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

How does Arthur Miller use the character of Alfieri in A View from the Bridge to critique the conflict between justice and the law in 1950(TM)s America?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Arthur Miller use the character of Alfieri in A View from the Bridge to critique the conflict between justice and the law in 1950's America? A View from the Bridge is a play written by Arthur Miller in the mid-1950's. Set in the 1940's, when America was being subjected to many immigrants arriving from other countries, Miller explores the effect that these immigrants had on working class society. These immigrants were taking up hard-working jobs, such as those available in the docks of Brooklyn. Arthur Miller was a playwright who worked in the docks during the 1940's and met many Italians who were also working in the docks - he listened to and learnt about how Italian communities work. Using his experience from anecdotal evidence, Miller took his inspiration for this play through one story about a boy report his immigrant family to the authorities. Miller was accused of being a communist during the post-war paranoia of the Red Scare. Miller was on the Hollywood blacklist, and he had many of his rights taken away due to this naming of names instigated by Joseph McCarthy. Miller uses this 'name' theme during his play. He uses this play as an allegory to critique the evils of McCarthyism. Alfieri is the narrator of the story and is the lawyer in the story; he is also used as a foreshadowing device, hinting at the tragedy, which will unfold. Miller also presents, through Alfieri, differing views on law and justice. Alfieri is an imposing figure throughout the play, who conveys feelings from each of the characters and also clarifies any ambiguities in the dialogue. Miller, essentially, uses Alfieri as a dramatic device that builds the tension and brings closure to many of the scenes, as well as a way of putting his own views about his own name across to the audience. ...read more.

Middle

Gangsters are also prime examples of having man's fatal flaw, as they do everything in order for their empire to get bigger. This also shows how immigrant communities sometimes do not get the service from American law that Americans do and this links into McCarthyism. A View from the Bridge is a Greek tragedy, and Alfieri mentions how 'the law has not been a friendly idea since the Greeks were beaten' this implies that Italian law is more based on what is justice for the crime. Contradicting American law, which is based on books and rules, which are to be followed by judges and jurors. This is one main clash between law and justice in the play - it is not only a clash between the law and justice in America in the 1950's, but it is also a clash between Italian and American culture. Alfieri says 'Now we settle for half and I like it better' this implies that people are more compromising, so it is not as hard to be a lawyer. In addition, it foreshadows the splitting of the community in 'half'. Moreover it shows how there are two different views on whether justice is being served and this depends on whether law from the country or justice for the individual should be more important. Implying that what is going to happen in the story is common, Alfieri says 'Every few years there is still a case...'. This also links in with the story of 'Vinny' and how he betrayed his family to the immigration authorities. This is foreshadowing what Eddie is going to do later in the play, but also shows that American law encounters problems with Italian justice regularly. ...read more.

Conclusion

But, he is unable to do so, because of how that story is set from the beginning, and also how the story is repetitive, as 'every few years there is still a case'. Alfieri makes a final speech directly after Eddie has died; this speech brings closure to the play and gives us last impressions of the characters. Furthermore, Alfieri says in his final speech 'Most of time now we settle for half and I like it better.' This makes the play cyclical, as he mentions 'settling for half' in his opening speech. This then links with the line 'every few years, there is still a case.' This is a connection because it shows that these incidents go in a cycle too, and therefore it is going to happen again to someone else. Moreover, Alfieri uses a few Biblical words in his final speech such as 'confess', 'holy' and 'purely', this shows that Alfieri believes only God can give justice to issues, and not either community. In Addition, Alfieri says at the end 'And so I mourn him - I admit - with a certain...alarm.' This infers that Alfieri does not blame Eddie for what he did, and even believes it was the right thing, but is not sure whether he should believe that or not. In conclusion, Miller seems to convey the message that the law stays in each separate country, but justice stays with the person. However, the law is justice in some countries, but in most law and justice are completely different, and therefore sometimes the people have to go the wrong side of the law, in order to get on the right side of justice. ?? ?? ?? ?? Will Dixon -10B Page 1 11/10/2008 A View from the Bridge - Coursework Page 1 of 6 ...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. How does Arthur Miller dramatise conflict in the play "a View from the Bridge?"

    Miller uses this scene which has an almost a soliloquy-like effect where Eddie talks to the audience of his thoughts, which are extremely one-sided and as revealed at the beginning of the play paranoiac of Catherine where he interprets "just humorous" as they are laughing at him but they dare not say "because they know he's [his] relative."

  2. Discuss the Role of Alfieri in the play A View From the Bridge by ...

    Marco and Rodolpho are taken to Alfieri's Office, where he bails them out before his hearing: "I can bail you out until your hearing comes up." This shows another sign of friendship between Alfieri and Eddie, since Alfieri is willing to bail two people out of jail, who are complete strangers to him, for Eddie's sake.

  1. Free essay

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

    Marco and Rodolpho are close and are loyal to one another: "Marco: He degraded my brother. My blood. He robbed my children, he mocks my work." We can see that the fraternal bond between these two men is strong and Marco will go to any lengths to get revenge on his humiliated brother.

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

    When the cousins arrived, his status was knocked, and because of his delusions about Rodolpho being gay, he subconsciously created divides in his relationships with Beatrice and Catherine, because they were not seeing what he thought he saw. This angered him, and lead the audience to believe that, by turning

  1. A View from the Bridge. This essay will explain and analyse how each individual ...

    so Arthur Miller aimed to make many characters have a more colourful and interesting character). She is exceedingly na�ve and often fails to realize the truth of the situations that unfold in front of her. She is an 'Italian' brought up in America, which affects her speech because she uses both Italian and American mannerisms.

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

    Revenge is a sense of personal and family justice, 'in my county he would be dead now, he would not live this long'. When Marco says this, he feels he is entitled to get his revenge by the Italian values.

  1. How does Miller use Alfieri to inspire Sympathy forEddie?

    which suggests he truly does not understand what he wants and what he does not want. He also is not in control of his feeling as he is making many accusations, "The guy ain't right" which shows the audience that Eddie is very narrow-minded and ignorant and this will cause the audience to dislike Eddie once again.

  2. What is the importance of Justice in a “View from the Bridge?”

    Let her go. And bless her." Alfieri is obviously showing some signs of apprehension for Eddie in this quotation. He uses the metaphor of a river, (rather effectively) to help describe Eddie's outcome if Eddie does not leave matters as they are.

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