• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the way Arthur Miller writes about justice in "A View From the Bridge". Write about the character's search for justice and the feeling that the law is sometimes inadequate. Consider the way that Miller makes use of places in the play.

Extracts from this document...


Explore the way Arthur Miller writes about justice in "A View From the Bridge". Write about the character's search for justice and the feeling that the law is sometimes inadequate. Consider the way that Miller makes use of places in the play. Arthur Miller is now regarded as one of the world's greatest dramatists. In his plays he explores the struggles of the ordinary man against authority and insurmountable odds. Miller's own struggle therefore with this issue is present in 'A View from the Bridge' as he, like the characters in his plays (such as Eddie Carbone), was faced with the problem of choosing to be American or not, specifically by naming names of people who were doing (what were considered then) unlawful acts. Miller chose to write about a community that accepted and protected unlawful people. Miller spent two years in the shipyards of Brooklyn and was thus able to study the social background of the lives of the dockworkers in that area. Many of the immigrants were of illegal legacy and were being exploited by the people who helped bring them to America and so consequently he further advanced his knowledge of the community spirit in the slum areas of New York and the beliefs and values of the Sicilian community as a whole. The law however, is everywhere, and this is the role played by Alfieri in 'A view from the Bridge' and much of his speaking takes the form of soliloquies. ...read more.


There are numerous instances in the play when justice and the law feature: The story of Vinny Bolzano is an example of how someone obeying the law (as Vinny technically was when he informed on his uncle) is actually doing something unjust. However then Eddie tells his family of the treatment Vinny received from his family, we feel that this too is unjust. This sets the theme of law in the play, and shows us that in the battle between law and justice, there are no winners, and sometimes, as Alfieri said, it is better to settle for half. It is ironic that Eddie appears so horrified and this story of someone betraying one of their own, when at the end this is exactly what he does. Alfieri tries to warn Eddie about his relationship with Catherine and argues with him to allow her to marry Rodolpho. When the law is wrong it's because it's unnatural, but in this case it is natural and a river will drown you if you buck it now. He is suggesting that it is Eddie's feelings for Catherine that are 'unnatural'. We see that Eddie's yearning for Catherine changes his attitude towards his wife. She complains that he is not treating her like a loving husband should, and that he has gone off her in bed. ...read more.


This is exactly what Marco wanted, he wanted justice but not through the American way, but the Sicilian way of machoism and being a hero while settling old scores. He wanted revenge for what Eddie had done. When Alfieri told Marco about the law, Marco replied by saying 'I don't understand this country'. This shows us that Sicilians are not accustomed to western ways of life and the law. There is great conflict between community and American law in the play. The community abides by Sicilian-American customs; it protects illegal immigrants within their homes, values respect and family, is hard working and knows the shipping culture, and has strong associations with names. They believe in trust and want revenge when a member has been wronged. Some of these values, however, come in conflict with those of the American system of justice. Eddie Carbone chooses to turn against his community and abide by the state laws. He looses the respect of his community and friends-the name and personal identity he treasures. Eddie Carbone, with a stronger allegiance to the community, reverts back to another custom of Sicilian-Americans: revenge. Not only is Eddie pulled back to the values of his community, but the final victor of the play is symbolic of community values-the Italian, Marco. Thus, the small community is stronger than American law. However as aforementioned, the age-old battle between law and justice will never have a winner, and sometimes as Alfieri wisely states, it is better to settle for half measures. ?? ?? ?? ?? URI PAWLOWSKI ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. Free essay

    How does Arthur Miller present family loyalty and conflict in A View from the ...

    around in front of him in your slip - Catherine: Well I forgot. Beatrice: Well you can't do it. Or like you sit on the edge of the bathtub talkin' to him when he's shavin' in his underwear." Beatrice's words are condemning and could be portrayed on stage in a

  2. How does Arthur Miller dramatise conflict in the play "a View from the Bridge?"

    Alfieri's prologue talks of fate, and how "powerless" he had been as it as he "watched it run its bloody course." This is reflected where as Eddie goes to see Alfieri for the first time he describes Eddie as having "eyes...

  1. Discuss the importance of LOYALTY in Millers,'A view from the bridge' Loyalty is ...

    he doesn't know that but Eddie is determined for Catherine not to be with Rodolfo. As the conversation draws to an end, Alfieri says to Eddie on page 34, "... let her go. That's my advice. You did your job, now it's her life."

  2. Consider the importance of Italian loyalty in the play 'A view from the bridge' ...

    Marco introduces a new aspect of Italian loyalty through his character, the way he acts and communicates with different characters differently. He is obviously polite to Eddie and has great respect for him for taking him and his brother in, "taking the blankets from my bed" as it is put by Eddie later.

  1. How does Miller handle the theme of Justice in 'The Crucible' and what message ...

    reddish work done at night" Abby was made heartless from the things she has been through. The horrific things she has seen including people dying have made her careless about life and death. This is what gives her the ability to carry out actions that result in a great number of deaths.

  2. How does Miller explore the character of Eddie Carbone in 'A View From the ...

    If Eddie has to explain himself or apologise, it means he will lose status. He is constantly self-interested, wanting to protect his innocence. He feels that his absurd decisions make sense, where calling the Immigration Bureau in the middle of an Italian community that prides itself on protecting illegal immigrants, has no consequences.

  1. Explore the way in which Arthur Miller presents justice in 'A View From The ...

    ''I just hope they get work here'' She is more concerned about her family's well being. If she were more aware then she wouldn't be in so much trouble. The law in the eyes of Catherine is also ineffective. She doesn't seem to take any notice of it, even until

  2. Discuss the theme of justice in A view from the bridge, by Arthur Miller ...

    In addition, Alfieri says 'Only God makes justice', which further supports the quote above, suggesting that Alfieri is a strong believer of the law, and that people should not take justice into their own hands, that is God's job. This may lead the audience to believe that Alfieri believes in

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work