Justice and Law in A View From The Bridge

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In "a view from the Bridge", justice and law are not presented as being synonymous.

The play "A view from the Bridge" by Arthur Miller shows the tragic demise of its protagonist "Eddie Carbone" and towards his demise we are presented with two different yet similar concepts; justice and the law. Although the two words usually stand side by side, "A view from the Bridge" shows how they are sometimes not synonymous with one another through: a belief in communal law or community values, the American system of justice and the analogy of settling for half.

The Red Hook community is described by Alfieri to be dominated by different ethnic communities, which bring with them different cultural beliefs and values. One of the dominating races within Red Hook is the Sicilian community, and Alfieri conveys the view that family honor and respect as well are of paramount importance to that community, as well as a general lack of faith in the quality of the American justice system. Alfieri states "Justice is very important here" which demonstrates how revenge on others even if it where outside the law fits in with their cultural values and ethnic beliefs. The old saying "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" gives a very good idea of the community's view of justice. Alfieri is also implying that conflict is inevitable once injustice has been committed as the community is often dissatisfied with the "justice" the law brings they take it into their own hands to find this justice.

Arthur Miller himself was charged with contempt by a U.S Court and was faced with the dilemma of choosing to abide by the law, or accept community justice and not "rat" on his friends and family. A View from the Bridge criticizes those during the McCarthy trials (ones Arthur Miller was involved) who had "ratted" out innocent people. Arthur Miller chose to write about a community that accepted and protected unlawful people because of their own beliefs in justice and fairness, which is, in essence, what the law attempts to be based on but ultimately cannot because "All the law is not in a book". When Marco is betrayed by Eddie, he cannot accept the laws stated in America and although Alfieri states "there is no other law" outside the "law", the community has set "justices" that tell them NOT to rat on immigrants. This shows how justice and law go against each other.
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