“A view from the bridge” Arthur Miller How does Eddie’s jealousy lead to tragedy? A view from the bridge is a play that identifies the work and lives of the communities of dockworkers and longshoremen of New York’s Brooklyn Harbor. The author Arthur Miller has written his play focusing on the Carbone family. Eddie Carbone is an Italian longshoreman working on the New York docks. When his wife’s cousins, Marco and Rodolpho, seek refuge as illegal immigrants from Sicily, Eddie agrees to shelter them.
Trouble begins when his wife’s niece Catherine shows attraction towards the younger brother Rodolpho. Eddie’s inability to let go of Catherine, his frailty leads him to betray Rodolpho and Marco and this tragic error of judgment leads him to his death. From the first scene Eddie’s frailty is shown in his obsessive need to control his niece Catherine, and his theme of appearance versus reality is more complicated because Eddie will not admit that there is a problem. To prevent other characters from knowing his motives, he hides behind what mite seem to be good reasons for his behavior.
“Katie, I promised your mother on her deathbed. I’m responsible for you” Here you see Eddie’s hiding his protectiveness behind his responsibilities for Catherine and as the play progresses, we realize that deep down he wishes to keep Catherine for himself. Eddie’s jealousy is dealt effectively throughout the play. We can see from Eddie’s actions and the way he talks to Catherine that he has some sort of secret desire for her. “Catherine: Hi Eddie! (Eddie is pleased and therefore shy about it)” Instantly in the opening lines of the book you see Eddie’s true feelings for Catherine. Eddie is a grown man and has been a father figure to Catherine for many years therefore shouldn’t be feeling shy when she says ‘hi’ he is acting as a young man with a crush on Catherine would. Instantly his love is shown but in a very subtle, clever way.
Catherine comes across flirtatious towards Eddie and he feels flattered that a young, attractive woman shows interest in him. (Catherine enters from the bedroom with a cigar and a pack of matches) “Here! I’ll light that for you!” (She strikes a match and holds it to his cigar) Catherine fusses over Eddie in a flirtatious way giving the wrong impression to Eddie. His protectiveness over Catherine Is developed throughout the play and further on turns into jealousy. In the first scene Eddie comes across as being protective over her as any father would be but in this case Eddie is not the father. He begins by telling Catherine that a new skirt that she’s bought it too short, then tells her that she’s walking wavy and he doesn’t like the looks she’s receiving off men he says
“Heads are turnin’ like windmills” Then follows on to tell her that he doesn’t like the way she waves to men through the window. Immediately in the book you see that Eddie is a very dominant man. He sees the fact that other men are becoming interested in her and dislikes the fact she is becoming interested in them. “Catherine do me a favour, will you? You’r getting to be a big girl now, you just gotta keep yourself more, you can’t be so friendly kid” He begins to see that Catherine is growing up and turning into a woman. Eddie wants to protect her from growing up and is shading her from the world. But here he knows that Catherine would do anything to please him, so he asks her to do him a favor but he doesn’t wait for an answer he quickly changes the subject.
When both Marco and Rodolpho arrive you can instantly see Catherine’s interest in Rodolpho. She starts asking questions about why he hasn’t married.. Eddie’s aware of Catherine and Rodolpho’s attraction towards each other and stops it before it goes further by insulting Catherine and embarrassing her in front of the visitors. Eddie uses Rodolfoï¿½s illegal status against him and exercises his authority over him. He makes Rodolfo stop singing under the pretence that the singing is drawing attention to him and he may get discovered and picked up, to mask his feelings of jealousy and dislike towards him.
(Eddie has risen, with iron control, even a smile. He moves to Catherine) “What’s the high heels for,Garbo” Eddie’s jealousy is growing. Catherine is showing more attention to other people than Eddie so instantly we can see that he resorts to embarrassing her in front of Rodolpho and Marco. Eddies hatred for Rodolfo grows and he is acting on his emotions when he tells Catherine, after they have come back from the cinema that Rodolfo is only using her to get his papers so he can stay in America.
“Katie, hes only bowinï¿½ to his passport The explosion of jealousy comes when Eddie comes home drunk and finds Catherine and Rodolfo alone after having been in the bedroom together. He is so desperate; he is acting on his emotions and not thinking rationally and tells Rodolpho to leave, so Catherine agrees to go with him and Eddie tells her she isn’t leaving. “Catherine: Eddie, im not gonna be a baby any more! You- (He reaches out suddenly, draws her to him and as she strives to free herself he kisses her on the mouth)”
Eddie kisses Catherine to show Rodopho that Catherine is his and no one is to touch her and grips Rodolpho and also kisses him to show try and show Catherine that he isn’t ‘normal’and this to Eddie was the last straw. Eddie approaches Alfieri for help but he is unable to do anything about the marriage because she is her own person to do as she wishes. “Give me the number of the immigration bureau. Thanks. (he dials) I want to report something. Illegal immigrants. Two of them. That’s right. Four-forty-one saxon street, Brooklyn”