Broken Glass a drama by Arthur Miller set in Brooklyn. 1938. focal points on the tapering matrimony of Sylvia and Gellburg during the wake of Kristallnacht. This scene unravels the complex relationship of the two and how they eventually come to footings with the cardinal defects in their matrimonial relationship. We understand Sylvia’s status as a response to both her husband’s attitude and the progressively violent subjugation of Judaic people in Nazi Germany.
Gellburg on the other manus is unmindful to the state of affairs due to his self-inflicted ignorance: ‘What are you speaking about. are you brainsick? ’ As a consequence of her compulsion and her husband’s ignorance of the state of affairs. she begins to take control of her life. going a strong Judaic adult female. openly withstanding her autocratic hubby: Don’t you call me brainsick. Phillip! I’m speaking about it! They are nailing Windowss and crushing kids! ( Screams at Gellburg ) I am speaking about it. Phillip! Miller makes his audience understand Sylvia and Gellburg’s relationship through the lens of their Judaic civilization and throughout the drama.
Gellburg is eager to distinguish himself from other Judaic people. Sylvia eventually brings the persecution of the Jews and the atrociousness of the Nazi’s into the unfastened and refuses to watch Gellburg brush off the turning tide of antisemitism any longer. Gellburg’s response to Slyvia’s outburst is non obviously displayed through address. but through the usage of Miller’s phase waies: ‘He is stock still ; horrified. fearful’ . The words ‘horrified’ and ‘fearful’ suggest that the intelligence of such events came as a daze to him and doubtless bespeak that he is affected by such intelligence and is besides stricken by Sylvia’s powerful. unexpected disclosure of her feelings. Miller conveys the message that that Gellburg eventually comes to understand his nescient attitude as 1 that has led to his self-denial and self-hatred.
It subsequently becomes clear in the drama that Gellburg is stamp downing an of import portion of who he is. and in scene eleven. he confesses to a bottled-up desire of ‘going and sitting in the Schul with the old work forces and drawing the Tallis over my head’ . Sylvia. in her defeat with Gellburg. says ‘Don’t slumber with me again’ in a instead dominating mode. The usage of the negative imperative don’t’ gives the audience the sense that Sylvia is eventually taking authorization – non merely over Gellburg. but over herself and over her life. Gellburg. in response to Sylvia’s denigration. cold-heartedness. exclaims: ‘Sylvia. you will kill me if we can’t be together’ .
Miller introduces elements of prefiguration and tragic sarcasm. as in scene nine ; Gellburg does so hold a bosom onslaught and becomes badly ill. Gellburg besides becomes progressively emotional in return to Sylvia’s heartless. insensitive statements as is shown in the phase waies when he is ‘beginning to weep’ . The portraiture of Gellburg in this scene is a complete contrast to the Gellburg exposed in scene two when he with ‘immense difficulty’ utters ‘I love you’ to Sylvia.
The drastic alteration in Gellburg’s attitude reveals to the audience that he is eventually trying to reconstruct damaged facets of his and Sylvia’s matrimony. Gellburg is often evasive or misdirecting about his sexual relationship with his married woman. to the extent that. in Scene Six. he fabricates a night-time brush which his married woman has seemingly erased from her memory.
Sylvia initiates this facet of struggle in this scene when she says: ‘You told him we had dealingss? ’ Her repugnance and disgust at detecting that Gellburg told Hyman about false happenings is clearly displayed and it shows the deficiency of connexion and apprehension between the two. Their neuter matrimony comes to symbolize the stultifying sense of isolation and stasis nowadays throughout the drama. as Sylvia remarks earlier in scene eight while discoursing with Hyman: ‘I conjecture you merely bit by bit give up and it closes over you like a grave’ .
Throughout the scene Sylvia makes pensive comments about her life being worthless. and she about wholly puts the incrimination on Gellburg. implying that he is the cause of all her bad lucks: What I did with my life! Out of ignorance. Out of non desiring to dishonor you in forepart of other people. A whole life. Give it off like a twosome of pennies – I took better attention of my places. Sylvia’s usage of the word ‘ignorance’ suggests that she possibly regrets prosecuting in matrimony with Gellburg as she was unaware of the ulterior fortunes and complications she would hold to cover with as their matrimony progressed.
Her usage of the simile ‘Gave it off like a twosome of pennies’ gives the audience a feeling that she considers herself to be superior to Gellburg and besides signifies the construct of him being unworthy of her. Besides. when Sylvia says ‘I took better attention of my shoes’ . Miller hints that overtime Gellburg’s worship for her deteriorated and through his statement in scene 11: ‘I couldn’t believe I was married to her’ . the audience realises that Gellgurg felt undeserving of Sylvia and hence failed to show his love in a manner that he felt would fulfill her.
Near the terminal of the scene. Gellburg reveals a complete deficiency of control when Sylvia one time once more denies his petition for the two to kip together and besides denies his significant offer for her to somewhat begin life once more: ‘If I taught you to drive and you could travel anyplace you liked… Or possibly you could happen a occupation you liked… ? … We have to kip together’ . With great trouble. and at great length.
Gellburg allows himself to emancipate Sylvia and compensate for the harm he has done. However. Slyvia’s put offing response consists of a word that silences Gellburg on the topic: ‘ ( Sylvia is gazing in front ) … No’ . The words ‘staring’ and ‘ahead’ lead the audience to visualize Sylvia with a pitiless look. meaning that all sense of compassion and love are no longer existent between Gellburg and herself.
Upon seeing Sylvia’s response. Gellburg impotently ‘drops to his articulatio genuss beside the bed. his weaponries distributing awkwardly over her covered body’ . The word ‘awkwardly’ suggests that physical contact between himself and Sylvia is infrequent and Gellburg is hence unable to show his feelings physically. The kneeling gestures besides mean his exposure and how he ‘adores’ and ‘worships’ her to the extent which he demeans himself and goes down to the pathetic degree of imploring her.
Here Miller emphasises the grade to which both Sylvia and Gellburg have undergone extremist alterations to gain what they have become. The scene ends with Gellburg broken-hearted: ‘He buries his face in the screens. crying impotently. and at last she reaches out in commiseration toward the top of his caput. and as her manus about touches… Blackout’ . It is made clear to the audience by Miller that Sylvia is non making out to Gellburg out of fondness. but entirely out of commiseration and understanding and Miller presents a contrast to scene two where Sylvia ‘draws back her hand’ when Gellburg tries to be express love towards her.
The scene ends on an equivocal note as Miller does non straight divulge the decision to the audience. meaning that Sylvia and Phillip ne’er connected and possibly ne’er will. This scene allows the audience to derive entree to a different position on Gellburg and Sylvia’s matrimony and to unbrace the complications involved. At last. Gellburg identifies himself as a Jew and rids himself of the haughtiness and amour propre that earlier possessed him. Sylvia besides learns to support her rights. both as a Judaic adult female and a married woman.