A View From The Bridge: Revealing Of Masculinity In A Novel
The theme of masculinity is brought out by all the men in the novel, the idea of being masculine is being someone who has strength, someone who is built and has muscles and someone who has dark hair. Masculinity is one of the main themes in the novel that lead to its climax and conclusion
Masculinity is first brought up by Eddie Carbone, Eddie is the main protagonist of the novel, he is a man who is very protective of his family especially Catherine. According to Eddie, a man is someone who puts their family first, Eddie believes that men should be the ones that go out and earn money for the family. Eddie tries to convince everyone that Rodolfo relies on is a homosexual because he knows it will show his masculine superiority. He also tries to show Rodolfo who the man of the house relies on is by teaching him boxing and going a little too hard during the friendly spur. Eddie also tried to show his masculine superiority by pinning Rodolfo down and kissing him. He does this to try to prove to Catherine that Rodolfo is gay and that he is not as manly and strong as he is.
Masculinity in the novel is an ideology that’s all about strength, the stronger you are the more masculine you are this is why Eddie wanted to spur with Rodolfo however ounce Marco noticed it was getting too dangerous he and Eddie had a masculinity showdown of their own when Marco lifted the chair above his head and while Eddie was struggling to do so. This contest between the men was a foreshadow of who will survive the much longer contest of strength. Marco’s masculinity is almost the same as Eddie’s however Marco’s has a slight difference which is his honour and the honour of his family members which is why he stands up for Rodolfo to show Eddie that he will protect his family from anything no matter the cost, it is also shown when Marco accuses Eddie of stealing the food from his family’s mouth because Eddie committed a taboo among the Italians and snitched on Marco and Rodolfo for being immigrants. Eddie’s masculinity differs from that of Marco because Eddie is obsessed with how the community sees him and will do anything to make sure that is not tarnished, which is why he threatens to kill Marco after he accused Eddie in front of the whole neighbourhood, Eddie was scared that he would receive the same fate as the boy in the beginning thus why he wanted Marco to apologise so that the people would believe Eddie. Marco’s masculinity is how Arthur millers perception of how a man in his time should have represented. In Arthur’s time, men were supposed to be strong have deep voices and dark hair and is he designed Marco and Eddie to fit that description. However, there is one male Character the Miller has designed that does not fit any of these descriptions and that is Rodolfo
Rodolpho is a skinny man with blonde hair who stitches, sings and dances. Unlike the other two men, Eddie and Marco, Rodolfo is not really motivated by honour and anything else he is just happy to be in a country where he can work and get enough money to buy his motorcycle. Rodolpho represents the future of male masculinity, Rodolfo is a symbol to show that not all men need to be strong and have dark hair. He tries to show us that a man can have the tendencies of a woman and still be able to call himself a man. Miller shows this to us through Eddie relentless efforts to prove that Rodolfo is gay and all attempts failed because Rodolfo truly lived Catherine despite his feminine tendencies. With Rodolfo representing the new male idealism of masculinity, it shows that Arthur was also widening his view on what masculinity is and does not limit it to only strength and dark hair.