Cultural Context in View from a Bridge by Arthur Miller

1827 WordsDec 15, 20078 Pages
Examine how cultural context is established in two of the texts on your comparative course When examining the topic of cultural context, one must become immersed in the world of the texts under discussion. The historical and geographical setting of a work creates a world that the characters can credibly inhabit. They are influenced and shaped by the customs, moral values and social structures of that society. The cultural environment created offers the reader a context in which to explore thematic and character development. We may also appreciate the literary techniques that allow such a vivid world to be set before our imaginations. Credible and vivid environments are created in the two texts I wish to explore in this essay. In "How…show more content…
("When am I goanna be a wife again Eddie?"). The Moore's relationship is long dead and reduced to formal sniping across the dinner table, where the humiliated Alec "watched the daffodils and kept my mouth shut". We see the consequence of sexual repression in a family context in both texts: In Babylon, we learn that the source of Mrs. Moore's bitterness is the fact that an unexpected pregnancy forced her into a marriage of convenience. She cruelly "disinherits in a sentence" and tells Alec as a way of convincing him to go to war. The social conventions are strict and innocence is maintained through ignorance. Alec and Jerry are both virgins and on a balmy night before embarking for France, Jerry longs to be with a girl once before he goes to war. We also see Eddie's marked discomfort at any evidence of Catherine's growing sexuality and he struggles to repress the inappropriate feelings he has towards her. He cannot discuss his intimate feelings with his own wife and like the Moores, much remains unsaid between the couple and the silence only widens the gulf. The authoritarian, rigid class-bound nature of society can be seen in how Mrs Moore seeks to end Alec's friendship with Jerry. Alec is socially isolated and constrained by the obligations of his class. His father tries kindly to explain the reasons why he cannot remain friends with Jerry: "…The responsibilities and limitations of the class into which you are
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