no longer spends all of her free time with Eddie, and Eddie seems to think that Rodolpho is “not right.”

“A View from the Bridge” takes place in New York City in the 1950’s, when men were still very much in charge of the household, and when any man who seemed somewhat feminine may be pinned as homosexual. When we recognize these things, it is understandable that Eddie would be angry when someone within his household is going against his desires and what society deems right. However, when looked at from the mindset of someone from the twenty-first century, most people see Eddie as being overbearing and prejudice. This made me see how much American society has changed in the past fifty years in this respect; most young women I know my age are now expected to choose for themselves what they want to do after school or who they want to marry. However, I also saw some saddening similarities, because there are still some parents who have ideas for how they want their children’s lives to be that they push onto them, creating a struggle for the young person who has to choose between what they want and what their parents want.

Another similarity I noticed was how quickly Eddie was to label Rodolpho as homosexual because he liked to sing and joke around more than what he was used to. It is too often that people today will call someone “gay” or a “fag” when they do something outside their expected gender role, such as a man watching a chick flick, or a woman having a passion for athletics.

In the end, Eddie went to far in an attempt to get his way. When Catherine decided to marry Rodolpho against his will, he turned Marco and Rodolpho in to the Immigration Office, and this betrayal ultimately led to his own death. This could be seen as a lesson to recognize when to let go of things or that each person has to make decisions for themselves, and trying to make a decision for someone else will not work.




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