Academic Master

English

A View From The Bridge By Arthur Miller

There exist few living dramatists who share Arthur Miller’s and Tennessee Williams’s inexorable commitment to exploring the hopes of contemporary man. What set these two men apart from the rest is apparently their massive success and their concern with the perfection of drama in the modern world. Arthur Miller is considered one of the best American playwriters, with his play A View from the Bridge being his best play due to its intensity of both echoes and passion with Greek tragedy. Arthur Miller had first written the play in 1955, but the reception was negative as he had focused on homosexual issues. Later, he opted to revise it and curtail the incestuous and homosexual aspect present in the play. Many people have also identified Tennessee Williams as one of America’s best playwrights and a major dramatist. Critics have praised his compassion in understanding the spiritual downtrodden, and his play, Cat on the Hot Tin Roof, has been viewed to be his most powerful work on the subject of homosexuality. The play is a heavy biography of the author’s life as it elaborates on some of the challenges Tennessee went through when growing up. While young, Tennessee Williams was shy and sensitive, and he grew up believing he was a disappointment to his family, especially his father. A Classic triadic family system was created by the play writers parents, a background commonly associated with homosexual men. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” by Tennessee Williams is a play about a person’s experience in a community that dictates and instructs how people should live their lives in an era where lack of communication results in the unavoidable loneliness of man. In an overcharged scenario of family crises, many truths are regarding human feelings, our love life, our materialism, and our insecurities, among others.

Major Themes in the Plays:

Cat on a hot tin roof

Homosexuality

Homosexuality is one of the “inadmissible things” that one cannot help but notice hovering in the background of the play. The room where we see the action taking place is the exact room that had once been occupied for many years by Jack Straw and Pete Ochello, who were homosexual lovers. In the play, Big Daddy is seen to have a thing for homosexuality as he speaks affectionately of Ochello, who was responsible for giving him the opportunities he now possesses. However, his Big Daddy’s tolerance when it comes to sexuality is not shared by Brick. Brick is seen to get horrified even when he gets the idea that his father might assume he is homosexual. The reason why Brick is like this is that he has been influenced by how society regards homosexuality. He is highly concerned about how society views him, and this results in him avoiding things that might go against social norms. Brick is a handsome football player and TV sports announcer, and for many years, he has been living upholding societal norms. Brick identifies all homosexuals as “queers” and “fairies,” and he defends his friendship with Skipper saying it’s clean and civilized and has nothing to do with sex(pg 122). Skipper is afraid of what others might think of him, something that is in contrast with Big Daddy, who says,”….I have stayed with too much space even to care what people think of me…”(p 122). It’s hard to fully assess Bricks’ sexuality as no one within the play regards him as being homosexual, though it’s possible he might be repressing his desires. Moreover, Skipper appears to be a homosexual, but this is not a fact. Maggie is one character who seems to think Skipper is homosexual, arguing that Skipper and Brick have an exceptionally close relationship. However, Tennessee Williams deliberately leaves this issue with ambiguity and lets the audience guess.

Arthur Miller- A View From the Bridge

The law

One of the most prominent themes in the play is the various codes of statutes present in multiple communities that conquer the national law. Miller has multifaceted the law within the play and presented to us a world that is entirely occupied by Italian immigrants; thus, society operates under two laws, American law and Sicilian the code of law that governs the community is characterized by the safeguarding of illegal immigrants, hard work, family bond, the sacredness of trust and the urge to revenge once a member of the community has been wronged. Alfieri, who is a lawyer, tries to act as the speaker for the official law, but this type of legislation is not received well by the characters and thus doesn’t accomplish its sole purpose. This law Alfieri tries to speak doesn’t offer actual justice as it serves to render lives apart. Moral Law is entirely different from the official law. One character, Eddie Carbone, is seen adhering to the formal law and opts to report his wife’s cousins. By subscribing to the American Official law, Eddie is condemned and forsaken by the community as he is regarded to have disrespected his community. Marco, on the other hand, is seen to violate the federal law and adheres to the moral code, and society embraces him. The community is quick to condemn and avenge if an individual turns against them, and it is this tension between the two kinds of laws that offers complexity as well as a nuance to the play.

In summation, it’s correct to say that despite the playwriters being the best in the business and agreeing on various points, such as homosexuality, they do compare on what position they emphasize more and use it as their primary theme. William uses homosexuality as his primary theme, while Miller opts to focus more on the code of laws.

References

Miller, Arthur. A View from the Bridge. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.

https://www.sfponline.org/uploads/70/AViewFromtheBridge.pdf

Williams, Tennessee. Cat on a hot tin roof. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014.

http://shsdavisapes.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/76523768/Cat%20on%20a%20Hot%20Tin%252

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