“A View From The Bridge” is set in the late 1940’s in Down Town, New York. It is about Eddie Carbone, who is an Italian longshoreman who falls in love with his wife’s niece, Catherine.
He lives in an apartment with Beatrice (his wife) and Catherine. However, when Beatrice’s cousins, Marco and Rodolfo, seek refuge as illegal immigrants from Sicily he kindly offers to shelter them. He regrets doing so because Catherine rapidly attracts to Rodolfo.In the beginning of the play Eddie plays a noble character as he accepts to take in Marco and Rodolfo.
However at the end of the play, Eddie has become a tragic hero as he makes an error of judgement in thinking he had a right to stop Catherine from marrying Rodolfo. Arthur Miller intended the play to be a modern version of a Greek tragedy in which a central character is led by fate towards a destiny that cannot be escaped. In the end of act 1 Marco and Rodolfo had just settled into the apartment and Eddie has his suspicions of Rodolfo. In act 2 we were expecting Eddie to be more suspicious of Rodolfo and begin to change because of it.
Eddie’s character and character changes dramatically throughout the play as he begins to be a noble character and ends up as a tragic hero. At the beginning of the play, Eddie agrees to take Rodolfo and Marco in, saying:”It’s an honour B., I mean it.”In the beginning of the play, Eddie mentions Vinny Bolzano as he told the immigration bureau about his uncle.
He does this because he wants to sound noble to show that he is going no let them stay. In the play, Eddie is represented as noble and honourable but he begins to change as his growing suspicions and jealousy of Rodolfo lead him to become a tragic hero. We have already begun to witness his inevitable downfall as his suspects Rodolfo is homosexual and is marrying Catherine for her papers.”He’s like a weird.
“Eddie only suspects Rodolfo is homosexual because he’s jealous of him and he begins to try and prove this to Catherine by kissing him. The conversation between Rodolfo and Catherine contributes to the explosiveness of what happens next because Eddie sees Catherine coming out of the bedroom adjusting her dress with Rodolfo following her. Eddie had been drinking and told Rodolfo to leave the apartment.”Pack it up.
Go ahead. Get your stuff and get outa here.”Arthur Miller shows conflict by using short sentences to create tension and to show Eddie’s anger and his threatening voice towards Rodolfo. He shows this when he phones the immigration bureau.
Catherine assumes when Eddie tells Rodolfo to go, he means her as well. However he grabs her arm and tells her she’s “not goin’ nowheres”. Eddie knows he is beginning to loose Catherine and by telling Rodolfo to leave he’s bringing his own downfall. Eddie’s behaviour towards Rodolfo can be excused as at the beginning of act 2, Alfieri mentions Eddie had been drinking.
If Eddie hadn’t have been drunk, he might of reacted differently and he wouldn’t have been so aggressive and would be in control.Catherine is trying to let Eddie go and vice versa, but they both know they will always love each other. Catherine is afraid of Eddie and what he’s going to do next. She shows this because she wants to leave New York to go to Italy with Rodolfo once they are married.
Act 1 is very different to act two because in act 2 Eddie begins his downfall and his change from a noble character to a tragic hero. Most of the confrontations and outbursts of action was from Eddie to Rodolfo as he becomes more and more jealous as the play goes on. Catherine starts to dislike Eddie when he changes his tone towards Rodolfo and they begin to be violent against each other. Deep down Catherine knows she must stop loving Eddie because of his hate towards Rodolfo and she’s afraid of him.
“- I like him Rodolfo – and I can’t stand it!”Eddie commands Rodolfo to leave, in an angry, aggressive way. He uses short, sour words, which shows his annoyance towards Rodolfo. Rodolfo doesn’t react to Eddie’s threatening demand as Catherine deals with it by walking toward the bedroom presumably to start packing her belongings. Eddie is confused with Catherine’s reaction and grabs her arm and asks her where she’s going.
Catherine is scared of what Eddie’s reaction is going to be when she tells him she has to go too.(Trembling with fear)Catherine’s aware of what Eddie is capable of doing so she uses short sentences and has tears in her eyes because she knows what she’s saying is really hurting Eddie.(She sees tears in her eyes)Eddie’s questions turn to threats as he becomes more insecure. He shows his insecurity by kissing Catherine on the mouth to prove his love for her.
However later on in the conversation Eddie tries to prove to Catherine that Rodolfo’s homosexual and only marrying her for her papers but kissing him.(Rodolfo flies at him in attack. Eddie pins his arms,laughing and suddenly kisses him.)When Eddie visits Alfieri, he emphasises on the kiss between Eddie and Rodolfo.
Alfieri thinks the kiss was unnecessary and uncalled for. He also makes his point that there is nothing he can do to break them up and he has no rights. Eddie seemed to be shocked by what Alfieri was saying and showed anger in his voice. After he had been to Alfieri, he went straight to a phone booth to report Marco and Rodolfo as he knows there is no other way of breaking up Catherine and Rodolfo.
Throughout the play the audience is given clues as to the ending of this tragedy. Miller uses Alfieri in this section of the play to point to Eddie’s inevitable downfall. Alfieri says in the play how Eddie appeared to be drunk and this points to his downfall because he would have been in control. Alfieri also makes Eddie angry and as a result Eddie phones the Immigration Bureau to release his anger.
If Alfieri hadn’t have made Eddie upset and if he wasn’t drunk, it wouldn’t lead to his downfall as he might have thought twice about making the call.When Eddie sees Catherine and Rodolfo emerge from the bedroom, the mood rapidly changes. Miller decided that Eddie should kiss Rodolfo because he wanted to prove to Catherine that he’s a homosexual and she shouldn’t be with him. He chooses not to use violence against Rodolfo because that wouldn’t really prove anything but kissing him would prove what Eddie thinks of him.
When the intended humiliation doesn’t come off, Eddie is left in an awkward position and tells Rodolfo to get out of the house.”I’ll give you till tomorrow, kid.Get outa here. Alone.
You here me? Alone.Miller intended Eddie to sound threatening and he repeats himself to try and get it into Rodolfo that he is unwanted in Eddie’s apartment. He uses short sentences to try and get straight to the point. He succeeded in creating a scene of violent outburst and dramatic impact when Eddie kisses Catherine and then Rodolfo.
This causes a fight between Rodolfo and Eddie but he overpowers him by pinning him down and then kissing him.Rodolfo doesn’t show any way of trying to free himself whereas when Eddie kisses Catherine she struggles. Miller prepares the audience for the call by leading up to it through the conversation by Eddie and Rodolfo. Miller constructed the conversation with Alfieri so that the telephone call becomes inevitable, as Eddie knows he has lost Catherine.
Eddie decides to deal with this key moment of the play in such a brief and low-key manner as he had been drinking and probably was unaware of what he was saying. He had now assured his own downfall as he knew by having a fight with Rodolfo and kissing him would only lead to more trouble with Catherine.Eddie brings about his own downfall in many ways. Most of them were to do with Rodolfo and him fighting over Catherine.
Eddie is responsible for his own downfall because of his love for Catherine. He was also using the accusation of Rodolfo’s sexuality to cover up his passion. One of the main points of his downfall was the phone call to the Immigration Bureau. Once he finished the call he had pass the point of no return.
The audience’s opinion of Eddie at the end of the play was appalling because of what he did just for Catherine and he lost her the one she loved. However Eddie shows his love for Beatrice at the end of the play and proves that he doesn’t like Catherine anymore.