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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.

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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