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Examine the effects of the Sicilian Code of Honour which dominates the philosophy of the Italian-American community in the play

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Introduction

A View from the Bridge - Arthur Miller Examine the effects of the Sicilian Code of Honour which dominates the philosophy of the Italian-American community in the play 'A View from the Bridge' is a play set within the New York in the Red Hook area just after the years of the Great Depression in 1941. America was desperately in need of laborers and other countries were desperately in need of work. This lead to many immigrants transporting themselves to America. This brings us to the play which centers on two characters that enter the country illegally in search of money. They have entered into a community that not only bought their willingness for work into the country but a community dominated by the unwritten law of the Sicilian moral code. Eddie and Marco are both deeply committed to the code of their society and it is their deep belief in this which leads to the tragic outcome of the play. It is because of Eddies and Marcos interpretation of the Sicilian Moral Code that the characters end up fighting Eddie being the patriarch of the family, is used to getting things his own way. ...read more.

Middle

Marco is protecting Rodolfo as he is the patriarch for his family. Marco has made a challenge to Eddie's patriarchal role and it is for this reason that Eddie breaks the Sicilian Moral Code and makes contact with the Immigration Bureau When Eddie breaks the Sicilian Code of Honour betrays Rodolfo and Marco to the Immigration Bureau this ties in with a part earlier in the play. This is a direct contradiction of what he said to his family earlier on in the book which was a story of what happened to a man named Vinny who betrayed his uncle and got himself thrown out of his house by his own family and shunned from the community. "But the family had an uncle that they were hiddin' in the house, and the kid snitched to the immigration" This story is a dramatic device used by miller to show how strong the code is and what happens to those who break it. Marco has had his pride dented and his American dream shattered. He came to America in hope of money to provide for his family but he has to be sent home. ...read more.

Conclusion

From the degraded term of 'rat' we see that Catherine has finally shown that Eddie can no longer tell her what is wrong and right. The community has seen what Eddie has done and rejects him. An example of this being when Lipari an Italian butcher, in knowledge of what Eddie has done does this "Lipari the butcher turns and starts up left with his arm around his life." Eddie sacrifices himself in the end in one last desperate attempt to gain his respect and goes to stab Marco Rodolfo may have broken the Sicilian moral code and Marco has shown his indignity to Eddie but as there is no law against these Sicilian violations within America so Eddie takes things in to his own hands and fights Marco. During the play the effects of the Sicilian Moral Code are seen and felt by all the characters. All of the happenings can be boiled down to the Sicilian Code and had it not been there and replaced by the American law then the play would most certainly not have turned out as it did in the end with violence and death. The happenings and philosophy of 'A View from a Bridge' are indeed dominated by the Sicilian moral code. Tim Burton 'A View From The Bridge' English Coursework ...read more.

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