Everything Apart From Coloured Leg Warmers

Friday, November 10, 2006

As The Poems Go

as the poems go into the thousands you
realize that you've created very
little.

(Charles Bukowski)

Friday, November 03, 2006

we'll put it in a picture frame

I was surfing poems on fictionpress last night and i cam across this author who i cannot describe as anything short of PERFECT. though all his poem centre around drugs and other such, his imagery is beautiful and some of his lines are truly magnificant.
such as, "tonight you'll be the cliche" and "he's driving liek he can outrun him memories/ but my demons are catching up". i'm putting up ONE of his poems, but i suggest going and checking his other stuff out too.. http://www.fictionpress.com/u/542645/


I want to kiss your hips until they bleed,
and your skin finally has color,
because it’s nights like this one
that make my fingers ache for you,

and my scars are burning
(I’m writhing for your promises
that are waiting for tomorrow to break)
to be re-opened and I itch
just to press my mouth against yours and
I rub my fingers across my lips,

We’re all lust and midnights and humid june days
(so tonight,you’ll be the cliché)
and we’re free falling onto your sheets and my fleece blanket
is earning it’s keep tonight,

my fingers are in your hair and your hips are pressing me
into your bed and your words are in my head
I whisper your name against your neck,and my legs are tangled with yours
while we share a cigarette and a beer
and your shoulders are scarred by my nails
one.more.time.

you ask me when my mind is twisting
and your fingers wont stop teasing me,
how we’ll remember to forget this in the morning.
(I whisper,
we’ll put it in a picture frame)

his english isnt all that great, but i love the poem

clouded?

oops i forgot- i was checking the cie site (again) and the poems listed there completely contradict the printed syllabus we all got at the beginning of the year.

this link includes "pike" and excludes both the Rosetti poems, whereas the hard copy is the exact mirror opposite:

http://www.cie.org.uk/CIE/WebSite/UCLESData/Documents/A%20Level/Other%20Docs/Notes%20on%20AS%20Anthology%20april%2014.pdf


(should we just cover all of them?)

the last one?

Q. Does Arthur Miller fail in his indictment of American political policy to intervene in the lives of citizens regarding their choices? Base your answer on Eddie’s betrayal of Rodolpho considering Eddie a representative of the law.

“A View from the Bridge” revolves around an Italian family settled in Brooklyn in a fragment of the 20th century when McCarthyism was on the rise. The play focuses upon the turbulence caused by the entry of two illegal immigrants into the home of Eddie Carbone. His wife’s Italian cousins, Marco and Rodolpho, shatter the ostensibly comfortable atmosphere which previously existed in the family, shedding light upon the relationship between Eddie and his wife, as well as the somewhat suspicious relationship between him and his niece, Catherine. One could say Miller utterly fails in his attempt to indict American policy due to the fact that the audience invariably sympathizes with Eddie until his death. The pathos of the play must be examined as well as different levels of symbolism.
In the opening scene of the play, we find Eddie narrating an anecdote to Catherine of a neighbour, Vinny, Bolzano, who reported his own illegally residing uncle to authorities and was thrown out of his home for his betrayal. The intolerance of this kind of act is palpably conveyed by Eddie’s tone and here we may be exposed to Miller’s strong stand against McCarthyism. Simultaneously it is slightly foreshadowed that Eddie will eventually face the same fate that he speaks of despicably, as an earlier narrator mentions the protagonist’s doom. This upfront transparency of the storyline may be seen as ineffective, but it does provoke a new stream of thought: What could cause Eddie to become what he is so obviously against? What is it that could justify American policy to intervene in the lives of citizens? Can McCarthyism be perceived as something legitimate? If anything, this flow of questions serves as a Pandora’s Box for Miller if he does want to indict America’s policy.
As the play progresses and escalates, we are introduced to Marco and Rodolpho and their homely charm. Rodolpho’s plain attraction to Catherine is deliberately evident in their first meeting itself, and Eddie’s fatherly instinct towards her suddenly manifests itself as dangerously close to that of a lover as he warns her in an almost jealous manner. We continue to sympathize with Eddie as his hatred of the immigrants grows and understand the toil he has endured in the harbour for a seeming eternity. Do these feelings help justify McCarthyism in a strange sense? If symbolism is taken into account at this stage and the play is no longer perceived simplistically as the dispute within a family, that sympathy is somewhat lost. Eddie’s betrayal of Marco and Rodolpho stems from nothing but personal anger, caused by his sexual attraction towards his niece. Can these motives translate to anything on another level? Senator Joseph McCarthy, a conservative politician from Wisconsin, may have felt it an absolute necessity to cleanse his nation of communists and the ideology in its entirety before it could taint America, a country which he, in a sense, like all true Americans, helped to foster and grow. It can be construed that Catherine represents America as a nation in “A View from a Bridge”, and Eddie does not want her to be usurped by someone or something foreign, just as McCarthy had a paranoia about the communist takeover of America during the Cold War, a constant oscillation of aggression and containment. Is it not only natural that as a protective gesture, one should report anything unfamiliar or illegal? One could say, as reflectd in our recurrent sympathy for Eddie, Miller almost justifies McCarthyism, not in the least indicting it.
As the climax nears, Eddie, in an act of complete desperation, blindly stumbles to the artistically emphasized telephone booth. The brightly coloured telephone is depicted as a temptation, or something that is wrong and should be resisted, which in reversal of the law, as technically reporting an illegal immigrant is something “right” and not using the telephone would be the wrong act. In this light, American law and political policy is once again seen as something indicted by the playwright. Thus we are very aware of the fact that McCarthyism is something conventionally accepted as wrong today, yet we understand the undercurrent of the sentiments during the Cold War's tensions, somewhat synonymous to the tensions overwhelming Eddie Carbone’s household, eventually engulfing him.

my essay *tadah*

here's my essay:

Does Arthur Miller fail in his indictment of American political policy to intervene in the lives of citizens regarding their choices? Base your answer on Eddie’s betrayal of Rodolpho considering Eddie a representative of the law.

“A View From The Bridge” is a play set between the early and the mid twentieth century and it follows the lives of an Italian family living in an Italian-dominated community in Brooklyn during the time when McCarthyism was most prominent. McCarthyism describes the period in American history (roughly spanning from the late 1940s to the 1950s) during which there was intense anti-communist suspicion. Senator Joseph McCarthy, an extreme rightist, encouraged the aggressive investigations and questioning of any citizen upon whom the slightest suspicion (about having leftist associations or beliefs) had been cast. During this time, the phrase “guilty until proven innocent” seems most apt as suspicions were often given legitimacy despite inconclusive and shaky evidence. McCarthy tried his best to suppress freedom of expression and he urged people to expose communists even if they were their friends. Miller fought passionately against McCarthy and even served time in jail as he believed that people used McCarthy’s warped ideas of ‘patriotism’ to serve their own ulterior motives for betraying others.
In, “A View From The Bridge,” Miller uses Eddie Carbone as a representative of the law and shows him betraying his wife’s cousins (who were illegal immigrants from Sicily) because he is jealous of one of the brothers (Rodolpho) to exemplify his beliefs. The play is based on an actual even witnessed by Miller where a longshoreman handed over his relatives to the Immigration Bureau as a way of preventing a marriage between on of the brothers and his niece. The community scorned and then ostracized the man and after his disappearance it was rumored that he was killed by one of the brothers. Miller translated this story into a one-act drama, but his original script was poorly received because of its “coldness” and “lack of human emotion”. The rewritten version, which was more popular, increases the roundness of the female characters and adds a more human touch to Eddie. Therefore, at the end of this process, if Miller wished the audience to feel hatred towards Eddie as he embodies the evils of McCarthyism, then I feel he fails as the strong psychological undercurrents revolving around sexual and platonic relationships partially divert our attention from the legal and political aspects. The audience find themselves empathizing with Eddie instead of loathing him and the law.
Miller himself called by the government to name names of leftist sympathizers in 1956 and he refused to do so. By doing so he was honored by the artist community for his strength and loyalty. Unlike Eddie, Miller chose loyalty but like Eddie, he went against the community’s beliefs. In his drama, Miller reversed the scene, making the community supportive of the unlawful cousins. The drastic consequences and repercussions Eddie faced after betraying Rodolpho and Marco was a tool employed by Miller to condemn McCarthy trials and those who betrayed innocent people. I feel Miller failed in this intent because according to the law, Eddie had every right to alert the authorities as illegal immigration is a legitimate national crime even today. Eddie Carbone's suppressed feelings for his niece and rage at (and perhaps desire for) the newcomer who seems to have won her heart have little or nothing to do with the complex political situation existing in America during that time. At the height of McCarthyism, people took advantage of the unjust law to achieve their means. Here Eddie isn’t taking advantage of an unfair law per say. Therefore, the “unfairness” of Marco and Rodolpho’s arrest isn’t as impacting as it would have been if their arrest had been to suppress freedom of expression, for example.
Eddie is also painted as a very full character and we can’t bring ourselves to see him as being “bad”. He is confused by his sexual orientation. He extends a kind of incestuous affection towards Catherine, which stems from his over-protective nature. For example, when Catherine first appears, the stage directions say, “Eddie is pleased (after seeing Catherine) and therefore is shy about it” and after that he dives into an argument during which he chastises Catherine for her short skirts and “wavy walk”. This exchange betrays his over protective personality but not his incestuous feelings. As the play carries on and Eddie grows more and more agitated with Catharine’s relationship with Rodolpho, the latter starts getting confirmed. This relationship is climaxed when Eddie, in a drunken state, kisses Catherine. Whenever confronted with this, however, Eddie gets extremely upset. Therefore, in his personally constructed reality, Eddie believes that what he is doing is right and for Catherine’s own good. Seeing these complex emotions and the poor emotional state which washes over Eddie, (Alfieri always describes him as having ‘hollow, black and tunnel-like’ eyes) the audience cannot help but feel pity after his eventual demise.
Eddie’s suspicions of Rodolpho being gay and only marrying Catherine to become an American citizen aren’t completely unjustified. The stereotypes of a homosexual man are extremely prevalent in the text as Rodolpho sings, cooks and sews a dress for Catherine. Louis and Mike, when talking about Rodolpho, clearly think there is something wrong with him and Eddie speaks directly to Alfieri about the specific things that bother him about Rodolpho. The audience is never sure about Rodolpho’s sexuality, but we definitely question it. Also when Catherine asks Rodolpho whether he would still marry her if they moved to Italy, he is extremely evasive with his answer and gets angry, finally shouting, “No; I will not marry you to live in Italy. I want you to be my wife and I want to be a citizen.” The audience might therefore be able to understand Eddie’s reservations about Rodolpho and why he is so against the marriage.
As the play isn’t directly connected to McCarthyism or even to the spirit of arresting people on unfair grounds, I feel Miller doesn’t bring out the totalitarian aspects of the anti-communist society. The play is instead, a deep exploration of human emotions and behavior and it really delves deep into motives and intentions. Miller’s hatred for McCarthyism is better brought out in his other play, “The Crucible” which is about the Salem With Trials, a period of time where again people were arrested, condemned and executed on unfair and un-scientific grounds. Eddie’s betrayal, on the other hand, in no way embodies the betrayals characteristic during the era of McCarthyism because even though he did it for his personal reasons, both the Italian brothers were doing something legitimately illegal and their arrest had solid bases. Though Carbone is ultimately wrong in what he does, because of the way his multi-layered character is built up, we find the husky longshoreman slowly worming his way into our hearts and therefore we feel strongly for him when he dies, stabbed, at Beatrice’s feet, just a poor lonely man with latent feelings of incest and homosexuality which he tried so hard to suppress that it eventually ended up killing him.


mr.koshy's comments:
although you have argued powerfully for eddie - i feel your backing argunments aren't solid enough - miller does make eddie look in the wrong - i for one do not sympathise with handing over relatives even if they are immigrants who are "illegal" - to this extent eddie is a typical mccarthyist, using the law for his ends although the law is clearly on his side - where miller defeats himself is not in the mistakes eddie makes - like mistaking rodolpho as gay - but in making eddie a character who finally " lets himself be known purely/fully" - as someone who loved catherine so much that he thought it was better that this love destroyed him completely than that he live facing a reality in which his love would end up being permanently counted as hatred/evil.destructive/betrayal etc...

another McCarthyism essay

Does Arthur Miller fail in his indictment of American political policy to intervene in the lives of citizens regarding their choices? Base your answer on Eddie’s betrayal of Rodolpho, considering Eddie as a representative of the law.


Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, first performed in 1955, is the conclusion of a trilogy of plays (the others are Death of a Salesman and The Crucible) in which Miller expresses his feelings on the complex American political and social scene in the turbulent early Cold War period. In A View from the Bridge Miller uses his protagonist, the illiterate longshoreman Eddie Carbone, as a symbol of the culture of reporting one’s friends and close acquaintances (in this case, family) to the law: a particularly chilling facet of life in an America dominated by the antics of Senator Joseph McCarthy, a Wisconsin Republican who exploited the fear created by the conviction of Alger Hiss (a senior State Department official exposed as a spy for the USSR) to lead an unscientific and frequently unlawful anticommunist witch-hunt.

The play operates on two principal levels: a drama about sexuality and sexual jealousy; and a political drama about the evils of McCarthyism. It is true that some knowledge of McCarthyism is required for the reader to appreciate this level; I do not regard this as a failure on Miller’s part, as he was obviously aiming at the theatregoing public of his time who were well-acquainted with political cultural works such as Miller’s other plays, Elia Kazan’s film On the Waterfront, and a few years later, Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove. Eddie Carbone is at the forefront of both storylines. It is interesting to compare the plots of the three versions of the play: in the original, poorly received American version, a one-act play, the sexual drama is emphasized and Eddie dies at Catherine’s feet; in the London version, the two-act text that Miller chose to preserve, the sexual drama is played down and he dies in Beatrice’s arms; and finally, in the Paris stage version that some critics regarded as the finest, Eddie commits suicide. In my view the final scenario presents the most convincing critique of McCarthyism, as Eddie himself is shown to be repulsed by his own deeds. Yet it is the official, London stage version that is in question here, and it is in this version that the play must be explored.

Miller’s representation of the evils of McCarthyism is Eddie’s betrayal of his wife’s cousins Marco and Rodolpho, illegal immigrants from Sicily. Just as many Americans reported their acquaintances as communists, Eddie reports his two kinsmen to the Immigration Bureau: largely due to his sexual jealousy, as his niece Catherine (who he is attracted to) is in love with and betrothed to his wife’s cousin Rodolpho. Eddie is killed by Marco, and this act is shown by Miller to be an act of righteous vengeance. Eddie is simple-minded, irrational and eventually unethical in his actions: in Miller’s view, the typical qualities exhibited by those Americans who told on their friends.

Miller’s allegory is neither an unqualified success nor a total failure. Throughout the play, the culture of reporting is clearly seen as contemptible and indeed evil. The early illustrative example of Vinny Bolsano, a man exiled by society for reporting his relatives to the Bureau, is the first sign of this. Bolsano is portrayed as someone who deserved his bitter fate: importantly, Eddie too shares in the contempt for Bolsano’s actions. To Miller’s 1955 audience, it would have been clear enough that the culture of reporting to the Immigration Bureau represented the culture of reporting to the Tydings Committee (a Senate committee greatly influenced by McCarthy) and the House Un-American Activities Committee (a committee that McCarthy was not directly linked to but that was certainly McCarthyist in outlook).

Eddie’s character and actions are reprehensible in several ways, at least in theory. He betrays two members of his wife’s family who are apparently righteous men who have, objectively, done Eddie no personal harm. His incestuous feelings for Catherine lead him to become violent, unpredictable and unstable. The incest is thrown in the attempt to make Eddie an even more flawed character, but Miller fails here on a fairly obvious point: although Eddie and Catherine have a father/daughter relationship that make his feelings incestuous even though they are not related by blood, Rodolpho and Catherine too are fairly close relations, and blood relations at that: a fact that Miller chooses to ignore. Yet objectively speaking it is obvious that Eddie has committed foolish and heinous crimes.

Miller’s failure is that his depiction of Eddie does not allow the audience to despise him and his deeds fully. For Eddie is, throughout the play, doing what he sees is right; his betrayal may on its own be an evil action, it is not the action of an irredeemably evil human being. And his feelings for Catherine are most certainly feelings he did not want; indeed they are an attraction that he fights against, albeit unsuccessfully. It is also easy to see why he dislikes Rodolpho; Rodolpho represents everything except what Eddie values in a man. Miller fails to make the audience side decisively against Eddie.

My final criticism is that the choice of allegory itself is rather ineffective. Whereas the analogy of the Salem Witch Trials, used by Miller in The Crucible, were a highly relevant example of irrational persecution that fit well with McCarthyism, the issue of immigration is a very different matter. Persecuting citizens regarding their ideological views is not comparable to the entirely justifiable policy of securing one’s borders and formalizing immigration that is practised by every country on Earth. To consider Eddie’s betrayal as truly representative of the diabolical culture of McCarthyism is to regard the movement of people as something that should be completely free and unregulated: a notion manifest in its idiocy and indeed lunacy.

Miller strives to bring out the theme of McCarthyism in the play. He succeeds up to a point, in that the play’s protagonist unfairly reports his relatives in much the same way as many Americans reported theirs in the 1950s. But in the end, it is almost natural for the audience to sympathize with and even side with Eddie. It shouldn’t be.