The Breakdown of the Carbone family in A View From The Bridge

The Breakdown of the Carbone family in A View From The Bridge

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Trace the Breakdown of the Carbone family in A View From The Bridge

New York in the 1940’s the United States welcomed immigrants from all
over Europe but especially Italy, the only problem with these
immigrants was, most where illegal. The Italians, starved from the
depression of World War One fled their homes and sometimes families
for a better life in America. This often worked because the areas
where you went to live often contained more people of the same race
and as they say ‘blood is thicker than water’ to these people so one
person wouldn’t tell on another for hiding or being an illegal
immigrant. One problem though, this being to get to America you had to
be smuggled in by the Mafia, this happened to cost an arm and a leg
which means your in debt to the Mafias, so when and if, you get to
America most of the money you earned went to the Mafias, so it was a
hard life but better than the one you had. This play is about two
Italians that decide to take this risk, but what will happen as a
cause of this…

Catherine Carbone is Eddie Carbone’ niece, she is a 17 year old girl
and is strikingly good looking. On the other hand Eddie is a 40,
husky, slightly overweight long shore man, one problem though he has a
thing for Catherine, but Eddie knows he can’t have her, so because he
can’t have here no one else can either, or you might say, Eddie
Carbone ‘ wont settle for half ’, but a good looking 17 year old isn’t
going to stay single for long, this creates a dilemma for Eddie.

Catherine has spent pretty much all her life with Eddie so she has
become very attached, for example, ‘you sit on the edge of the bathtub
talking to him when he’s shaving’ in his underwear’, she thinks she is
just talking to him, where as Eddie thinks that she is trying to say
something and it’s not. So from an early age she has been manipulated
by Eddie, making him seem the only one to trust and to believe every
word he says, for example, ‘I wish there was one guy you couldn’t tell
me things about!’ showing that if Eddie found a guy that Eddie didn’t
now bad things about he would be a good guy to go out with but, Eddie
isn’t going to find any won like.

Beatrice is petrified of Eddie and he uses this to his advantage.
Making Beatrice feel sorry for him when he’s being rude to her, ‘when

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your fathers house burnt down, I had to sleep on the floor’, I mean
Beatrice’s fathers house just burnt down and Eddies moaning about
having to sleep on the floor. So when Beatrice’s cousins come to
America (illegally) Eddie has given them ‘the sheets of his own bed’
and if it wasn’t for him her cousins, Marco and Rodolpho, wouldn’t
even be in America making a new life fore themselves, so once again as
you will see through out the book Eddie comes out the hero, at least
to Beatrice and Catherine.

Towards the end of the play we start to see the real Beatrice who
stands up to Eddie as she starts to crack. She has figured out that
Eddie has a thing for Catherine and why he wont let Catherine have a
boy friend or was against her getting married,

‘BEATRICE: Eddie, for Christ’s sake its her wedding,’

She stands up to Eddie cause he is being a complete idiot.

Eddie doesn’t want anyone to have Catherine. Eddie doesn’t like
Rodolpho, but Catherine likes Rodolpho, making another problem for
Eddie. It is evident Catherine likes Rodolpho by the way she talks and
questions him when he first arrives, quote, ‘your practically blond’
and ‘ A motorcycle’, so he’s blonde and has a motor cycle, but, Eddie
is less amused,

‘CATHERINE [to BEATRICE]: He’s practically blond!

EDDIE: How’s the coffee doing?’

Or in other words, ‘get out the room and stop chatting him up’.

So since Eddie doesn’t like Catherine we all know something’s going to
go wrong somewhere along the line and… it does. Well not just one
thing many,

1. Verbal but not obvious warnings such as

‘EDDIE: look, B., I’m just saying – he thinks she always stayed out
like that.

MARCO: you come home early now, Rodolpho.

RODOLPHO [embarrassed]: all right, sure.’

Eddie’s is suggesting that Catherine never used to stay out until
Rodolpho arrived.

2. It starts to get physical with Eddie ‘teaching’ Rodolpho to box, it
goes well until Eddie almost knocks out Rodolpho.

3. Then it all comes out at Christmas when he gets drunk and Beatrice
says Catherine and Eddie are getting married, Eddie does the last
thing he could possibly do, he tells the immigration office they have
illegal immigrants in there house. The last person that accidentally
told on illegal immigrants got pulled down the stairs, his head
‘bouncing like a coconut’ down the stairs then the family abandoning
him, he was a teenager. So what’s going to happen to a forty year old

Marco wants to make money for his family back in Italy; Eddie uses
this to his advantage, as per usual. Bossing Marco around and making
Marco have a go at Rodolpho so Eddie doesn’t have to say anything.
However, if Marco does anything to Eddie, Eddie can send Marco back to
Italy. Later on in the book, as Eddie threatened Rodolpho without
saying anything, Marco does the same thing to Eddie just after the
boxing match.

‘MARCO: Here.

[He kneels, grasps, and with strain slowly raises the chair higher and
higher, getting to his feet now. RODOLPHO and CATHERINE have stopped
dancing as MARCO raises the chair over his head.

MARCO is face to face with Eddie, a strained tension gripping his eyes
and jaw, his neck stiff, the chair raised like a weapon over EDDIES

Marco is threatening Eddie, saying if you hurt my brother ill hurt
you. When Eddie makes the mistake of telling on Marco and Rodolpho to
the police, sparks fly as Marco plans and gets his revenge on Eddie.

After all that’s happened between Eddie, Marco, Beatrice and Rodolpho,
Catherine is the least pleased with Eddie. She has pretty much
discovered that Eddie has feelings for her, so plans to get away from
him by marrying Rodolpho, upsetting Eddie even more but this doesn’t
matter for Eddie ends up been killed by the one thing he doesn’t have
a defence for his own pride.

This brings me to my conclusion, that the main character Eddie Carbone
is ‘the bridge’ from ‘ a view from the bridge’. He decides what
happens in his house, if Beatrice’s relatives are aloud into America,
what Catherine is allowed to wear and whom she can see and if Eddie
doesn’t like what Rodolpho is doing with Catherine he can and will
find away to get rid off him. But, the problem with Eddie he has one
major floor, this being his own pride. Which as I explained in the
paragraph before ends up being the thing that kills him, the knife,
which he draws against Marco, but it is turned against Eddie, as the
bridge collapses.
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