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Philip Allan Literature Guide (for GCSE): A View from the Bridge Paperback – 28 May 2010
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For study or revision, these guides are the perfect accompaniment to the set text, providing invaluable background and exam advice.
About the Author
Shaun McCarthy is a professional playwright for stage and radio. His recent plays have been produced by Bristol Old Vic, Ustinov Studio Bath Theatre Royal and the Katie Read Company, and by BBC Radio 4. He teaches writing for performance at Oxford and Bristol universities. He has written many education titles, including study guides to Shakespeare and modern dramatists, creative writing programmes and literary biographies.
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In this play, Eddie inherits the duty of raising his niece since the death of his sister. When cousins who are illegal immigrants come to stay with the family, it is a challenge to Eddie's role as father figure. The character and integrity of Rodolpho the younger immigrant is called in to question as he begins a relationship with Eddie's niece Catherine. Is he only marrying her to obtain American citizenship? Is he too much of a free spirit with his singing and dress-making skills? In Eddie's eyes, he certainly not the proper suiter he expected for Catherine. With a wedding on the horizon, Eddie takes his only real option to prevent the marriage. He calls immigration. The final confrontation between Rodolpho and Eddie ends in tragedy, but the character flaws in both men make it difficult to sympathize with either.
The story raises questions of the bonds of family as well as the changing conditions of immigration into America. The fact that the play makes the reader think about social conditions is a reflecion of the quality of the play. It is from the high standard readers hold an Arthur Miller play to.