Saturday, August 31, 2019

Eddie’s death Essay

In a view from the bridge, the theme of justice is consistent throughout, particularly at the end. The five main points I am going to talk about in this essay are Alfieri and his monologues, Eddie phoning immigration on the cousins, Marco’s hatred towards Eddie at the end of the play, leading swiftly on to Eddie’s death. Other words associated with justice are vengeance, betrayal and revenge. Starting with Alfieri and his monologues, we can see that, being a lawyer, Alfieri values the law, more than justice. We can see this when he says ‘most of the time we settle for half and I like it better’, by this, we can see that when he says ‘settle for half’ he means that the written law may not always act in favor of justice, yet it is better to follow the law than to take it into your own hands. He says that he likes it ‘better’ like this, which also supports this, he sees that when people go against the law to assert justice, it can lead to conflict and death, which he does not support. Alfieri also says ‘Justice is very important here’, the keywords in the quote are ‘important’ and, evidently, ‘justice’, they show how meaningful justice is in the neighborhood in which the play is set, which subtly informs the audience of an ongoing theme which is to be raised at some point in the play, maybe more than once. This prepares the audience for coming conflicts because when one thinks of justice, like Alfieri, they know it can lead to conflict and death, therefore creating dramatic tension. In addition, Alfieri says ‘Only God makes justice’, which further supports the quote above, suggesting that Alfieri is a strong believer of the law, and that people should not take justice into their own hands, that is God’s job. This may lead the audience to believe that Alfieri believes in fate, what’s meant to be is meant to be, and if that one person deserves justice, God will serve it to them. Moving on to the next point, Eddie phoning immigration on the cousins. Eddie says, ‘Give me the number of the immigration bureau’, using the imperative ‘give me’, like an order, rather than asking politely for the number suggests to the audience that Eddie is making an irrational move, out of spite, maybe, because of his anger towards the cousins. Throughout the play, Eddie shows his status as high and powerful, trying to force this onto the cousins, too. When the cousins arrived, his status was knocked, and because of his delusions about Rodolpho being gay, he subconsciously created divides in his relationships with Beatrice and Catherine, because they were not seeing what he thought he saw. This angered him, and lead the audience to believe that, by turning the cousins in, Eddie thought he was rightfully serving justice, when, in fact he was purely making a selfish move to reclaim his status and have his relationships with Beatrice and Catherine restored. Furthermore, Eddie later says, after having had Marco spit in his face, ‘I’ll kill you for that you son of a bitch’. By using the threat, ‘I’ll kill you’ suggests that Eddie wants to get revenge on Marco for embarrassing him in public, and deliberately lowering his status. The language and tone that Eddie uses is both violent and aggressive, which are also key traits and features of someone seeking justice. An example of this in everyday life are stories like 9/11, where a group of terrorists believed that had been wronged, they therefore committed an illegal act, driving two planes into the twin towers and consequently claiming the lives of hundreds of innocent people in a violent and aggressive manner. In their minds, however, the terrorists thought they were claiming their justice on the world who they believed had been unfair to them. Eddie’s story is like this in the way that he felt his status fading, he felt betrayed by Beatrice and Catherine for not backing him up, so, by phoning immigration on the cousins, he felt he was serving his justice, they would be deported back to Italy, and he would reclaim his status in the house he shares with Beatrice and Catherine. In his mind, he felt the victims, Rodolpho and Marco were getting the justice they deserved, when, in fact, they were completely innocent, Eddie had only deluded himself with his obsession that Rodolpho was gay, and his love for Catherine that he made the irrational decision of turning the cousins in. Another story of revenge like this, is in Hamlet, when his father’s ghost came to him, telling him that Claudius had poisoned him. Hamlets swears revenge, and does so violently and aggressively, killing Polonius, the eavesdropping court chamberlain. Several events occur, leading to a duel between Polonius’ son, Laertes, and Hamlet. This example also supports Alfieri’s view that revenge can lead to conflict and death, because the result of the duel ends with the death of Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius and Hamlet. Marco’s hate towards Eddie, is similar to that of Laertes’ towards Hamlet, whose actions lead to the death of Polonius, Laertes’ father, and Ophelia, Laertes’ sister, who loved Hamlet but was driven to madness by his actions and died by drowning. Eddie’s actions, phoning the immigration bureau on the cousins lead to Marco’s hate towards Eddie. Marco says ‘That one! He killed my children! That one stole the food from my children! ‘, he says this because once he is sent back to Italy, he will no longer have a job and will no longer be able to provide for his children. Because of this, Marco, like Laertes, wanted to get revenge, and spat in Eddie’s face, embarrassing him in front of the whole neighborhood. Marco also says ‘In my country, he would be dead by now. He would not live this long’, this suggests that although his action of spitting in Eddie’s face was, while being degrading towards Eddie, was actually quite minimal, because this quote suggests that, given the chance, Marco would have killed Eddie for betraying his family. Marco feels that this would be the rightful punishment for Eddie’s actions. Consequently, later in the play, Marco gets his wishes. When him and Eddie confront, a fight is initiated and Eddie pulls a knife. Eddie yells ‘You lied about me, Marco. Now say it. Come on now, say it! ‘, this behavior by Eddie is completely out of spite and is irrational anger, he is so obsessed with his opinions about Rodolpho, and further angered by the previous events when the immigration officers showed that he is using provoking language and tone which leads Marco to lunge, screaming ‘Anima-a-a-a-l! ‘ and resultedly leads to Eddie’s death. The word ‘animal’ is lengthened and is shouted in action. Marco is so angered by Eddie and is so taken over by emotion that he lunges towards Eddie and kills him, therefore avenging him for what he has done to his family. These points effectively highlight some of the main events in the play that are related to the theme of justice. They show that justice was a theme not only brought up once, but consistently throughout the play. Justice is evidently a main theme in the play, and, without it, would result in a boring play with no proper story. This shows that justice is an effective theme and keeps the audience’s attention because it creates tension and therefore, interest.

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