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'A View from the Bridge' - the image of law.

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Introduction

20th Century Drama Coursework Assignment 'Justice is very important here' is spoken by Alfieri in his opening speech. Alfieri is a lawyer representing the official legal system of America. He also acts as a narrator, commentator who is almost like a bystander watching the events but remains powerless to have any impact on them. This is very similar to the chorus, featured in tragedies from ancient Greek playwright, who are a group of on lookers watching and commenting on events but are unable to act upon any of the incidents. Alfieri describes his neighbourhood of Red Hook as a 'slum' area of Brooklyn inhabited by Italians, who bring to America their own sense of justice which they find outside the law. This is because the law can not dispense total justice. Justice is one of the main themes in the play because all the characters feel some sense of injustice for one reason or another for example Eddie, the main character endures the greatest sense of injustice none of which can be solved by the law. Most characters in 'A View from the Bridge' are poor and have to struggle which in itself is a form of social injustice which radiates unfair exploitation of dock workers. ...read more.

Middle

Marco accuses Eddie of killing his children and spits at Eddie as he is dragged out. Eddie shouts 'I'll kill you' after them, this could have been literally because this was a way to gain justice, but it was his own justice. His friends and neighbours all disown him as he broke the codes which all Italians within that area live by. They feel he is no longer worthy of worthy of their respect or friendship. This is evident from the stage directions "Lapari, the butcher, turns and starts up left with his around his wife"; Eddie calls after Lapari and explains how he gave them "the blankets" off his bed. Lapari does not listen and leaves. Eddie then goes to speak to Louis but he "barely turns, than walks off and exits with mike. People no longer want to know him he disgraced Italians and deserved all the punishment thrown at him. Eddie 'killed' a family and lost his name, nobody had time for him anymore his on friend turned away from him, he had broken the codes. Eddie comes to find that there is a prise to pay for total justice a price that most people, most of the time are unwilling to pay. ...read more.

Conclusion

Alfieri represents the US 'civilised' justice system. He follows the concept that people would be better of 'settling for half' this is because complete justice concludes in unacceptable consequences. Alfieri is quick to pick up on the fact that Eddie is very disturbed by Catherine's affection toward Rodolfo and that he harbours wrong thoughts about her. Alfieri explains to Eddie that 'there's too much love' 'and it goes where it mustn't.' The only thing Alfieri can do is give advice and hope that it will be used. It is extremely important he does what is right because of his key position. It becomes apparent at the end of the play that Alfieri has some compassion and veneration towards Eddie as he 'allowed himself to be wholly known' Alfieri places events within the drama in context and explains conflicts related to the play which occurred in Italian history. He knows the law is incapable of satisfying everybody and that it contains many boundaries. Alfieri is able to reflect on matters and diffuse widespread concepts. The Immigration Officers are direct and uncompromising the law is the law and this transcends any patriotic feelings. The officers speak Italian, 'andiamo, andiamo' which may mean they have Italian connections, but this Italian background does not affect them as they are there to do their job. ...read more.

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