How Does Arthur Miller Represent the Character of Eddie Carbone Throughout ‘A View From The Bridge’? A View from the Bridge was a play written by Arthur Miller in 1955. The play deals with a lot of issues including jealousy, immigration, family and the ‘Sicilian code of honour’. Arthur Miller represents the character of Eddie Carbone in very interesting ways. Eddie is the main character in the play A View from the Bridge; he is the husband of Beatrice and the uncle and guardian of Catherine. He also works as a longshoreman, on the waterfront.
The story of A View from the Bridge is set in Brooklyn New York: a deprived mostly Sicilian neighbourhood with a lot of close knit communities within. It is famous for being a slum and a neighbourhood that immigrants (illegal or legal) come to in search of the American dream. The character of Eddie Carbone will now be analysed in greater detail. In the beginning of the play, Eddie Carbone is portrayed as being a nice, easy going, hard working Italian man. We know this from the language that is used to describe him (Beatrice refers to him as ‘an angel’) and also because Eddie uses quite informal language.
It is clear that his family has a great amount of respect for him simply by the fact that they ask for his blessing for Catherine to become a stenographer (Beatrice says ‘She’s asking you now, she didn’t take nothing which implies that she would never dream of taking a job without his approval). We automatically feel comfortable with Eddie. However at the beginning of the play, Alfieri (A local lawyer) delivers a soliliquy which leads us to believe that Eddie might end up as a corpse.
He says “Lawyers are only thought of in connections with disasters” which makes us think that a disaster may be in store for Eddie in the play. He also talks about Eddie In the past tense, this is a major clue that Eddie dies at some time during the play (“This ones name was Eddie Carbone”). This speech by Alfieri leads us to believe that the play will follow the structure of a classic Greek Tragedy. It makes the audience anticipate that Eddie Carbone will die, but it makes them wonder when it will happen and entices the audience to keep watching.
The play is very similar to Oedipious Rex in its structure and the fact that the main character is supposedly doomed from the start. We know the conclusion of the play, but do not know how we will get there. Alfieri is even quoted saying “A man like Eddie Carbone did not expect to have a destiny” which leads us even more to believe that Eddie will meet a grim end. The boxing match is a very clever scene in the play. It hosts a lot of emotions and makes the audience react in different ways. It is a very action packed moment in the play, yet it is full of a lot of drama and unpredictable reactions from the characters.
Eddie starts off as a man who is trying to teach Rodolpho how to box, but ends up as a man who is completely blinded by his hate for Rodolpho and his desire to show up Rodolpho as a feminine ‘Pretty boy’. He starts off by delivering a number of gentle punches to Rodolpho, but ends up putting all his weight behind a punch that knocks Rodolpho off of his feet and onto the canvas. This is Eddie taking his golden opportunity to take out his anger on Rodolpho physically in an environment where he won’t be damned by his family.
It is opportunism at its best. In this scene, Beatrice seems to be nai?? ve of the fact that Eddie is taking out his frustration on Rodolpho and is busy praising Rodolpho’s boxing skills. She says “He’s teaching him, he’s very good! ” which shows that she is unaware of what Eddies intentions are. In this scene, however, Eddie never loses his cool which makes his family even more unaware of his intentions. After knocking Rodolpho down to the mat, he says in reply to Beatrice’s pleas for him to stop that “Why, I didn’t hurt him. Did I hurt you kid?
Which shows that he doesn’t want Rodolpho to know his true feelings either. By the end of this scene, the audience feels sympathy towards Rodolpho and loses some respect for Eddie. In the scene with the infamous kiss between Eddie and Rodolpho, the audience is led to believe there own imagination to understand Eddies motivation for kissing Rodolpho. We have a number of different ideas concerning why Eddie would want to kiss Rodolpho. One reason for him to kiss Rodolpho is that he wants to show up Rodolpho for being homosexual.
We are led to believe that Eddie thinks this of Rodolpho because he always treats him with a certain amount of suspicion for being blonde and looking slightly feminine. He also treats him with suspicion after he is told that Rodolpho makes dresses and can cook. In a Sicilian society, this would be quite odd for a male of the family to take interest in such feminine choirs such as dress making and cookery. He could simply be showing Catherine that Rodolpho is enjoying kissing a man and wants to embarrass him. Eddie is quoted in saying “You see? ” which backs up this theory.