How Does Miller Convey Tension In This Scene? In this essay I will be discussing the various ways that Arthur Miller creates tension in the last scene in act one of A View from the Bridge. When you read this essay you will have to understand the definition of tension is. According the Oxford School Dictionary, “tension is a feeling of anxiety or nervousness about something that is about to happen. ” Before the scene I will discuss how Eddie and Rodolpho created an awkward tension between them.
They create this tension because Eddie is jealous of Catherine and Rodolpho’s relationship because Catherine loves him and not Eddie; he doesn’t like the fact that his feelings are one way only. At the start of the play we out that Beatrice’s cousins are going to live with them. We then find out that Beatrice’s cousins are illegal immigrants from Italy. Marco decides to work in America to pay for his family, who live in Italy and are poor. Rodolpho came with Marco making it seem like he’s going to help Marco with his family.
Eddie doesn’t like Rodolpho from the start of the play, but after Rodolpho starts dating Catherine Eddie starts to dislike him more. In this scene Eddie is portrayed as an impatient character, “Rises, paces up and down” he creates tension and a tense atmosphere for everyone in the scene because he is pacing, no one can tell what he’s going to do next. As he’s pacing he starts lecturing them “a girl don’t go around with a shawl over her head that she ain’t strict, y’know? Girl don’t have to wear a black dress to be strict. In this quote he is trying to contain his anger, but has been easily angered with brings tension because his anger will only just get greater and it will bring more awkwardness to the scene that’s unfolding in front of him. Rodolpho doesn’t get what he’s done wrong and tries to reason with Eddie “I always have respect. ” This brings a confused, awkward tension to the scene. Beatrice starts to back Rodolpho and Catherine up, which angers Eddie even more. “(To Catherine) Well, you said the movie ended late, didn’t you? ” if this wasn’t enough to anger Eddie, she then does onto say “Well, tell him, honey (To Eddie) The movie ended late. This brings an angry tension to this scene. After this argument Eddie is “Holding back a voice fill of anger. ” This is another sign that he is easily angered. “There is a pause, an awkwardness. Now Catherine gets up and puts a record on the phonograph. ” As it says in the quote there is awkwardness, it’s an awkward tension and everyone’s waiting for something to happen. Catherine offers Rodolpho to dance; it takes a bit of encouragement but he eventually gives up, which bring Beatrice into conversation “Must be nice to go all over in one of them fishin’ boats. They talk about the lack of girls who go, then Marco brings up that when Rodolpho goes on the boat everyone gets fat, that sets Eddie off again, but in a sarcastic tone more than a an angry one “He’s Lucky, believe me. That’s why the water front is no place for him. I mean like me – I can’t cook, I can’t sing, I can’t make dresses, so I’m on the water front. But if I could cook, if I could sing, if I could make dresses, I wouldn’t be on the water front. ” Arthur Miller conveys tension by hinting that Eddie thinks that Rodolpho’s gay. “He has bent the rolled paper and it suddenly tears in two. The torn paper portrays the broken family that they have become it also shows how quickly the tension is built. When they start to box, it seems harmless, it seems to have no secret intention. Eddie starts off teaching him the basics, “Just put your hands up, like this, see? That’s right. That’s very good, keep your left up, because you lead with the left, see, like this. ” This brings a bit of tension because you don’t know why Eddie is being so nice all of a sudden. The tension gets built up when “Catherine comes from the kitchen, watches” but soon looses all of the tension when “she senses only the comradeship in it now. The tension isn’t lost for long when Eddie hits Rodolpho. “Sure, he’s terrific! Look at him go! (Rodolpho lands a blow. ) ‘At’s it! Now, watch out, here I come, Danish (he feints with his left hand and lands with his right. It mildly staggers Rodolpho. Marco rises. )” This brings tension because no one expected it; it leaves everyone confused to why Eddie had hit him, Eddie had feigned with his right hand and hit him with his left hand. No body knows what’s happening at first but everyone rushes over to see how Rodolpho is okay, Catherine, Beatrice, Marco and Rodolpho are all shocked about what Eddie did.
When Rodolpho assures everyone that he’s okay he and Catherine go back to dancing. “Dance, Catherine. Come. ” The tension has eased off a bit again. He wants to dance now as a way to get the attention off him. Whereas earlier when he was asked to dance he didn’t want the attention. The similarity for both times is that Rodolpho doesn’t want attention. Eddie is back in his rocker as Marco brings a chair and places it in front of him. “Can you lift this chair? ” Marco asks, this gives a hint as to what’s about to happen, but doesn’t give it away, we as the audience remain confused as to what’s about to happen.
Marco demonstrates and Eddie tries but fails. Marco then does it without fail. “Marco is face to face with Eddie a strained tension gripping his eyes and jaw, his neck stiff, the chair raised like a weapon over Eddie’s head -” The tension is growing here, because we as the audience don’t know what Marco is going to do to Eddie, “– but he transforms what might appear like a glare of warning into a smile of triumph, and Eddie’s grin vanishes as he absorbs his look. ” This is a tension filled way to finish the scene, Eddie is being threatened and Marco is the one threatening him.
The focus is on them and the whole stage goes black, it makes you wonder what’s going to happen next. So I have told you the various ways that Miller has created tension in this scene, and at some points there is barely no tension and in other parts you can cut through it with a knife. I’ve also discussed some of the other scenes in the play and how Rodolpho has always been oblivious to Eddie’s hatred toward him. I’ve also explained how the scene ends so full of tension and leaves the audience wanting more. Miller conveys tension in a lot of ways in this scene. At some points it is very vague and at other times it’s obvious that it is there.