How does Miller present ideas about reputation in A View from the Bridge?
In A View from the Bridge, Miller portrays many ideas about reputation, especially in the battle for reputation between the two main men of the play, Eddie and Marco. He also showcases the way in which a failure to settle for half in maintaining one’s reputation can lead to downfall, and also portrays the way in which not conforming to stereotypes can lead to people not taking you seriously, thereby leading to a ruining of your reputation.
Initially, Miller portrays reputation as a very important part of the Italian Moral Code, and showcases how ruining someone’s reputation can be punished very harshly in by Sicilian Morals. After Eddie reports on Marco, Marco is seen to say ‘In my country, he would be dead’, due to Eddie ruining Marco’s reputation, and, as Marco puts it ‘degrading my brother and removing my children’. The fact that Eddie would receive this harsh a punishment, for simply abiding by the law shows how seriously reputation is taken in Sicilian morals, and how derogatory it is for someone’s reputation to be ruined. Eddie also is shown by Miller to be concerned about his reputation, because he states that ‘Marco’s got my name’, and that ‘he gonna give it back to me in front of this neighbourhood’. This goes to shows how, in a primarily Italian community, one’s reputation can have severe implications on how someone is treated within society. This can also be seen through the narrative parallel of the story of Vinny Bolzano, who was shunned by society for informing upon his own uncle, and thereby losing his ‘reputation’. Through this, Miller portrays the importance of someone’s reputation in other cultures, and this would have been fairly striking to the contemporary American audience.