The frustration that Eddie has shown towards Rodolfo finally is let out when at a gathering in the Eddie’s home he invites Rodolfo to fight. Rodolfo not wanting to look weak accepts. When Eddie lands a particularly good blow Marco steps in for his brother. He offers Eddie the challenge of trying to lift a chair. As can be seen this is a challenge to Eddies authority “Marco is face to face with Eddie… the chair raised like a weapon over Eddies head” From the words ‘face to face’ you can tell there is a large amount of tension between the two characters. Marco is protecting Rodolfo as he is the patriarch for his family.
Marco has made a challenge to Eddie’s patriarchal role and it is for this reason that Eddie breaks the Sicilian Moral Code and makes contact with the Immigration Bureau When Eddie breaks the Sicilian Code of Honour betrays Rodolfo and Marco to the Immigration Bureau this ties in with a part earlier in the play. This is a direct contradiction of what he said to his family earlier on in the book which was a story of what happened to a man named Vinny who betrayed his uncle and got himself thrown out of his house by his own family and shunned from the community.
“But the family had an uncle that they were hiddin’ in the house, and the kid snitched to the immigration” This story is a dramatic device used by miller to show how strong the code is and what happens to those who break it. Marco has had his pride dented and his American dream shattered. He came to America in hope of money to provide for his family but he has to be sent home. Marco shames Eddie by spitting in his face which is a sign of his complete incivility to Eddie “Marco suddenly breaks from the group… Marco spits in Eddies face”
Then to emphasize his disdain Marco accuses Eddie in front of the neighborhood by saying “That one, he killed my children” Marco seeks revenge on Eddie for what he has done. He has already shown aloud his disrespect for Eddie and feels he has to follow the Sicilian Moral Code. ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’. Marco follows this is part of the Sicilian Moral Code which means that he wants to get revenge. This once again shows that the Code of Honour is governing the outcome of the play This leads to Eddie and Marco fighting.
As you can see by the violent nature in the end of the play the Sicilian community can be quite violent and is sometimes in contradiction with the American law. Sometimes the American law cannot punish people for actions in violation of the Sicilian Moral Code. This can be quite hard for the Italian-American community when they live by the Sicilian code of honour and at the same time have to live by the rules of the American law. When a person wants to get their revenge upon another person for something done to them they have to abide by the normal laws.
This ties in with the play in that when Eddie wants to take revenge on Rodolfo for not asking his permission and breaking the Sicilian moral code he can not do anything because it is not against the law “Alfieri: Is there a question of law here? Eddie: That’s what I want to ask you. Alfieri: Because there’s nothing illegal about a girl falling in love with an immigrant. ” As you can see Eddie wants to exact revenge upon Rodolfo. The violent nature of this is common with all Sicilian communities. The Mafia whom are a group that are associated with much violence and crime are from Italy.
The violence in Italian nature is also a theme for Guy De Maupassant’s ‘Vendetta’. This story tells of old women spending a lot of time and effort to gain revenge upon her murdered son. Following the Sicilian Moral Code under the old testament of ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth she eventually kills the murderer of her son. At the end of ‘A View from a Bridge’ Eddie pleas for his respect saying “I want my name back,” Rodolfo says that what he has done is inexcusable (betraying Marco and himself to the immigration bureau). Although Eddie seeks respect from the community, he finds none.
Beatrice and Catherine along with the rest of the community shun Eddie: “He’s a rat and he belongs in the sewer. ” From the degraded term of ‘rat’ we see that Catherine has finally shown that Eddie can no longer tell her what is wrong and right. The community has seen what Eddie has done and rejects him. An example of this being when Lipari an Italian butcher, in knowledge of what Eddie has done does this “Lipari the butcher turns and starts up left with his arm around his life. ” Eddie sacrifices himself in the end in one last desperate attempt to gain his respect and goes to stab Marco
Rodolfo may have broken the Sicilian moral code and Marco has shown his indignity to Eddie but as there is no law against these Sicilian violations within America so Eddie takes things in to his own hands and fights Marco. During the play the effects of the Sicilian Moral Code are seen and felt by all the characters. All of the happenings can be boiled down to the Sicilian Code and had it not been there and replaced by the American law then the play would most certainly not have turned out as it did in the end with violence and death. The happenings and philosophy of ‘A View from a Bridge’ are indeed dominated by the Sicilian moral code.