Mistakes to Avoid in your A View from the Bridge EssayTuesday, June 8th, 2010
A View from the Bridge Essays tips and common errors
It is quite common for teachers to request students to write an A view from the bridge essay. Since this is such a popular topic, this essay is not supposed to be shockingly original but solid, well-based on personal readings and logically sustained. However, there are some mistakes that students tend to make, not only when it comes to this famous play but with other literary essays as well.
Getting into the topic
A View from the Bridge is a play by American playwright Arthur Miller, which was staged for the first time on September 29, 1955, on Broadway. The two-act version of the play that today is more frequently represented appeared a year after that. It is a great play with many reminiscences of the Greek tragedy, and it is one of teachers’ favourite topic when it comes to write literature essays. It is a wonderful play, although we understand you don’t have time to read its 70 pages (or more, depending on the edition) and you may require someone else to write the essay for you.
Basic mistake number 1: not reading the play
Maybe you are running out of time to read the full play and you are thinking “How about renting one of its versions as a movie and then write from it my A View from the Bridge essay?”. In fact, A View from the Bridge has been adapted many times, also in television. The most famous version in French movie Vu du Pont (1962). But watching only the movie and not checking the facts can be risky. It is very easy to analyze a specific scene, only to realize later (too late) that is wasn’t Arthur Miller’s writing but a director’s choice. So try to watch the movie only if you are planning to compare and contrast different versions, or to complete your reading notes.
Basic mistake number 2: storytelling instead of writing an essay
In all A View from the Bridge essays, as well as in other literary essays, it is not recommended to fill paragraphs with a summary of the plot. The teacher has read the book (at least we may assume that), so have you, you don’t need to prove it by retelling the story. Go straight to the main point and discuss specific story details only when relevant to your topic of choice. Just provide some basic facts about the plot of the play, such as the setting (an Italian American neighborhood near the Brooklyn Bridge in the 1950s), the main characters (Italian American longshoreman Eddie Carbone; his wife, Beatrice; his niece, Catherine). Not much more.
Basic mistake number 3: ignoring all previous readings
Any A View from the Bridge essay should include quotations from literary criticism. For example, don’t forget to mention somewhere the comparison between Arthur Miller’s play and the Greek tragedy. It is true that you have to express your own ideas and thoughts, but quoting authorities is also important.