Eddie’s jealousy begins to spiral out of control when he tries to manipulate Rodolfo in the “boxing match”. Eddie has been making snide comments about Rodolfo being too friendly with Catherine and too casual with his money. Eddie suspiciously invites Rodolfo to box after mentioning going to see a boxing match as a “treat”. Meanwhile the other family members observe. “Sure he’s terrific! Look at him go! (Rodolfo lands a blow.)
At’s it! Now, watch out, here I come, Danish! (He feints with his left hand and lands with his right, it mildly staggers Rodolfo. Marco rises.)” Eddie uses his power as head of the household to humiliate Rodolfo, comparing his strength to Rodolfo’s femininity; Eddie is trying to show this to the other characters. Eddies motive for the boxing match could have been to show who was boss however Eddie could have just wanted to share an interest with Rodolfo in teaching him how to box. It could have been interpreted as a fight for Catherine in a way that Eddie wants to tell Rodolfo to back off.
Marco realises Eddies manipulative behaviour and defends Rodolfo. “Marco is face to face with Eddie, a strain tension gripping his eyes and jaw, his neck stiff, the chair raised like a weapon over Eddies head and he transforms what might appear like a glare of warning into a smile of triumph, and Eddies grin vanishes as he absorbs his look.” This suggests that Marco is trying to show Eddie that he will defend Rodolfo. This also implies that Eddie may now feel threatened by Marco, he may also feel embarrassed that Marco can do something he cannot, and it may make him feel weak. Miller creates a tense atmosphere without the other characters realising.
Eddie has gone to see Alfieri and is trying to find out if there is a law that can stop Rodolfo and Catherine’s relationship. Alfieri makes a comment about Eddie. “His eyes were like tunnels; my first thought was that he had committed a crime, but I soon saw it was only a passion that had moved into his body, like a stranger.” This suggests that Alfieri is trying to tell Eddie that he loves Catherine more than he thinks. It could also tell the reader that the overpowering love is the reason for Eddie’s immediate, pointless dislike and jealousy towards Rodolfo.
Eddies feelings shine through when his jealously leads to bizarre behaviour towards Catherine and Rodolfo. Rodolfo is trying to hint and flirt with Catherine, they are alone at home. “Not for anything to eat. (Pause) I have nearly three hundred dollars. Catherine?” Rodolfo is indicating that he is hungry for her love and that he now has enough money to make a life of their own hoping that she will catch on. The “pause” indicating that he wants a response, it also creates a tense atmosphere but it may also show Rodolfo is nervous. Catherine wants to become a woman and hints for Rodolfo’s help. “Teach me. (She is weeping) I don’t know anything Rodolfo, hold me”
Catherine is telling Rodolfo that she wants to make love to him. The fact that she is weeping proves that she truly cares about him and may indicate that she has realised she is no longer Eddies little girl. Eddie comes home early and Catherine and Rodolfo both come to the bedroom doorway, Eddie is angered by this. “Eddie, I’m not gonna be a baby anymore! You – he reaches out suddenly, draws her to him and as she strives to free herself he kisses her on the mouth” Eddie may be trying to prove his true feelings for Catherine, and he may be trying to make her feel the same. His jealousy has become overpowering and it could be that he couldn’t hold it in any longer.
He may also be trying to suggest to her that she doesn’t love Rodolfo. Miller has created an awkward atmosphere after the kiss and Rodolfo is standing up for Catherine. “Rodolfo flies at him in attack. Eddie pins his arms laughing and suddenly kisses him” this implies that Eddie may be trying to prove to Catherine that Rodolfo is homosexual so she will choose not to marry him. In the kissing incident Miller suggests that Eddie has completely fallen in love with Catherine and is trying to prove it to her by kissing her. Miller may also be trying to suggest that Eddie is prepared to do anything to sabotage Catherine and Rodolfo’s relationship; this could become a big disaster further on in the play because Eddie may resort to violence and more bizarre behaviour to prevent the marriage.
Miller has made Eddie’s jealousy and feelings very obvious to the reader; he has also conjured up a very tense atmosphere. Eddie pays a second visit to Alfieri after the traumatic kissing scene. Eddie has asked Alfieri for advice. “Let her go and bless her. (A phone booth begins to glow on the opposite side of the stage; a faint, lonely blue. Eddie stands up, jaws clenched.) Someone had to come for her Eddie, sooner or later.” This suggests that Alfieri thinks that Eddie should just let Catherine get on with her life; Alfieri may also be trying to tell Eddie that he can never have Catherine. “(Eddie starts turning to go and Alfieri rises with new anxiety.)
You won’t have a friend in the world Eddie! Even those who understand will turn against you, even the ones who feel the same will despise you!” Miller has suggested that the betrayal of Marco and Rodolfo is inevitable by this; it tells the reader that Eddie is almost certainly going to call the immigration bureau. This also suggests that Alfieri is trying to persuade Eddie not to call the immigration bureau however Eddie ignores Alfieri. This portrays that Eddie doesn’t care if he does not win over the love of Catherine as long as her and Rodolfo do not spend there lives together.
Eddies jealousy has become obvious to the reader and the other characters. Beatrice is talking to Eddie before Marcos arrival. “You want something else Eddie, and you can never have her! (Eddie, shocked, horrified his fists clenching).” This suggests Eddie is powerless to stop his demon, which is his love for his niece. This is the first time Eddie seems to realise his true feelings for Catherine and recognises his own madness as he lunges for Marco.
Marco beats Eddie to the ground. “Eddie lunges with the knife” This proves that Eddie will do anything to get rid of the cousins, it also portrays that he thinks he is stronger and capable of murder. It also implies that this behaviour is a result of Eddie now being powerless to do anything else. “Marco grabs his arm, turning the blade inward and pressing it home” Eddie is stabbed with his own knife which is in his own hand. He dies ironically in Beatrice’s arms.
Miller used dramatic techniques to make Eddies initial dislike become an overwhelming jealousy. He used stage directions and language to make Eddies jealousy seem as though it was spiralling out of control. Miller used dramatic techniques to build up atmosphere between the characters that the reader can sense through strong stage directions. If the play was to be acted out there would be no room for direction because Miller used the stage directions to fulfil his purpose which was to create images in the readers head.