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'ALFIERI: And now we are quite civilized, quite American. Now we settle for half, and I like it better.' - What does Miller mean by this statement, and what significance does it have in the play A View From The Bridge as a whole?

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Introduction

'ALFIERI: And now we are quite civilized, quite American. Now we settle for half, and I like it better.' What does Miller mean by this statement, and what significance does it have in the play A View From The Bridge as a whole? In this essay I will look at the idea of settling for half. In the play, A View From The Bridge, the idea of settling for half is used many times. This idea makes the play more tragic especially when a certain character doesn't settle for half. To understand what settling for half is we will have to establish what it means. Settling for half is a sort of compromise. Most people would rather settle half than get into trouble like the character Eddie Carbone should have done so therefore people see settling for half as a good thing. But it isn't always a good thing sometimes you may not get the result you would want to get from settling for half. That is why in the play Eddie Carbone didn't want to settle for half because otherwise he would lose Catherine, whom he wanted to keep. In this play there are many characters and the roles that the characters play are similar to nearly every tragedy. ...read more.

Middle

And the law is associated with bad things happening and is not a friendly idea. Also most if not all the Sicilian laws aren't written down so if it is broken it is dealt with the way the person feels fit, since they take the law into their own hands. But because the Sicilians/Italians are in America they can't go to the extent that they could back at home in Sicily/Italy, but just because they are in America it doesn't mean that the Sicilian law doesn't apply because it still does in the ghettos of America as is seen in the play at various stages. Because the Sicilians have their own law they don't settle for half they go to the full extent of trying to sort things out. Near the beginning of the play on page 13 Eddie is talking about Vinny Bolzano and how he was a snitch and he starts talking about him not wanting a snitch in the household about his cousins, Marco and Rodolpho. He becomes a snitch at the end when he tells the immigration bureau about his cousins, it is ironic and this makes the play even more tragic. When Catherine starts to like Rodolpho, Eddie doesn't want to settle for half because the thought of Rodolpho being Catherine's husband doesn't please him at all. ...read more.

Conclusion

On page 62 Eddie's love for Catherine is brought out into the open so you might think that he is going to give up but he sees it, as he has got nothing to lose. Near the end of the play Miller has established that Eddie has lost everything so Eddie thinks that there isn't much point in settling for half because Catherine and Rodolfo are off to get married so Eddie has lost Catherine. That is why he keeps urging Marco on to have a fight with him because Eddie knows that he going to lose the fight. To enhance the tragedy Eddie is the main tragic protagonist. Eddie's actions have brought this upon himself that is why he is still holding the knife in his hand once he has been stabbed. If Eddie had settled for half then he would still be alive and because he didn't the tragic consequence of it was that he ended up dying. In Alfieri's last speech in the play he says that something about Eddie was perversely pure. The thing about Eddie that was perversely pure was his love for Catherine. It perverse because Catherine was Eddie's niece but his love for her was totally pure, and because Eddie knew that he couldn't have her he thought that there was no point in living so that was why he had that fight with Marco. ...read more.

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