A View From the Bridge

by Arthur Miller

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Explore the theme of conflict in A View From the Bridge. You must consider language, form, and structure in your answer

The theme of conflict is explored through Eddie’s casual language and Alfieri’s formal narration.

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Language informs the theme of conflict in Arthur Miller’s play AView From the Bridge because the way Eddie speaks mirrors his actions in the play. Eddie’s first lines are, “Well, I’ll see ya, fellas.” He says “ya” instead of “you” and “fellas” instead of “fellows.” His casual discourse...

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here, especially when compared to Alfieri’s more formal discourse, could be seen as hinting towards his oppressive, possessive handling of Catherine, which creates the main conflict in the play.

To discuss how form and structure correspond to the conflict theme, think about the start of Miller’s play. Miller kicks off his play by having Alfieri speak directly to the audience. It’s like Alfieri is a tour guide: he's laying out how the play is built and showing the elements that comprise it. He acknowledges that Italian Americans have become “civilized.” Then he adds a caveat—a “and yet…”

The qualification should alert the audience that they’re about to enter a world that’s been constructed to illuminate the “and yet…” They are going to witness what happens when some people don’t act “civilized.” Alfieri, in so many words, makes it clear that the impending story is founded on the conflict between what passes for civilized behavior and what passes for uncivilized behavior.

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