The US civilised justice system

Beatrice feels unfairly treated within her marriage Eddie does not treat her as his 'wife' anymore she confronts him with this and explains that it has been three months since they made love, which is long before the cousins arrived. Eddie does not want to discuss the matter and so goes back to talking about Rodolfo and Catherine which is when Beatrice makes it known that she thinks Eddie's interest in Catherine is unnatural. Beatrice is aware of the injustice suffered by her niece; this is the reason why she helps Catherine to persuade Eddie to let her work. Beatrice supports Catherine whilst they are discussing Catherine's job.

She repeats facts which she feels may appeal to Eddie and persuade him to change his mind. She does not say much within this section of the dialogue her points only echo Catherine's unless, she feels the subject is leading into dangerous waters she distract Eddie with a different point. An example of this is when they begin speaking about the location of the company Catherine will be working for. Beatrice realises Eddie does not like it and so she jumps in with "fifty dollars a week, Eddie" creating a diversion. Beatrice is extremely careful and sustains Eddie's authority in front of Catherine, but she deliberately sends Catherine to 'bring in the supper' so she can really put her point across to Eddie. Throughout the scene she does not waver or change her mind, her views remain the same.

Beatrice speaks her mind to Catherine when she and Catherine are alone. She urges Catherine to assert herself and become more independent. This is portrayed when Beatrice says 'It means you gotta be your own self more. You still think you're a little girl…', Beatrice also explains that Catherine's behaviour around Eddie does not help with his infatuation, '…you can't act the way you act. You still walk around in front of him in your slip-'.

Catherine wants justice from Eddie, she is desperate for him too give her freedom. Catherine does not want to be treated as a child and wants to be able to interact with men other than Eddie without him being able to 'tell [her] things about' them. When confronting Eddie about her job she lacks confidence and looks to Beatrice to help her. After Rodolfo and Marco arrive Eddie becomes even more protective of Catherine and she gets embarrassed when Eddie says 'what's the heels for Garbo?'. She was just trying to make an effort for the arrival of the guests and because Catherine takes a liking to Rodolfo Eddie does not know how to react and so he shows her up.

Catherine gets really angry when Eddie asks her which paramount they went to when she told him already, she is yet again 'embarrassed before Rodolfo'. Catherine wants justice for Rodolfo in the sense that 'he blesses' Eddie but Eddie only ever seems to throw it back in his face. After the incident with Eddie calling immigration, the strength hidden within Catherine's character becomes apparent and she is vindictive and hurtful with her words. However all these strength melt at the end when she mumbles her profound remorse for her role in the tragic death of Eddie.

Marco, an economic migrant came to the country to earn money and eventually help his family escape the injustice of poverty. He has a strong sense of justice and shows this when Eddie hits Rodolfo, Marco demonstrates that he is the stronger man and will defend his brother if need be. Italians have their own justice brought back from their country and carried on from their ancestors. Throughout Italian and Sicilian history it is known that they bare their own sense of justice which means doing what ever it takes to gain it. Marco suffers a great injustice when Eddie turns the brothers in to immigration. He feels Eddie 'killed' his children because they would no longer be able to escape the terrible living circumstances. The need for revenge is in his blood and the advice from Alfieri is not taken into account.

Alfieri represents the US 'civilised' justice system. He follows the concept that people would be better of 'settling for half' this is because complete justice concludes in unacceptable consequences. Alfieri is quick to pick up on the fact that Eddie is very disturbed by Catherine's affection toward Rodolfo and that he harbours wrong thoughts about her. Alfieri explains to Eddie that 'there's too much love' 'and it goes where it mustn't.' The only thing Alfieri can do is give advice and hope that it will be used. It is extremely important he does what is right because of his key position. It becomes apparent at the end of the play that Alfieri has some compassion and veneration towards Eddie as he 'allowed himself to be wholly known'

Alfieri places events within the drama in context and explains conflicts related to the play which occurred in Italian history. He knows the law is incapable of satisfying everybody and that it contains many boundaries. Alfieri is able to reflect on matters and diffuse widespread concepts. The Immigration Officers are direct and uncompromising the law is the law and this transcends any patriotic feelings. The officers speak Italian, 'andiamo, andiamo' which may mean they have Italian connections, but this Italian background does not affect them as they are there to do their job.