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Diverse Cultures: A View From The Bridge-How is justice important in the world of the play? What moral does Arthur Miller intend us to take?

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Introduction

Diverse Cultures: A View From The Bridge-How is justice important in the world of the play? What moral does Arthur Miller intend us to take? "Most of the time now we settle for half and I like it better". Justice, in its many forms is a central theme of A View From The Bridge. It is also a very prominent theme in much of Arthur Miller's work. Most of his plays are centred on some kind of downtrodden, hard-done-by section of society and many have a 'Tragic hero' at the centre of the play. Miller portrays many different aspects of justice in the play A View From The Bridge, whose conflict (community law vs. US law, an individual's sense of justice vs. that of the community) eventually brings about the play's tragic end. In this essay I will show how these different viewpoints affect the play. Firstly the us justice system, Which does not control life in red hook and generally leaves them alone but has absolute legal power and at all times is feared and antagonized by the community, holds a constant presence in the world of the play, Alfieri's office is in a background propinquity with all the characters' everyday life and he is their insight into the us justice system. The us justice system does not, because of gangs, the mafia, wanting to keep the peace and corruption, care about low level crime, but keeps in check any crimes that may affect it or the world outside of red hook. ...read more.

Middle

Being poor he holds no power in society, and the only place he has power over people is within his family, so when Rodolfo and Catherine about to get married, he feels that he has invited Rodolfo into his family and not only does Rodolfo not respect his authority but he has taken Catherine out of his jurisdiction. So when he attacks Rodolfo, and Marco and Beatrice turn on him and defend the couple, what little power he had is taken from him, and he seeks to gain it back in the one way he has left, through the us legal system, mirroring the actions of vinny bolzano whom he damns at the start for those exact actions. Eddie is not educated and very traditional, he is only a labourer, so when Rodolfo arrives, and instantly shows all the opposite traits, he is intelligent, funny, youthful and most of all feminine, cooking, cleaning, sewing, Eddie feels threatened, Rodolfo has prospects, the only thing keeping him at the same level as Eddie is his lack of citizenship. Eddie sees this and feels hard-done-by, he is very tense when Rodolfo is entertaining people and he tries to pin Rodolfo's skills down to him being "[not] right" (homosexual). But when Rodolfo is to marry Catherine that barrier is to be lifted, and his jealousy builds up until he takes away his biggest opportunity, his greatest prospect, life in the US One of the things that make him so erratic through the play is his sexual anxiety. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rodolfo & Catherine Rodolfo and Catherine have no visible feeling of justice through the play. They, instead, seem to be caught up in everyone else's. Rodolfo in his pursuit of the 'American dream' is up in the air, he is living with a man set against him for no visible reason than that which brings others to like him. America has not brought him all that he had hoped, but he cannot return to italy and has no intention to. Alfieri is the crossroads for these different worlds, while he is who they come to for anything outside of the law of the community and he does not want to bring the US's justice to every citizen of red hook his desk is a constant looming reminder of the us legal system's presence and he has his obligation as a lawyer and is therefore mistrusted, but he is placed in the heart of Red Hook and he himself is originally from Red Hook. It is by this that he is removed from the story but able to understand and can act as the play's narrator, he is an onlooker, watching the life of a "pure", but flawed, man come crashing down, powerless to act, almost as if he represents Arthur miller hearing the story of Pete Panto whom the play is based upon. Miller bestows upon him the most level headed, rational sense of justice, instead using him and the public telephone to symbolize the presence of US law, and the community's settling for half, by allowing this presence. ...read more.

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