Eddie knows the importance of family honour but in the play he destroys it by betraying the brothers by phoning the immigration bureau. He not only destroys his family integrity but also violates the Sicilian code of justice and honour. This act of betrayal destroys his relationship with his community. Eddie acts in exactly the opposite to what he was saying in the beginning (not to tell any one about their illegal status), it never comes out of your mouth, who they are or what theyre doin here but, he commits the unforgivable crime by informing the immigration bureau.
Justice and honour play a significant role in A view from the Bridge. The idea of justice and law starts from the beginning of the play mentioned by Alfeiri, ¦.in Sicily where their father came from justice has not been a friendly idea. Further on Alfeiri tells us in the prologue that these people are not just Italians but Sicilian, so we will associate these people with rough justice. They live their life according their own laws and they believe in direct justice which is considered more affective. In the play we learn we learn from one of the character Marco that All the law is not written in the book Even tough this play is not about the Mafia, it has some aspects of it through their Sicilian code of justice and honour.
Alfieri makes clear in the beginning that law is not thought of as a friendly idea. He states we settle for half . Meaning Italian immigrants are trying to change their way of thinking. They are trying to adjust to American society by obeying the law of the land. Alfieri likes it better; because it is a lesson in restraint that compromise is better than the traditional Sicilian extremes. Eddies conversation with Alfieri regarding Rodolfo suggests the jealously he has possessed within himself.
He sees Rodolfo more as thief stealing his niece, than a relative. Alfieri, as a character tells him that there is more of a sexual relationship, there is too much love for the daughter, and there is too much love for the niece. Eddies frustrated response to this statement shows his unwillingness to admit the presence of this motive, Whatre you talkin about, marry me! I dont know what the hell youre talk in about! he is furious when Alfieri says She cant marry you, can she?
He knows that Rodolfo will take away his most valuable possession, Catherine, and he cant allow him to do that, so jealousy makes him inform the immigration bureau, and Alfieri says, I knew where he was heading for, I knew where he was going to end¦¦Pray for him. This shows inevitability of Eddies tragedy, shown to us by Alfieri as a character. Marco sees the real law being very unfair and unjust. Eddie has not broken any real law by phoning the immigration bureau; in doing so he breaks the unwritten laws of the community but complies with the written law of the land. He acts from one point of view as a concerned parent making a final attempt to save his child from a disastrous marriage; and from another point of view he revenges on the lover of Catherine, as he cannot see his rival possess the women who has rejected him.
Marco says Eddie has killed a family as he will be going back to Sicily and cannot provide for his family. Eddie in this play has become Vinny Bolzano, a character who he was talking about earlier in the play. Marco knows the only way to get justice is to kill Eddie and take away his name, respect and honour from him in the public arena. At the end of the play, Eddie has been killed; Alfieri talks about Eddies character as something that is very uncommon. Alfieri says, He allowed himself to be wholly known, suggesting Eddie let the whole world know what type of a character he is, even though what he did was not truly great but he let every one in his community know his true nature. He feels Eddie was honest with himself and for that I think I will love him more than any of my sensible clients. Alfieri is saying here that Eddie is not a hypocrite, he is the same from outside as he is from the inside, and he gives him respect for that and feels sorry for him.
At the end of his speech he says, It is better to settle for the half, (especially when you are wrong) because all this would not have happened if Eddie had not betrayed the brothers and let Catherine marry Rodolfo; but this would have been to settle for half. Instead he went on insisting Marco must give him back his name. Millers mouthpiece Alfieri wants us to understand from the tragedy of Eddies death by looking at the moral weakness of Eddie with pity and fear rather than to see him like an angel or villain. To be a tragic hero Eddie does not have to be in the right, he has to be true to himself.
In A View from the Bridge Miller has presented Eddie with passionate love for Catherine, bringing destruction upon himself and misery to people around him. On my first reading, I thought I had nothing in common that would connect me with it. When the plot of the play progressed, the story seemed to be convincing enough to have taken place, which aroused my sympathy and I also started to take interest in the highly individual emotions of Eddie, which kept my interest through till the end.
Miller shows Eddie as an unsatisfied dock worker who is trying to keep up with Millers title of the play bridging i.e. trying to accommodate the parental feeling towards Catherine which is under threat of spilling over into the sexual desire. This is very powerfully shown in a scene at the beginning of the play act 1, when Eddie shows pleasure, as Catherine lights his cigar. This is an action of warm and innocent affection between niece and uncle. Catherine seems to be genuinely ignorant to what feelings she is arousing in Eddie knowing nothing else just accepts their relationship as normal.
I think this scene is full of sexual meaning showing that Eddie seems to have an underlying sexual desire (consciously or unconsciously). This double meaning is not very clear in the text (because we are reading the play). It might be very obvious on stage especially when an actor playing the part of Eddie could convey the double meaning of it.
I think the Sicilian codes played a major part in the development in the play. They caused the development of almost all if not all of the problems experienced by Eddie Carbone in the end of the play; for e.g. if the Sicilian code had not made him take in his cousins he may not have done or if they had come at least they may not have stayed so long, also if the Sicilian code did not spell out what a man was supposed to do for his wife this may have caused less conflict between Eddie and Rodolfo as Eddie would have had less reasons for him not to be able to look after Catherine and may have been forced into submission, also if they had lived by American laws then he may not have accepted him in the first place therefore if the Sicilian codes had not been in place the whole episode may not have occurred, this shows that Sicilian codes were essential to the development of the play.
I had to get used of reading a play in which Alfieri was both chorus and a character. I found that Alfieri was a convenient mouthpiece for Millers views and that the interview between him as a lawyer, and Eddie was an effective way of showing the audience a particular conflict between law and justice. Alfeiri played a significant role by explaning Millers opinion because the story line could be perceived differently by each person that read the play. At the end of the play Alfieri as a chorus has a personal reaction to Eddies death which brings together his two roles, and for me, this was a convincing way dramatically to conclude A View from the Bridge.