A View from the Bridge was written by Arthur Miller and the play was produced in the mid 1950s. The play focuses on an Italian American called Eddie Carbone. It shows how a simple, straightforward longshoreman reacts when his two cousins arrive to their home illegally from Italy. The play dramatically changes its mood from start to finish and the struggle Eddie goes though to not lose his niece, Catherine. It illustrates how far Eddie is willing to go to keep the on he loves and how he has to pay the ultimate price in the end. I will be focusing my attention on Eddie Carbone and how he changes with the arrival of his two cousins.
Eddie can be very caring and thoughtful, like when he compliments Catherine on what she is wearing. “Beautiful. Turn around, lemme see in the bk. Oh, if your mother was alive to see you now! She wouldn’t believe it”. Even though he can be caring to loved ones like Beatrice and Catherine, he still can be over-protective. This is shown when he advises Catherine not to wear such a short skirt. “Now don’t aggravate me, Katie, you are walkin’ wavy! I don’t like the looks they’re givin’ you in the candy store”. It is also shown when Beatrice mentions that Catherine has a job.
“She’s got a job”. Eddie protests exclaiming, “No-no, you gonna finish school. What kinda job, what do you mean? All of a sudden you-“. This can show how Eddie has the urge to protect Catherine by impeding her from discovering her own independence. This play also teaches the reader about the Italian way of life and culture. It is shown when the family are having dinner and Eddie mentions the story of Vinny Bolzano, who ‘snitched’ on his uncle to Immigration as he was staying there illegally. He was then beaten up by his own father and brothers and went away forever.
This shows how dedicated Eddie and all Italians are when it comes to ‘snitching’. It is shown again when Marco and Rodolfo, Eddie’s two cousins arrive. When Rodolfo starts to show off his singing talents, Catherine is enthralled whereas Eddie isn’t, he imparts “Because we never had no singers here… and all of a sudden there is a singer in the house, y’know what I mean? ” This furthermore shows how he does not want any one to know about his cousins, showing how he wants to protect himself and his family. Eddie is very benevolent, munificent and humorous as he did let Marco and Rodolfo stay in his home.
Eddie starts to have a grudge against Rodolfo, as Catherine is growing fond of him and it seems as Eddie’s obsession over Catherine makes him believe that Rodolfo is unworthy of having Catherine and he soon finds him unmanly and repulsive, but it is this anger that soon breaks the family apart. He then goes to extreme measures to keep Catherine. After, when he arrives back home after meeting his friends, him and Catherine start to have an argument about Catherine being affectionate to Rodolfo. Soon Eddie brings up that Rodolfo only wants to marry Catherine so that he can gain American Citizenship.
“Katie, he’s only bowin’ to his passport”, ” He marries you he’s got the right to be an American citizen”. Catherine however still refuses believe him and still admits to like Rodolfo. He says he admires both Marco and Rodolfo and expresses it when he starts to talk to Louis, Eddie’s friend. “Yea, he’s a strong guy, that guy. Their father was a regular giant, supposed to be” and “Yeah, well … he’s got a sense of humour”, but we soon find out that Eddie was pretending to like Marco and Rodolfo and it all was a cover- up for his true feelings. When Eddie meets up with Alfieri, Eddie reveals his true feelings about Rodolfo.
Eddie starts to say that he does not trust Rodolfo, “I see it in his eyes; he’s laughin’ at her and he’s laughin’ at me”. Later on, he starts to make more fun of Rodolfo as an act of jealousy, “… they’re laughin at him on the piers. I’m ashamed. Paper Doll they call him. Blondie now”. When Eddie teaches Rodolfo how to box. Eddie lands a hard blow on Rodolfo’s face. This blow is an expression of how Eddie feels about Catherine liking Rodolfo. Soon after Eddie once again goes to measures to keep Catherine and this he shows his true feelings to Catherine by kissing her.
Rodolfo in disbelief pulls Eddie away from Catherine and out of no-where Eddie kisses Rodolfo. This can show how Eddie wants to prove that Rodolfo is not a true man and to tell Catherine that she has now grown up. Out of anger and jealousy, Eddie does something so dreadful, that he betrays both his cousins and his self-esteem. He ‘snitches’ his cousins to the Immigration Bureau. “Give me the number of the Immigration Bureau” “I want to report something. Illegal immigrants. Two of them. That’s right. Four-forty-one Saxon Street, Brooklyn, yeah.
Ground floor”. This again shows the extremes Eddie goes through to keep Catherine, even going against his beliefs about ‘snitching’ and losing his pride in the process. When the immigration officers arrive, Marco and Rodolfo are caught. As they are about to leave Marco spits on Eddie’s face. This is a sign that Eddie has lost all his pride and authority in front of the whole neighbourhood. When Marco and Rodolfo leave, Marco states “… (pointing back at Eddie) that one! He killed my children! That one stole the food from my children”.
This shows that Marco believes that due to Eddie snitching on them, he has ruined Marco’s family and forced his children to starve to death. After all the chaos, Eddie is thinking about himself and his respect instead of others. “I want my respect. Didn’t you ever hear of that? ” “Marco’s got my name- you can run and tell him, kid, that he is going to give it back to me in front of this neighbourhood, or we have it out”. This shows that even in the toughest situation, Eddie still thinks about himself and can be very conceited and it is this, which soon leads him to his death.
Eddie led a very complicated life and it got even more complicated when his two cousins arrived. He tried everything to keep his beloved niece, even if it meant going against his beliefs and breaking his pride. He may be arrogant, self-absorbed and selfish at times, but he does it all to protect his family from breaking apart. Even after all his hard work, his family broke apart and Eddie paid the ultimate price with his life. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.