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"A View from the Bridge," is a play by Arthur Miller. The scene is
down town New York along the fore shore and involves Eddie Carbone, an
Italian Longshoreman, his wife Beatrice and her niece Catherine. When
his wife's cousins, Marco and Rodolfo, seek refuge as illegal
immigrants from Sicily, Eddie agrees to shelter them. Trouble begins,
as his wife's niece Catherine, is attracted to Rodolfo. Eddie's
baffled jealousy culminates in an unforgivable crime against his
family and the Sicilian community.
It is Eddie Carbone, who is identified by Alfieri as the hero of this
particular tragedy, however the hero has a character fault, this draws
him inevitably to tragedy. There are many different sides to Eddie's
personality; he has good, bad, admirable as well as hateful qualities.
During this play, we see these different sides of him through the way
he interacts with his family.
Eddie is a fundamentally simple, straightforward man who worked on the
piers when there was work, he is seen to be humorous, kind and
generous in anticipating the arrival, illegally, of his wife's
cousins. Eddie is a family man and a very loving person.
His kind nature is shown when he acts as a father figure towards
"Well, tell me what happened. Come over here, talk to me."
This shows he has an interest in her problems, he uses a very
comforting manner. Eddie is a family man and agrees straight away to
help illegal immigrants. He works hard and has a good job. These good
points help us to forgive him more for his bad points however there
are quite a lot of them.
He is over protective of his niece, Catherine, in her increasing
"I don't like the looks they are giving you in the candy store"
"You're a baby"
It is I believe this urge to protect Catherine, which makes him try to
keep her from discovering independence. Catherine rapidly becomes
attracted toward Rodolfo; this makes Eddie increasingly sensitive to
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Beatrice, Eddie's wife is aware of a deeper, more disturbing reason
for Eddie's over protectiveness toward Catherine. She is able
initially, to persuade him to allow Catherine to start work. It is
still clear that she is unhappy about Eddie's attitude toward his
The physical, sexual part of the Carbones' marriage has broken down,
Beatrice asks Eddie:
"When am I gonna be a wife again Eddie?"
This shows her feelings for Eddie and their relationship, she wants
Eddie to love her and treat her right. Despite her efforts to confront
Eddie over this, Beatrice is unable to make changes.
Eddie's obsession with Catherine is something he is not able to
understand; therefore he focuses his frustration and anger about this
Eddie believes that Rodolfo could be gay, due to the fact that he
sings on the boat, has blond hair and has no responsibilities; he also
has a more lighthearted attitude to life. Catherine loves this part of
him and it is this, which makes her attracted to him. Eddie is again
looking on the bad side of Rodolfo and decides that he only wants to
marry her to gain American citizenship.
Catherine has chosen Rodolfo and has decided to move away with him,
Eddie is outraged and tries to push them apart however this only draws
them closer, Eddie kisses Rodolfo;
"Eddie pins his arm, laughing, and suddenly kisses him."
He does this to show Catherine that Rodolfo is gay also to try and
mock him. Eddie then tells Rodolfo to get out of the house alone, not
Eddie eventually can't stand his feelings any more; Marco and Rodolfo
have wound him up so much he can't control his anger so he calls the
immigration bureau. This makes the audience despise him due to the
fact that he can't let his family be happy; he lets his own feelings
get in the way.
Eddie is determined to maintain his reputation and his honour. He lets
nothing get in his way; he gets hold of a knife and holds it ready to
"Eddie springs a knife into his hand and Marco steps back."
Marco appears horrified at this over-the-top action from Eddie however
Marco turns the blade inwards and stabs Eddie whilst shouting;
This shows Marco's feelings for Eddie, however it also sums up pretty
well my feelings and a lot of the other character's feelings for
From all of this evidence I can see that my very first impression of
Eddie Carbone has changed dramatically. Although it looked like Eddie
was trying to protect Catherine in the beginning, his obsession began
to show, cracks were forming in Eddie's ability to cope as well as in
his relationship with Beatrice and Catherine, Marco and Rodolfo.
Eddie is very quick to judge people by how they look this over
perceptiveness lands Eddie in a lot of trouble. The audience pick up
on this and the other points I have mentioned, this makes the audience
despise Eddie to a greater extent than they can sympathise with him.