Eddie's Responsibility for his Own Death in J.B. Priestley's A View From the Bridge

Eddie's Responsibility for his Own Death in J.B. Priestley's A View From the Bridge

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Eddie's Responsibility for his Own Death in J.B. Priestley's A View From the Bridge

The main cause behind Eddie's liability of his own death was his
stubborn and inarticulate behaviour; these were the main causes of
isolation from his only family.

In the opening scene of the play 'A view from the bridge', after
Alfieri's speech to the audience, we are shown the strong bond between
Eddie and his niece Catherine. Catherine thinks highly of Eddie, 'You
like it? I fixed it different. He's here B.!', and instantly looks for
his approval. The overall feelings you see between these two
characters are caring, concern but also control. 'She sits on her
heels beside him', this is a good example of Eddie's control, and how
Eddie is a dominant character within the family during the play.
Within this scene the staging should reflect the control that Eddie,
has, and although he generally cares about his niece she is never in
the centre of the room or lighting. Therefore Eddie should sit down on
his chair in the centre of the room with the main light shining on
him. This way the audience is focused on Eddie, making him the central
character. Catherine at this point should be kneeling by his side to
show her being inferior.

Eddie's importance in Catherine's life soon fades, we can trace his
isolation from when Beatrice's cousins, Marco and Rodolfo arrive.
Eddie instantly takes a disliking to Rodolfo, 'he is coming more and
more to address Marco only', even from the start, Eddie, without
realising that any harm will come of it, is isolating himself from
Rodolfo. Catherine is a naïve young woman, who for all this time has
hung on Eddie's every word, until now. Catherine is fascinated with
Rodolfo, his blonde hair, his accent, the way he sings; he is not an
average Italian man. This is a situation Eddie is not comfortable
with, however, as he is a man who struggles to show his feelings with
the use of words, he instead makes the wrong move of embarrassing

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Catherine in front of their guests, 'What's the high heels for Garbo,
do me a favour, will you? Go ahead.' Because of this comment he
manages to upset both Catherine and Beatrice, as Beatrice doesn't
agree with him upsetting Catherine.

In the following scene between Eddie and Beatrice, his inarticulate
manners yet again begin to isolate him even further from his family.
Beatrice confronts Eddie bout their problems concerning their
sex-life, however Eddie refuses to listen, or talk about the subject.
If Eddie listened to Beatrice maybe situations could have been better,
the less he talked to Beatrice the more distant they would become.

Eddie has been centre of Catherine's world for a long time, and to
accept change is not an easy thing for him to do. All of a sudden
Catherine is fascinated with a new man, someone opposite to Eddie, and
now Eddie is shunned from the limelight. Although Eddie treats
Catherine like his own daughter, it does not hide the fact that he has
no children of his own. Eddie believes he is what a man should be, so
could his problems with Beatrice and him not having any children, be
making Eddie insecure? It is then this insecurity that makes Rodolfo
such a threat.

Eddie has strong feelings for Catherine deep down inside him, and so
to get back Catherine he needs to justify his reasons for his
disliking towards Rodolfo. 'Katie, he's only bowin' to his passport.'
When Eddie's first attempt does not work, he seeks the help of a
lawyer, Alfieri. It is during this conversation that Eddie attempts a
second time to justify his feelings, 'The guy ain't right…' Eddie
accuses Rodolfo of being gay, he is not a real man, and therefore
cannot marry Catherine, but not everyone thinks the way Eddie does.

When at home the tension is clear, Catherine asks Rodolfo if he would
like to dance, this is an act of defiance, rubbing Eddie's nose in it
for all the comments he has made towards Rodolfo. At first Rodolfo is
reluctant, he has no idea what he has done wrong to offend Eddie and
so does not want to do any further damage between them. This is a good
scene to show Eddie isolating himself. When Rodolfo and Catherine get
up to dance they should be in the middle of the room with the main
light shining on them, Eddie has been so used to being centre of all
attention, however now he has been shoved to the side. This reflects
how Rodolfo is the main person in Catherine's life now. Eddie should
become quick-tempered and act more tetchy becomes more teacts and
talks towards the other characters.
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