This sentence was very important because Alfieri hinted at what happened in the story. Something happened and as it was happening Alfieri could see what the outcome would be but he had no power to stop it, all he could do was watch it ‘run its bloody course. ‘ The use of the word ‘bloody’ was very effective because it told the audience that the end of the play will end in blood so we can also guess from this that somebody will be killed.
Additionally the sentence recounts one of the main themes; Justice. If a man kills another man because of what he did, does that justify the killer’s actions?
Alfieri knows what was going to happen but he had to sit there powerless because the conclusion of the story was inevitable. “This one’s name is Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman… ” Alfieri introduced one of the main characters explaining what he does. This is a good use of juxtaposition; Miller has decided to introduce Eddie’s character just after we find out that somebody will die, so from this we can guess that Eddie will be the one to get killed.
At the end of the soliloquy, the audience was left in suspense because they wanted to find out more.
So from this first soliloquy, we could see the importance of Alfieri already: he set the scene, introduced characters; he was observant so he noticed small but important things which he then told the audience, introduced the two main themes of the play, mentioned past events and built tension.
When Eddie first went to see Alfieri for advice, Alfieri was then transformed from a narrator to a character. This was important because he was now part of the play as opposed to just telling a story. The reason for Eddie’s visit was because of Rodolfo and Catherine.
Catherine was his niece and Rodolfo was his wife’s cousin. Rodolfo had just come from Italy as an Illegal immigrant along with his brother, Marco. When they arrived, Eddie took a liking to Marco straight away and ignored Rodolfo purely for the reason that he was blonde. This hatred of Rodolfo grew when Eddie found out that he could also sing, dance and make clothes. Eddie then came to the conclusion that Rodolfo was ‘not right’. In other words, Rodolfo was homosexual. Catherine and Rodolfo fell in love which made Eddie angrier; he did not want his ‘little girl’ falling in love with somebody like Rodolfo.
This was what he wanted people to think but the truth behind his actions was that he was jealous of Rodolfo, he fancied Catherine which meant that his feelings towards her were deeper than they should be between Uncle and Niece. This was the main sub-text used throughout the play. He talked to Beatrice, his wife, then to Catherine, trying to make one of them see things from his point of view, but when neither of them listened to him, he was then forced to go to Alfieri for advice. Eddie went in and was described as having tunnel-like eyes by Alfieri, “his eyes were like tunnels.
” This was a simile which showed that Alfieri was a well educated man: it additionally showed that Eddie had been crying and was extremely upset by what was going on; he was stressed and depressed; he could not focus on anything else. Eddie asked Alfieri if there was anything he could do to stop Rodolfo from marrying Catherine, if law would be able to stop the marriage. His hopes were dampened by Alfieri’s response: “… Because there is nothing illegal about a girl falling in love with an immigrant. ”
There was nothing in the law that would stop the marriage unless Eddie told the immigration officers about Rodolfo and Marco and have them sent back to Italy. If Eddie did this then he would be the one in trouble, he would lose his dignity and respect from his friends. However, Eddie did not listen. “Yeah but what if the only reason for it is to get his papers. ” Here Eddie was making excuses as to why the marriage should not be allowed, because Rodolfo was only marrying Catherine so he could stay in the country as an American Citizen. “First of all you don’t know that. ”
This was Alfieri’s response to Eddie. He mentioned it again emphasizing that Eddie needed proof before he started accusing people. Eddie still refused to listen and was growing even more impatient, shouting at Alfieri: “I know what’s in his mind Mr. Alfieri! ” There were also lots of hyphens which indicate that Eddie was interrupting Alfieri as he was becoming snappy and agitated. He didn’t want to listen and he was becoming stubborn. Alfieri listened to all Eddie had to say then, he had his own say: “Eddie, I want you to listen to me… You know, sometimes God mixes up the people…
every man’s got somebody that he loves… but sometimes… there’s too much. … It goes where it mustn’t. … sometimes it’s a niece… he never realizes it, but through the years- there is too much love… ” Alfieri showed that he knew the real reason why Eddie was so upset. Eddie’s love for Catherine became so much that he did not want her to leave him. Alfieri’s advice was very important because it told the audience what was going on in the play so far without him explaining it to them directly. So even as a character, Alfieri was still narrating. Alfieri (rising): But, Eddie, she’s a woman…
Eddie: He’s stealing from me! Alfieri: She wants to get married, Eddie. Eddie: He’s stealing from me. Alfieri: She can’t marry you, can she? Eddie (furiously): What’re you talkin’ about, marry me! I don’t know what the hell you’re talkin’ about! This piece of dialogue was important. Eddie was complaining that Rodolfo was stealing from him which meant that he saw Catherine as his property, almost like an object which belongs to him that nobody else can have. When he repeated that sentence it indicated he was not listening to Alfieri as he had made his mind up that Rodolfo was a thief.
When Alfieri replies, saying that Catherine can’t marry Eddie, he became furious. This sentence proves that Eddie loved his niece more than he should but if she can’t marry him then he should at least let her marry somebody else and be happy for her. However Eddie’s response was not helpful, he became angry again and was starting to shout. He was angry because he didn’t want anybody to know his true feelings for her. I think he understood why he was trying to stop the marriage but wanted to try and deny it and blame it on something else.
Eddie knew that what he was feeling was wrong because she was his niece. However Alfieri wanted him to stop blaming Rodolfo and see that there was nothing he could do about it. After Eddie had left, Alfieri started talking to the audience, telling them his thoughts. “There are times when you want to spread an alarm, but nothing has happened. ” Alfieri knew that Eddie had not listened to his advice and was still worried about him. He wanted to warn him of what would happen but could not, nothing had happened yet and Eddie would still not believe him. “I knew, I knew then and there…
I could see every step coming, step by step, like a dark figure walking down a hall toward a certain door. ” The use of the simile was effective, he was comparing Eddie to a dark figure walking down, presumably a dark hall, towards a particular door. This darkness could be significant to the unknown, and the door significant to the outcome of Eddie’s actions. The fact that the door was certain means that there was no other door he could go through, that was the only way for him, so the outcome will be unavoidable. So conclusively, Eddie was heading through a door into the unknown.
“I knew where he was heading for, I knew where he was going to end. And I sat here many afternoons asking myself why, being an intelligible man, I was so powerless to stop it. ” Alfieri was annoyed with himself for not being able to prevent Eddie’s death, the devastating ending to the play. He wanted to stop it, he was a lawyer and very intelligent but yet he could not, he had to watch it happen. “I even went to a certain old lady in the neighborhood, a very wise old woman, and I told her, and she only nodded, and said, “Pray for him…
” And so I… (He sits)… waited here. ” This emphasizes how powerless Alfieri became: he even had to get some advice himself, but all he could do was to pray. We can again see the effect of Alfieri on Eddies visit to him. Alfieri became a character and advised another character, he showed the reason of Eddie’s fury, and showed the audience he knew what was going to happen but did not tell them directly; he left them guessing which began to build tension. Throughout the visit, the subject of law and justice was visited a number of times.
Eddie was very disturbed that Rodolfo was going to marry Catherine and thought the law could stop them but Alfieri could only help him if he had the proof that Rodolfo only wanted to marry Catherine to remain an American citizen. This was to do with justice: Eddie could not accuse Rodolfo without evidence otherwise it would not be fair. Eddie revisits Alfieri again later in the play. This visit was after the incident with Rodolfo, Eddie and Catherine. Eddie came home drunk to find Catherine and Rodolfo together. He then became very angry and started shouting. “I think I have to get out of here, Eddie. ”
Catherine was telling him that she was going to leave with Rodolfo because of Eddie’s behaviour. When she was about to go he pulled her to him and kissed her. “He reaches out suddenly, draws her to him and as she strives to free herself he kisses her on the mouth. ” Rodolfo pulled them apart then Eddie went and kissed Rodolfo as well. “Rodolfo flies at him in attack, Eddie pins his arms, laughing, and suddenly kisses him”. This action was to prove a point, that Rodolfo was homosexual. After that Catherine was forced to stay but Rodolfo and Marco were forced to leave. While they were moving out Eddie went to visit Alfieri for the last time.
When he went through the door he was then again described as having tunnel-like eyes. “His eyes were like tunnels. ” This sentence was repeated and emphasized, Eddie could not think of any thing else apart from Catherine and Rodolfo. Again, he had been crying and was extremely upset by what was going on, he was stressed and depressed, he could not focus on anything else. “This is my last word, Eddie, take it or not, that’s your business. Morally and legally you have no rights, you cannot stop it; she is a free agent. ” Alfieri was desperate for Eddie to listen to what he was telling him.
There was now nothing Eddie could do. However, he still refused to listen; he had become more determined and stubborn. This was Alfieri’s last chance to change his mind. “I heard what you told me, and I’m telling you what the answer is. I’m not only telling you now, I’m warning you-the law is nature. The law is only word for what has a right to happen. When the law is wrong it’s because it’s unnatural, but in this case it is natural… ” Alfieri was, again, telling Eddie that there was nothing that he could do because there was nothing illegal about two people getting married.
The use of a metaphor was effective, saying that the law was nature and what had a right to happen. If there was nothing wrong with the marriage then it was natural and has a right to happen. “… a river will drown you if buck it now. ” Alfieri was trying desperately to get Eddie to change his mind. He was using a metaphor to compare Rodolfo and Catherine’s marriage to a river; if Eddie tried to stop it from happening then he would drown. This was another clue to what would happen at the end of the play; it gives the audience another chance to guess what was going to happen.
If Eddie did not take Alfieri’s advice and he tried to ‘buck’ the river, or stop the marriage then he would ‘drown’; he will die. Alfieri was a lawyer and he knew how the law works, Eddie should trust him. (A phone booth begins to glow on the opposite side of the stage; a faint’ lonely blue. Eddie stands up, jaws clenched) This use of stage craft was very important, it told the audience what Eddie was thinking, they would be able to make a connection between him and his body language and the glowing phone booth. (Alfieri rises with new anxiety.) Alfieri was distressed; he must get Eddie to listen to what he was saying. (Eddie is gone. The phone is glowing in light now. Light is out on Alfieri. Eddie has at the same time appeared beside the phone. ) The phone booth represents Eddie’s idea, he was going to do something important but also drastic, something Alfieri was dreading. But once Eddie has picked up the phone, the future becomes inevitable. Eddie was going to call the immigration office. The play was ended with Alfieri’s final soliloquy. He was grieving because Eddie, one of his clients, was now dead.
Even though he knew it was going to happen, he was still distressed. “Most of the time now we settle for half and I like it better… ” This was repetition; Alfieri had already mentioned this in his first soliloquy. This meant that although the crime had not been stopped completely, it was a lot better than how it used to be. “I tremble-for I confess that something perversely calls to me from his memory-not purely good, but himself purely… ” Alfieri was saying that Eddie was a good man, maybe not always good but he was well-known, people knew him and liked him.
“And so I morn him-I admit it-with a certain… alarm. ” Alfieri was sorry to see Eddie dead and that surprised him because to Alfieri, he was just a client, but one of his closest. He was struggling with law and justice, should Alfieri had sent Marco and Rodolfo back to Italy to save Eddie’s life? At the end of the play, the audiences are left to reflect the many issues raised in the play about law and justice. In conclusion we can now see how effective Alfieri was as a narrator and character. He was able to keep the audience in suspense by giving them clues as to what may happen at the end of the play.
The dramatic significance of Alfieri was that he knew what was going to happen. He had foresight. He knew that Eddie would be killed but he could not stop it from happening. I believe that Alfieri was a good narrator; he was able to tell the story from a different perspective and made one think about Eddie. Was he right to try and stop the marriage? Was Marco right to kill Eddie? I think that Eddie brought his death on himself by his jealousy. He had become too obsessed over Catherine. I do not believe that he would not let her marry Rodolfo because he was ‘not right’ but because of his feelings towards her.
If Catherine had fallen in love with another man, Eddie would still have tried to find something wrong about him so he has an excuse to try and stop the marriage and to cover up his feelings for her. Eddie should have tried to accept that Catherine was a woman now, she was not a little girl any more and that she would soon have to leave home. He could not control what she did anymore. Catherine was now seventeen and should be allowed to grow up into adulthood. I also think that Alfieri had made the audience think about this.