A View from the Bridge

by: Arthur Miller

Alfieri

Characters Alfieri

Alfieri is the symbolic bridge between American law and tribal laws. Alfieri, an Italian-American, is true to his ethnic identity. He is a well-educated man who studies and respects American law, but is still loyal to Italian customs. The play told from the viewpoint of Alfieri, the view from the bridge between American and Italian cultures who attempts to objectively give a picture of Eddie Carbone and the 1950s Red Hook, Brooklyn community. Alfieri represents the difficult stretch, embodied in the Brooklyn Bridge, from small ethnic communities filled with dock laborers to the disparate cosmopolitan wealth and intellectualism of Manhattan. The old and new worlds are codified in the immigrant-son Alfieri. From his vantage point, Alfieri attempts to present an un-biased and reasonable view of the events of the play and make clear the greater social and moral implications in the work.

From his narration, it seems that Alfieri has decided to tell the story for his own reasons as much as anyone else's. He does not find a conclusion after telling the Carbone story, but tells it nonetheless and he speaks and reveals his honest view of the facts. He is cast as the chorus part in Eddie's tragedy. Alfieri informs the audience and provides commentary on what is happening in the story. The description of the people within the play and narration at the beginning of every scene change helps to distinguish the short chapters of the tale. Alfieri is fairly inconsequential in the action of the play in general, but more importantly frames the play as a form of a modern fairy tale. Alfieri admittedly cannot help Eddie Carbone, but must powerlessly watch the tragic events unfold before him. There is no illusion of reality, Alfieri purposely breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience during the reenactment of the story. Alfieri is in many ways like Arthur Miller, when he first heard the tale of the Longshoreman. He is the teller of and incredible story that he cannot change.