Eddie's incestuous dreams with Catherine results in deep jealousy of the relationship that she has with Rodolfo. This is evident where Catherine and Rodolfo flirt using the pun of 'sugar', leaving 'his face puffed with trouble'. Because both Catherine and Beatrice show interest in Rodolfo and his stories, Eddie is not the centre of female attention and so he seeks attention; when Rodolfo sings the playwright informs us that 'Eddie rises and moves upstage'. Unaware of Eddie's incestuous situation, Beatrice, who is a mediator in the household, questions his irrational dislike of Eddie. She says:
'He's a nice fella, hard workin', he's a good – lookin' fella'. In her vernacular tone, Beatrice highlights the positive aspects of Rodolfo, showing the audience that she is perceptive; this is also obvious where the playwright tells us that 'she realizes there is a campaign solidified in him', meaning that Eddie is close – minded. He gives irrational excuses for disliking Rodolfo, including his blond hair and his ostentatious singing, which does not follow his 'male code of honour'. However the audience is aware that these reasons are all a cover up for one thing – Eddie's incestuous feelings towards Catherine. As a result, he rejects anything said by Rodolfo and tries to divert attention towards himself, shown by Miller where 'he is coming more and more to address Marco only'. Rodolfo does not respond to this and continues to converse with Eddie, showing us that he is naï¿½ve but yet friendly.
Whereas Marco is formal and family orientated, Rodolfo is ostentatious and chooses to live the 'high life'. Whereas Beatrice is interested by this flamboyancy and Catherine is attracted to his confidence and romance, Eddie's own insecurities lead him to irrationally dislike Rodolfo, alongside the incestuous reason of jealousy of Catherine's attention. His 'male code of honour' is obeyed by Marco, whom as a result he respects, but disobeyed by Rodolfo, who sings, shows his emotions, gathers attention to himself but most importantly he gains the love of Catherine. Homework 'A View From The Bridge' Tuesday 18th November 2003 Although Alfieri is an immigrant he is an educated man.
This is shown in his speech as he speaks in Received Pronunciation in comparison to Eddie who speaks in American dialect, "You was gonna", which also shows his lack of education. As a consequence of his education, people in his community respect him and recognise him as a figure of authority. He is also seen as a figure of wisdom and perception; we know this because he is able to predict the outcome of events when he first meets Eddie. Also he is able to delve deeper into Eddie's emotions than Eddie can himself. He is able to see how he really feels for Catherine, "she can't marry you," suggesting that Eddie loves Catherine too much and that this is his fatal flaw. It is for this reason that Alfieri tries to show Eddie that Catherine is a "woman" and not a child. He also tries to teach Eddie to let go and not dwell on the past.
Alfieri represents American law; this is why he is perceived to be in a position of authority in that community. Italian law differs from American law and revolves around the idea of protecting honour, should there be a traitor he should suffer. This idea of justice is shown in a story told by Beatrice and Eddie, "He had five brothers and the old father. And they grabbed him in the kitchen and pulled him down the stairs…his head was bouncin' like a coconut."
This shows the brutality and primitiveness of justice, and also how families betrayed each other. Because Redhook consists primarily of Italian Immigrants the Italian justice system influences the way of life there. Alfieri struggles to make Eddie and Marco understand and accept this. He explains that it is only God that can ultimately give true justice, "only God, Marco." And for this reason Alfieri suggests that it is better to settle for half, only god can be the true judge of what is right or wrong. Throughout the struggle we are reminded that it is a tragedy and death is inevitable, "want to spread an alarm, but nothing has happened." "Alarm" suggests that there is going to be reason for alarm but it hasn't happened yet.
In some way Alfieri acts as a mouthpiece for Miller, Alfieri expresses the feelings of Miller through role play, almost re-enacting the parts of Miller's life where he worked as a longshoreman on the docks in New York, where he formed an intimate understanding of the working-class that sometimes possessed almost primitive vengeful desires. Although Miller understands that law only represents what is morally right, he believes sometimes it is better to "settle for half", a recurring point in the play. If someone feels the need to seek revenge then the desire to do so must be driven by what they believe is just. However the justice system only says what it is morally right to do and not what should be just and fair. By settling for half a compromise is achieved and as close to just as can be achieved is achieved.
Alfieri's function is to explain the play as it happens, explaining a working class scenario to a middle-class audience. The title of the play is a metaphor for what Alfieri does: He acts as "a view from a bridge" in several aspects, both in and out of the play fulfilling his function as a Greek Chorus. In the play he bridges two different culture's justice systems creating a compromise between Italian tribal justice and American law.
Alfieri out of the play explains the significance of the play and his emotional response to Eddie, acting as the mouthpiece to Miller. He is the bridge between American values and traditional customs. He has loyalties towards both and represents the difficulties of trying to reconcile the two cultures. He is a metaphor for Brooklyn Bridge, connecting the ethnic communities of Brooklyn to wealthy Manhattan.In effect Alfieri is an incarnation of Miller reacting in the way Miller would act. A view from a Bridge is Miller's emotional response to a very real story.