Justice & the Law
- Alfieri, the lawyer, establishes that justice and the law are going to be important in the play in his opening speech
- story of Vinny Bolzono, In eyes of Eddie and the community Vinny was guilty of injustice and his family ensured that justice was done when he was punished and shunned by the neighbourhood
- Alfieri warns Eddie that if he betrays the brothers he will be breaching the code of his people and they will turn against him
- it would be unjust to betray the Italians even if Eddie is actually upholding the law.
- Eddie betrays Marco and Rodolpho, there is no law to punish Eddie so Marco takes the law into his own hands, the play ends with a fight to the death
- Alfieri reiterates his beliefs at the end of the play: "Most of the time now we settle for half and I like it better." Alfieri values the law more than justice, he sees that when people go against the law to assert justice it can lead to conflict and death.
Love of a family :
Beatrice, Eddie and Catherine are first seen as a loving family.
Marco loves his family deeply. come to America to help them. He misses them a lot.
Beatrice loves her family in Sicily enough to support her cousins.
Father - daughter love:
Eddie and Catherine, although uncle and niece, have become more like a father and daughter. Eddie made a lot of sacrifices to provide Catherine with the best education he could.
Romantic / married love:
Eddie and Beatrice's marriage not as strong as it used to be: Beatrice asks, "When am I gonna be a wife again, Eddie?"
Catherine and Rodolpho quickly fall deeply in love.
Eddie's love for Catherine has become sexual, even though he refuses to admit it. This is the cause of the friction in his own marriage and the dispute with Rodolpho and Marco.
Love responsible for all the conflict between the characters.
Eddie, love also causes conflict within himself when he cannot admit to his illicit love for Catherine.
- Eddie has a narrow view of what he considers manliness
- Eddie is master of household, lays down the rules. Mainly thing to do, expect all men to do the same therefore can not accept Rodolpho more gentle talents
- Rodolpho creates dramatic tension-style of manliness and masculinity differs from Eddies. his behaviour unsettles Eddie. He calls him 'Paper Doll' and 'a weird'
- Eddie does not regard it mainly to show his emotions In an open way therefore keeps his distance from the cousins unlike Beatrice
- Eddies masculinity is called into question when Beatrice asks him 'When am I gonna be a wife again, Eddie?'
- when trying to regain control In his own home he tells Beatrice never to ask questions like this again
- Eddie feels uncomfortable when the boundaries of his manliness are threatened. When he is confused he refuses to accept anything other than his own uncomplicated measure of masculinity
- means far more to them than the law. To be honourable is to be respected. If you do anything dishonourable, you lose respect
- Codes of honour bind families and the whole neighbourhood with a sense of community. to betray someone is the most dishonourable action imaginable
- Eddie tells Beatrice, "It's an honour, B. I mean it." when they discuss the imminent arrival of the cousins.
- Eddie finds it impossible to admit his love for Catherine is because he knows how dishonourable it is.
- Alfieri warns Eddie that he will lose the respect of the neighbourhood if he betrays the brothers. "You won't have a friend in the world, Eddie!" significant that a lawyer is encouraging Eddie to do something illegal by continuing to keep the brothers hidden.
- Marco believes the only honourable course is to punish Eddie when Eddie betrayed the brothers. Alfieri tries to persuade him otherwise: "To promise not to kill is not dishonourable" - but Marco's sense of honour it too strong.
- Eddie, refuses to believe that he has done anything wrong. He desperately wants to get back his good name after Marco's accusations caused the neighbourhood to turn away from him. "Marco's got my name - and you run tell him, kid, that he's gonna give it back to me in front of this neighbourhood, or we have it out."