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Betrayal in 'A View from the Bridge' by Arthur Miller

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Introduction

In the play "A View from the Bridge" by Arthur Miller, the theme of betrayal is very significant as it is presented in many ways and on numerous occasions. The first mention of betrayal is when Eddie and Beatrice mention to Catherine the tale of young Vinny Bolzano "the family has an uncle that they were hidin' in the house, and he snitched to the Immigration". An uneasy tone is set as they talk of the family's reaction "pulled him down the stairs", "spit on him in the street", "the whole neighbourhood was crying. Their view of Vinny is one of disgust, for betrayal is the most dishonourable thing a person can commit. ...read more.

Middle

The many years Eddie has spent feeding his family and helping them through life has made him overprotective and suspicious of anyone who may come between them. Eddie looks to his good friend and lawyer Alfieri, questioning him on what he should do about Rodolpho. Although Alfieri is a lawyer, even he knows right from wrong, and warns Eddie that if he betrays the brothers he will lose the respect of not only them but the whole neighbourhood "you won't have a friend in the world, Eddie!". Eddie refuses to consider Alfieri's advice and reports their illegal immigration. This proves Eddie has no fixed principle of justice, and that only his feelings dictate what he believes to be just. ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite his promise made, in the end Marco betrays his brother, killing Eddie with a knife. In the eyes of Eddie and Marco, family comes first, but in what way they perceive this statement is entirely different. Both men strive to protect theirs and their family's honour no matter what the consequences may be. Similar to the tale of Vinny, they ironically take actions into their own hands and serve what they believe is justice. Little do they know, they are too stubborn to realise "only God makes justice", and that all they're causing is pain and suffering. Eddie and Marco allow their personal feelings to affect their idea of what is just. Like Alfieri said, people do not have the right to define justice because their desires become too involved. ...read more.

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