Arthur Miller wrote many endings for his play- ‘A view from the bridge’. As we know the chosen ending results in Marco killing Eddie. One other possible ending for this play was Eddie begging Catherine to choose him- Eddie refuses to hide from his meeting with Marco and tries once more to prevent Catherine marrying Rodolfo. Beatrice begs him to let Catherine go but when she and Rodolfo start to leave, Eddie grabs hold of her and kisses her on the lips passionately, and asks her to choose him rather than Rodolfo.
When Marco arrives, Eddie pulls a knife on him but Marco turns it on Eddie. He is fatally wounded and falls to the ground. With his dying breath he says, ‘Catherine- why? ‘ This ending is negative of Eddie and isn’t a reflection of his personality because I don’t think Eddie actually truly admitted to himself that he had feelings for Catherine, which is what drove him to his death. Also dramatically this ending wouldn’t work because Eddie is a proud man so wouldn’t ‘beg’. This ending is the predictable ending and so wouldn’t provide a shock for the audience.
This also seems a repetition of what happened earlier in the play when Eddie was drunk and kissed both Catherine and Rodolfo, so it is a boring ending. I don’t think this ending is what the audience want because Eddie dies with Catherine’s name when the audience actually want Eddie to die with Beatrice’s name. Another possible ending was Catherine killing Eddie. This ending seems to be too melodramatic which isn’t the type of plays Miller writes. Arthur Miller is a political playwright so this wouldn’t be an ending, which fulfils Miller’s reason for writing the play.
Also Catherine is still a young girl and from what I have learnt of her character from the play, I don’t think she is brave enough to carry out a murder. This ending also hints that Catherine had strong feelings for Eddie because you ‘kill the one you love’ which wasn’t the case. This ending moves the limelight away from Eddie and onto Catherine, which Miller would not approve of. As can be seen from Miller’s other plays, men are the protagonists so this ending would go against Miller’s writing style. The ending I have chosen to compare with the plays actual ending is Eddie killing himself.
Although on the surface this ending seems to be the most unrealistic and unfitting to the play, it brings out the religious context of the play and also shows Eddie as more humane because he finally admitted he was in the wrong. In all the alternative endings Miller could have chosen, Eddie is the one who dies. This is important because from the start we are given hints of the storyline that Eddie dies a tragic death. My script starts from when Marco has agreed not to harm Eddie because this is where the action picks up. As Eddie enters the house from work, he bumps into Beatrice who is just leaving.
Beatrice is dressed in her best clothes. They accidentally bump into each other at the door. Beatrice: (in a scared, quiet tone) Oh, hi Eddie Beatrice is aware of what Eddie would think about her going to the wedding. Eddie: (alarmed but knowing the answer to his question) Where do you think you’re going? (Eddie is still trying to sound as though he is control) Coming from a Sicilian background Eddie’s belief is that the man should be the leader of the household and that everything concerning his family should go past him first and that he should defend those close to him. This is shown by the way he talks to Catherine.
Catherine is talking to him about her job as a stenographer and he says ‘why didn’t you ask me before you took a job? ‘ This shows that he expected Catherine to ask for his permission before accepting the job. He wants her to ask for permission so he feels like he is the boss and because he wasn’t consulted first he feels threatened. This is one thing that leads to his downfall because he was trying to be so manly he could not show any emotions, so he kept everything inside. Beatrice:(with fear) I’ll be back in an hour Eddie: (raising his voice) I said where do you think you’re going?
Eddie is trying to show he is still dominant but as the audience knows he has totally lost control. This is partly due to his cultural background. His Sicilian background inter links with his ideas of manhood because his Sicilian background told him that he had to the man of the house. He shows his masculinity when he starts to be competitive with Marco and Rodolfo for instance when he starts to teach Rodolfo how to Box ”well come on, I’ll teach you” and then when Marco showed Eddie that he could pick up a chair with one hand, Eddie sounded defeated because he couldn’t do it.
His thoughts of manhood also lead to his ruin because he was so self indulgent that he could not take Alfieri’s advice to let Catherine do what she wanted to do. Beatrice: (no longer afraid) Oh, for goodness sake, it is her wedding day. (Eddie’s face suddenly sinks and he goes to sit in his rocker) Here Beatrice is aware that Eddie has lost control. She is fed up with Eddie and Marco’s rivalry and is desperate for things to go back to the way they were. Eddie: You don’t get it do you? All day at the docks, I hear whispers around me.
I couldn’t even enter my front door without all the neighbours whispering and staring at me. (Almost shouting now) That rat, he took my name and threw it in the mud. (Almost pleading with Beatrice) B, I want my respect. This shows that what Catherine said before- ‘nobody is gonna talk to him again if he lives to a hundred’ was true. It also shows that Eddie’s honour has been lost which is symbolised by Marco spitting at him before. Honour is one of the themes, which runs throughout the play.
Respect must be maintained; that is the inevitable consequence of the attitudes to family contained in this play. Eddies is so concerned about his respect in the neighbourhood he forgets about what he is doing to the people close to him. This is shown when at the final scene in Miller’s ending he kept on demanding respect ”wipin the neighbourhood with my name like dirty rag; I want my name back Marco, now gimme my name and we go together to the wedding” as a result of this Eddie died.
I also included this aspect because it brings out the context in which the play was set in. Eddie was so concerned about what the neighbourhood thought of him because he lived a close-knit community. So when they heard what Marco had said and done to Eddie, they probably thought it would be better not to talk to Eddie, as it might affect them. This would hurt Eddie knowing what the community thought of him, that’s why he was demanding respect and would not accept defeat.