In Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, Eddie’s relationship with his niece, Catherine, continually alter over the course of the play. Though Eddie’s affection towards Catherine never seems to falter, as Catherine grows and matures, her attitude towards Eddie becomes increasingly aggressive, contrasting vividly between the two acts. The developing relationships are made obvious at certain intervals where significant incidents occur, leading to drastic permutations in Catherine’s demeanor towards Eddie.

Arthur Miller portrays these changes through use of various set directions and tones, which combine to create the differing characters and development of relationships. Initially, at the beginning of Act One, Catherine craves Eddie’s approval. When he condemns her for the fact that she has been “walkin’ wavy” and the length of her skirt, Catherine is “almost in tears” from angst at Eddie’s chastise, imploring with him “what do you want me to do? ”. She then asks “do you want me to.. ” before he interrupts her with “Now don’t get mad, kid”.

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The interaction between the two convey how their relationship resembles that of a father and daughter. Catherine’s adoring and idolizing nature towards Eddie is exemplified through the how she “hurries out” to retrieve his cigar, and then the tender way in which she lights it for him. Though she is aware of Eddie’s overprotective tendencies, she regards this as simply looking out for her since the death of her mother, and attempts to make light of it by “trying to joke him out of his warning”.

Though Eddie’s feelings for Catherine never change, later on in the scene, when Eddie observes Catherine’s and Rodolpho’s immediate infatuation towards one another during the arrival of Beatrice’s cousins, he begins to resent Rodolpho, which in turn causes him to act aggresively towards Catherine. He patronizingly questions her choice of attire; “What’s the high heels for, Garbo? ” making reference to a popular actress at the time, and as such embarrasses Catherine, who is “angered” by the slur.

She begrudgingly does as he asks, but does not end her flirtation with Rodolpho, displaying a small act of rebellion against Eddie’s constant cosseting. As Catherine and Rodolpho’s affiliation develops, it puts a strain on Catherine’s relationship with Eddie. When Eddie intersects Catherine and Rodolpho as they return from the “pictures”, he seems saddened, “trying to smile” as he confronts her. Eddie’s demeanor changes after Catherine admits that she “likes” Rodolpho, accusing him of using her to become an American citizen.

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‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller was first produced in 1953 in the middle of the McCarthy political ‘witch-hunt’, and was made to show ‘the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history,’ making it a political parable. It is set in a strong puritan society-a society of devout Protestants who criticised the newly established Elizabethan church and who led a life under very strict religious rules. Puritanism was not just a religion, but a way of life, with the government rules based on religious morals.

Political and moral values paralleled each other, and as a result of paranoia regarding the fear shared amongst the inhabitants that the philosophy of communism would undermine and destroy the American way of life, the government became obsessed with searching out American communist sympathisers. Because the Puritans in Salem led such a strict way of life, hatred and grudges manifested themselves in the community, but without an outlet.

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As a result of some amateur dabbling in the supernatural by a group of adolescent girls in Salem, caused by the ‘seen and not heard’ policy Puritan children faced, necessitating them to go slightly wild when not under adult supervision because of the silence and politeness that they had to endure otherwise, the jails were eventually filled up with innocent men and women accused of witchcraft, at the whim of the group of girls’ newly found power.

Miller clearly understands the absurd and horrific nature of these trials, and strives to portray that in his play, highlighting some of the major issues that clearly needed to be addressed at the time. Religious hypocrisy is veryy evident in Act 3, with key religious figures using religion for their own personal gain. Reputation also played a key role in the puritan society of Salem, where guilt by association is particularly pernicious. Blame placing and indictments riddle the play throughout, even before the confinements of the courtroom, and these accusations are instrumental in bringing the cry of witchcraft to Salem.

Suppression of the truth is clearly evident in this act of the play, especially regarding Abigail, the girls and Parris. Danforth’s questioning techniques are also imposing and inflexible. There are too many reputations at stake for the figures caught up in the prosecutions to back out of the lies and hysteria. There are also elements of unwillingness to consider the fact that the court may be false, in an attempt to maintain social order, but in the process suppressing individuals and their freedom.

There are also many contextual links to the fact that a name is important to a man, and each one has an unwillingness to part with it, and that it is an essential component of one’s character. ‘he that filches from me my good name… makes me poor indeed. ‘ In Act 3, Miller clearly highlights the issue of religious hypocrisy, showing the stupidity of the morals behind the witch trials, and the obvious exploitation of them by individuals in their personal interest. They act under the cover of having good religous incentives, using the trials for personal gain.

Miller uses dramatic devices in this act to highlight religious hypocrisy. ‘I know not what a witch is. ‘ ‘How do you know then that you are not a witch? ‘ When the God-fearing, friendly Martha Corey is being accused for witchcraft, elements of black humour show-Martha claims she is not a witch, but doesn’t know what a witch is. The obscure humour serves only to heighten the tragedy, and to develop the idea of the trials being used for personal gain. ‘You’re hearing lies, lies!

‘ Giles Corey realises the hypocrisy of the trials, knowing that Thomas Putnam is exploiting the trials to gain money, by accusing owners of large plots of land, and that lies adorn the courtroom excessively, showing his pure frustration that he shares with Proctor and many others at the hypocrisy and absurd nature of the trials, through his angry and indignant delivery of lines. The events in Act 3 also highlight the religious hypocrisy, such as when Parris uses the parable of Cane and Abel to accuse Proctor.

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