“a view from the Bridge” Essay Plan Key Scene sqa external Report 2009



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“A View from the Bridge”

  • Essay Plan
  • Key Scene

SQA External Report 2009

  • Successful candidates continued to pay attention to the structure of their essays, striving to shape them relevantly to the key parts of the question.
  • Candidates who took a broad view of the text as a whole and did not get bogged down in constant “analysis” performed well; such candidates were often able to contextualise their comments by effectively narrating key details of selected events.
  • From a play you know well, select a scene, episode or incident that is crucial to your exploration of the ideas of the play.
  • By close reference to this scene, episode or incident, show why it is so important to your understanding of the ideas of the play.

Remember

  • The first line of the question directs you to an appropriate text.
  • The second line of the question tells you exactly what you have to do and should be the starting point for your planning.

From a play you know well, select a scene, episode or chapter that is crucial to your exploration of the ideas of the novel.

  • This is a very wide key scene question, allowing you to chose a scene, episode or chapter. This gives you plenty of scope and plenty of choice.
  • Here are some examples that have been done well in the past:
    • Act1 – The Boxing Match scene
    • Act 2 – The double kiss
    • Act 2 – The Phone call to immigration
    • Act2 – Eddie’s death at the end
    • These are not the only key scenes but they are perhaps the easiest to write about.

By close reference this scene, episode or chapter, show why it is so important to your understanding of the ideas of the play.

  • Close reference; you must know the scene very well and be able to quote from it.
  • However, that doesn’t mean that you may not quote form other parts of the play; you are trying to show that the scene you are writing about develops your understanding of the ideas (themes, central concerns) of the whole text.

show why it is so important to your understanding of the ideas of the play.

  • Well, what are the ideas of the play?
  • Think of the themes we have discussed.
    • Different types of love.
    • The destructive nature of jealousy.
    • The importance of the code of honour.
    • The inability to settle for half.

Important!!

  • Do NOT try to write about all of these. If you do, your essay will be superficial and won’t cover any of the ideas in real depth.
  • Choose the scene which you remember best and found most powerful. Write it down.
  • Think about it very carefully; which two or three of the themes does this particular part of the play help you understand. Write them down.

Planning

  • Choose the scene which you remember best and found most powerful. Write it down.
  • Think about it very carefully; which two or three of the themes does this particular part of the play help you understand. Write them down.
  • For each theme you have thought about, consider which quotations are relevant.
  • How will you analyse them to show that it has helped you understand the important ideas.
  • For each idea you have chosen to write about, think about one or two other incidents from elsewhere in the book where this theme is introduced or developed.
  • You should refer to these in your essay as it will show you have a full knowledge and understanding of the text.
  • Intro – text, author, ref. to qu.
  • Brief explanation of key scene/
  • Statement of what important ideas
  • are explored
  • Topic sentence, stating which idea you are going to be discussing.
  • Evidence – quotation
  • Analysis
  • Evaluate – explain how this helps you answer the qu.
  • Repeat the pattern to develop the point
  • Key Point 1
  • Firstly, The climactic “boxing match” and “trial of strength” scene at the end of the first Act demonstrates that Eddie’s frustration about Catherine and Rodolpho’s relationship has intensified throughout the first act and the theme of the destructive nature of jealousy is revealed.
  • Eddie is becoming increasingly agitated and intent on physically confronting Rodolpho in this scene. Miller subtly portrays this through the stage directions. At the outset of the scene, Eddie’s anger and frustration at Rodolpho are evident through the stage directions when the family are sitting down to a meal together when he replies to Rodolpho’s contradiction;
  • “[resenting his instruction]” I know lemons are green for Christ’s sake.”

Eddie’s anger towards Rodolpho escalates and this is again highlighted in the stage directions when Rodolpho comments that the women of his town do not have loose morals. Eddie capitalises on this opportunity to raise the subject of Rodolpho’s perceived disrespectful and flippant behaviour;

  • Eddie’s anger towards Rodolpho escalates and this is again highlighted in the stage directions when Rodolpho comments that the women of his town do not have loose morals. Eddie capitalises on this opportunity to raise the subject of Rodolpho’s perceived disrespectful and flippant behaviour;
  • “[Rises, paces up and down]: It ain’t so free here either, Rodolpho…”
  • Miller uses symbolism to represent the fact that Eddie feels he is exposing the issue that has been the source of his growing frustration throughout the first act.
  • “[He has been unconsciously twisting the newspaper into a tight roll.] ”

Eddie’s subconscious twisting motion of the newspaper in this scene implies a progression in Eddie’s abuse of Rodolpho from verbal condescension to that of a more physical nature. Eddie’s treatment of the newspaper symbolises the physical violence that he would like to inflict on Rodolpho. Eddie’s frustration reaches a climax at this point as the stage directions reveal;

  • Eddie’s subconscious twisting motion of the newspaper in this scene implies a progression in Eddie’s abuse of Rodolpho from verbal condescension to that of a more physical nature. Eddie’s treatment of the newspaper symbolises the physical violence that he would like to inflict on Rodolpho. Eddie’s frustration reaches a climax at this point as the stage directions reveal;
  • “[He has bent the rolled paper and it suddenly tears in two.]”
  • Eddie’s frustration is replaced with the excitement at the possibility of getting at Rodolpho under the pretence that he is teaching him to box and this is highlighted by the stage directions;
  • “[He is weirdly elated, rubbing his fists into his palm]”
  • Eddie is almost giddy at his plan to allow him to hit Rodolpho that at that moment he has just invented.
  • The key scene of the “boxing match” and the “challenge of strength” adds to an understanding of the events and dynamics of the play as a whole, revealing that Eddie’s frustration throughout the first act and his jealousy of Rodolpho reaches a climax.

Key point 2

  • Furthermore, this scene develops the idea of Eddie’s inappropriate feelings for Catherine that are implied earlier in the act.
  • You could:
  • Include Catherine’s choice of song “paper doll” as a thinly veiled criticism by Catherine of Eddie’s attitude towards her.
  • You could comment on Rodolpho’s realisation of Eddie’s feelings when he is struck by him as demonstrated by his response; “…I was only surprised.”
  • Then comment on the fact that this scene shows how Eddie has moved from being a caring honourable family man to a jealous destructive tyrant of sorts.
  • Include Eddie’s overprotective objections about her job and dress and how this scene helps the audience to understand his real motivation.
  • Eddie’s obvious jealousy of Rodolpho because of his many talents. Etc. etc.

Key Point 3

  • You could:
  • Include challenge of strength and the subtle indications in stage directions in the scene.
  • Include the final conflict and Marco’s need for revenge.
  • Include discussion of the Greek Tragedy genre and how the boxing match is an example of Eddie not thinking about his actions and consequences to an inevitable end with Alfieri as the chorus and helpless.
  • Include the fact that this culminates in the symbolism of Eddie dying on his own knife in the denouement of the play.
  • Finally, this scene represents the point in the play where the conflict between Eddie and Marco that will lead ultimately to Eddie’s death supersedes that of Eddie and Rodolpho.

Remember

  • There are several ways to answer a question like this and to apply your knowledge of the play.
  • You must be careful to do this in a way that answers the question.
  • For a key scene question like this it is crucial to show both a sound knowledge of the scene and its importance to the themes, ideas and characters of the play as a whole by referring to events before and after the scene
  • You will have noticed that Higher questions are usually written in such a way that allows you to use your knowledge of the play and the dramatic techniques effectively.
  • Do not simply learn one essay or question type as you will be very unhappy if there is not such a question and this is a possibility.

Plan

  • Key Scene Possible Structure.doc


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