Settling for Half in Arthur Miller's Play a View From the Bridge

Settling for Half in Arthur Miller's Play a View From the Bridge

Length: 905 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Settling for Half in Arthur Miller's Play a View From the Bridge

In this essay I will look at the idea of settling for half. In the
play, A View From The Bridge, the idea of settling for half is used
many times. This idea makes the play more tragic especially when a
certain character doesn't settle for half. To understand what settling
for half is we will have to establish what it means. Settling for half
is a sort of compromise. Most people would rather settle half than get
into trouble like the character Eddie Carbone should have done so
therefore people see settling for half as a good thing. But it isn't
always a good thing sometimes you may not get the result you would
want to get from settling for half. That is why in the play Eddie
Carbone didn't want to settle for half because otherwise he would lose
Catherine, whom he wanted to keep.

In this play there are many characters and the roles that the
characters play are similar to nearly every tragedy. One such
character is Alfieri who even though he plays two roles he is one of
the most significant characters. I say this because he plays one part
as a lawyer and another as a narrator/commentator. In his
commentator/narrator role Alfieri is Miller's mouthpiece so anything
that Miller wants to get across he can do by using Alfieri. Also he is
used to prepare us for any upcoming events. In his lawyer role he acts
as a good advice character to the tragic character, which in this play
is a person, called Eddie Carbone. Eddie Carbone is the tragic
character because he doesn't settle for half and as a result he ends
up getting killed at the end.

In the quotation above Alfieri says "…And now we are quite civilized,
quite American …". He says this because the Americans have a law,
which is written down on paper so it is a fixed law that can only be
changed by the government. At the beginning of the play Alfieri says

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Settling for Half in Arthur Miller's Play a View From the Bridge." 20 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A View From The Bridge by Arthur Miller Essay example

- A View From The Bridge by Arthur Miller Alfieri is a lawyer who works for the Sicilian community in Brooklyn. He opens the play with a very exposing account of what life used to be like and is like in that particular community. The audience knows from that speech everything about Alfieri and about the community in Red Hook. He launches into graphic detail about past bandits and murders and about how justice is very important to the Italians. The community is the 'gullet of New York,´ which is 'swallowing the tonnage of the world.´ This sentence is quite ironic since Red Hook is a fishing town and tonnage is another word for cargo....   [tags: View From Bridge Arthur Miller Essays]

Research Papers
3615 words (10.3 pages)

Essay on Tension in Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge

- Tension in Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge The whole of this play involves symbolism, on many different levels. The end scene, in which Eddie takes his own life with his own knife, is symbolic of the self-destructive nature that led to such an ending. As Arthur Miller wished to write 'a modern Greek tragedy´ it is likely that the symbolism of the dagger is Eddie’s sexuality, which drove him to his drastic actions and eventually death. During the confrontation earlier in the play Marco raised a chair like a weapon, symbolic of the fight yet to come....   [tags: A View from the Bridge Arthur Miller Essays]

Free Essays
3258 words (9.3 pages)

Essay on Justice in A View from the Bridge

- Justice in A View from the Bridge Arthur Miller is now regarded as one of the world’s greatest dramatists. In his plays he explores the struggles of the ordinary man against authority and insurmountable odds. Miller's own struggle therefore with this issue is present in ‘A View from the Bridge’ as he, like the characters in his plays (such as Eddie Carbone), was faced with the problem of choosing to be American or not, specifically by naming names of people who were doing (what were considered then) unlawful acts....   [tags: A View from the Bridge Arthur Miller Essays]

Research Papers
1761 words (5 pages)

A View from the Bridge Essay

- A View from the Bridge There are moments of great tension in this play. Tracing the developments of Eddies obsession, show how Miller creates and builds up tension, particularly in the final part of Act 1. How would the tension be shown dramatically. 'A View from the Bridge' is a play based on pride & justice and Sicilian Honour. There is fine line between natural justice and that that is provided by the law. The theme of 'Justice provided by the law,' starts right at the beginning of the play with Alfieri's opening speech....   [tags: A View from the Bridge Arthur Miller Essays]

Research Papers
1990 words (5.7 pages)

Use of Language in A View from the Bridge Essay

- Use of Language in A View from the Bridge Examine Miller’s use of language and dramatic devices in helping the audience to understand the themes of A View From The Bridge Arthur Miller is regarded as a great dramatist and he explores the life struggles of an ordinary man against authority and insurmountable odds and in ‘A View From The Bridge’ he uses many dramatic devices and enigmatic themes to help the audience understand the play. Some of the main themes are jealousy, love, law, justice and social class....   [tags: A View from the Bridge Arthur Miller Essays]

Research Papers
2406 words (6.9 pages)

The Character Alfieri in Arthur Miller's Play, A View From the Bridge Essay

- Arthur Miller, in his play A View from the Bridge, gives a different perspective of the story by focusing on the character Alfieri who makes the audience understand the real side of the play. Alfieri is a well educated lawyer who follows and respects the American law, but is still loyal to Italian ethnicity. In A View from the Bridge Alfieri is equivalent to the chorus in a Greek tragedy, meaning he introduces the play and narrates the story in flashback. He explains the events on the stage to the audience without actually participating....   [tags: Character Analysis]

Research Papers
1050 words (3 pages)

The Breakdown of the Carbone family in A View From The Bridge Essay

- Trace the Breakdown of the Carbone family in A View From The Bridge New York in the 1940’s the United States welcomed immigrants from all over Europe but especially Italy, the only problem with these immigrants was, most where illegal. The Italians, starved from the depression of World War One fled their homes and sometimes families for a better life in America. This often worked because the areas where you went to live often contained more people of the same race and as they say ‘blood is thicker than water’ to these people so one person wouldn’t tell on another for hiding or being an illegal immigrant....   [tags: A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller]

Free Essays
1218 words (3.5 pages)

How the Structure of A View From The Bridge Helps us Understand the Tragedy of Eddie Carbone

- How the Structure of A View From The Bridge Helps us Understand the Tragedy of Eddie Carbone Arthur Miller in recent years has become one of the world's most important and influential playwrights. The plays he produces give a deep understanding of how the characters think. Especially when they find themselves in awkward or bad situations, such as, misplaced love. The play, which this essay is going to investigate, is 'A View From The Bridge'. This is one of many which Miller has written....   [tags: A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller]

Research Papers
3056 words (8.7 pages)

Essay on Eddie Carbone as the Tragic Hero of the Play

- Eddie Carbone as the Tragic Hero of the Play “One who is neither villainous nor exceptionally virtuous, moving from happiness to misery through some frailty or error in judgement.” The above opening quotation is from Aristotle, which is his view of what elements a tragic hero contains. This essay will investigate the destiny of the main character Eddie Carbone also known as a tragic hero, as illustrated by Arthur Miller in ‘A view from a Bridge’ against Aristotle’s view of a tragic hero. The play takes place in Brooklyn in a working-class Italian-American neighbourhood which is hooked by a social code....   [tags: A View from the Bridge Arthur Miller]

Research Papers
1949 words (5.6 pages)

Death of Salesman by Arthur Miller Essay

- Death of Salesman by Arthur Miller The Requiem seems to simply conclude the play at the funeral and let us see the other character's view of events with some retrospect. However, with closer scrutiny, we see that old issues and resentments are still very prevalent. The Requiem can be split into two halves. The first half sees Charley, Biff, Linda and Happy over Willy's grave. Each character is unique in their perspective at this point, reflecting Willy's own change of perspective towards the end of play and reminding us of several themes in the text....   [tags: Death Salesman Arthur Miller Essays]

Research Papers
811 words (2.3 pages)

that he no longer has to keep a pistol in his filing cabinet this is
because the law makes him fell safer and so he knows that he doesn't
need a gun to keep him safe. But in this case the Sicilians will have
to settle for half because it will be against the American law to take
care of a serious situation by themselves, which is what they would
do. Then because of this there is a culture clash.

The first time settling for half is brought up in the play is by the
character Alfieri in his opening speech. This has been said because in
this situation he is talking about the Sicilian law. The Sicilian law
being that things are taken into their own hands rather than the
government doing something about it, this is why the two men that
Alfieri walks past give him an uneasy nod because he associated with
the law/government. And the law is associated with bad things
happening and is not a friendly idea. Also most if not all the
Sicilian laws aren't written down so if it is broken it is dealt with
the way the person feels fit, since they take the law into their own
hands. But because the Sicilians/Italians are in America they can't go
to the extent that they could back at home in Sicily/Italy, but just
because they are in America it doesn't mean that the Sicilian law
doesn't apply because it still does in the ghettos of America as is
seen in the play at various stages. Because the Sicilians have their
own law they don't settle for half they go to the full extent of
trying to sort things out.

Near the beginning of the play on page 13 Eddie is talking about Vinny
Bolzano and how he was a snitch and he starts talking about him not
wanting a snitch in the household about his cousins, Marco and
Rodolpho. He becomes a snitch at the end when he tells the immigration
bureau about his cousins, it is ironic and this makes the play even
more tragic.

When Catherine starts to like Rodolpho, Eddie doesn't want to settle
for half because the thought of Rodolpho being Catherine's husband
doesn't please him at all. Because of that reason Eddie talks to
Catherine about Rodolpho and keeps giving her reasons not to go with
him. Eddie is giving her all those reasons because he cannot settle
for half and he wants Catherine to himself. Also because Eddie wants
Catherine so much he tries to make up any excuse he can just get to
her. Then at a later stage on about page 32 Eddie goes to Alfieri to
ask for help because he still can't settle for half so he trying to
see if he can get rid of Rodolpho by any means possible.

Even though Eddie has tried many things to try and get rid of Rodolpho
there is a short scene at the end of act one when Eddie sort of
teaches Rodolpho how to box, but this is really to show that Eddie is
superior to Rodolpho, this could possibly scare Rodolpho. Eddie is
even more annoyed because Rodolpho has just come into his house and
taken Catherine away from him, but yet Eddie has brought Catherine up
from when she was a little girl.

Another area where Eddie cannot bear settling for half is at the
beginning of act two on page 47 Eddie is trying to show how woman/girl
like Rodolpho really is because even a man of Eddie's position would
want to kiss him. The reason why Eddie is finding it hard to settle
for half is because he loves Catherine too much. He loves her as much
as he does because he has brought her up since she was a child so he
has become attached to her as Alfieri says on pages 34-35.

On page 50 Eddie informs the immigration bureau because he isn't going
to settle for half so he thinks that the only way out is to get rid of
him for good. In this situation Eddie has obeyed the American law
instead of the Sicilian law.

On page 62 Eddie's love for Catherine is brought out into the open so
you might think that he is going to give up but he sees it, as he has
got nothing to lose.

Near the end of the play Miller has established that Eddie has lost
everything so Eddie thinks that there isn't much point in settling for
half because Catherine and Rodolfo are off to get married so Eddie has
lost Catherine. That is why he keeps urging Marco on to have a fight
with him because Eddie knows that he going to lose the fight.

To enhance the tragedy Eddie is the main tragic protagonist. Eddie's
actions have brought this upon himself that is why he is still holding
the knife in his hand once he has been stabbed. If Eddie had settled
for half then he would still be alive and because he didn't the tragic
consequence of it was that he ended up dying.

In Alfieri's last speech in the play he says that something about
Eddie was perversely pure. The thing about Eddie that was perversely
pure was his love for Catherine. It perverse because Catherine was
Eddie's niece but his love for her was totally pure, and because Eddie
knew that he couldn't have her he thought that there was no point in
living so that was why he had that fight with Marco.
Return to