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Discuss the view that when Miller wrote the 'A View from the Bridge', he created a tragic play which suggests that true justice does not exist and the law is often inadequate.

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Introduction

A View from the Bridge - Arthur Miller Michael Cawdry Discuss the view that when Miller wrote the 'A View from the Bridge', he created a tragic play which suggests that true justice does not exist and the law is often inadequate. Arthur Miller wrote 'A View from the Bridge' in 1955 as a one-act play, it was later made into a two-act play in 1956. This play was written under the influence of Miller's experiences and stories told to him. This play is based on 1940's Brooklyn, when Miller was particularly interested in the lives and work of longshoremen and dockworkers. Miller described it as a 'dangerous and mysterious world at the water's edge that drama and literature had never touched' He then describes it as 'a desert beyond the law'. Poorly paid workers who in many cases were illegal immigrants populated the docks. These people had, along with Miller's parents, come to America in the hope of work, wealth and security, which their home country couldn't guarantee. Arthur Miller wrote the play shortly after the end of the McCarthy era, a period when most of American society was worried that communist sympathisers had held government positions, and Joe McCarthy took advantage of these fears, accusing prominent Americans of harbouring or being sympathisers. Miller knew of Americans with Communist ideas, and refused to name them before the Un-American Activities Council (UAAC) ...read more.

Middle

Lawyers are seen as rational, a man of justice, honesty and a judge of character. In my opinion Alfieri is similar to the Friar in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a fatherly figure at times. Alfieri 'knows' Eddie slightly "I represented his father in an accident case some years before and I was acquainted with the family in a casual way." Because of this, Alfieri secretly treats Eddie as a relative of his own always warning him and advising him. But Alfieri is not always independent on his own thoughts "I even went to a certain wise old woman and I told her, and she only nodded and said 'pray for him' and so I waited here. But as Eddie contemplates the betrayal, Alfieri reads Eddie's mind and can see what fate Eddie has got so warns him of the consequences if he tells Immigration. Both Catherine and Beatrice are likeable characters, but, Beatrice is much more stable in herself. Whereas the young Catherine is uncertain about things, Beatrice is much more mature and has a clear view of matters, including law and justice. She only shows her fear for the law when the Immigration Officers arrive. She holds her head in her hands and reflects on the fact that she, to a certain extent, put Marco and Rodolpho in this situation and the fate they await. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eddie needed his respect back. He is also, once stabbed, seen as a 'fool' by the others (neighbours) and Marco, for thinking he can get back his name and reputation. But Beatrice and Catherine's immediate reaction is to hold and comfort him, as though he was a shrine. Marco's attitude to the law is that he did not think of the law as THE LAW, more as vague rules that aren't enforced, guidelines more than anything 'Where is the law? Is it in a book, is it written down?' He becomes disillusioned with the law as soon as the Immigration officers take him in. He finally realises that the law is completely against him and that he will have to leave America again, and the money from his job in the dockyard will cease when Alfieri explains his situation directly to him. Marco then makes his decision to confront Eddie. Ironically, when Marco stabbed Eddie it was technically self-defence, putting him on the correct side of the law. Rodolpho is in love with America from the minute he steps off the boat, even commenting of Eddie's house 'And they said they were poor!' The law does not play a role in his life until the Immigration officers arrive. By this time he has a promise of marriage from Catherine, so therefore the law does not necessarily apply to him. He simply carries on as normal. ...read more.

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