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A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller -An analysis of Eddie Carbone’s character-

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A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller -An analysis of Eddie Carbone's character- In "A View from the Bridge", Miller describes a situation in which a man is forced by his emotions to betray himself and the local society, to betray something he believed his whole life. The man in question is Eddie Carbone, a poor and hard-working longshoreman of Sicilian origin. His character is defined both by his society's values on the one hand and by his forceful and emotive nature on the other. The conflicts between these two aspects of Eddie's character ultimately result in his self-destruction. Eddie lives in a Brooklyn slum with his wife, Beatrice, and his niece, Catherine, who he has brought up as his daughter since the death of his sister. Eddie has an unacknowledged and obsessive love of Catherine who is now an attractive young woman. This hidden love is the "driving force" behind Eddie throughout the play; mixed with jealousy it is the cause of his actions leading to self-destruction. Eddie's wife invites two Sicilian cousins, illegal immigrants, to stay at their home, a fact that must remain hidden from the Immigration authorities. The elder cousin, Marco, is a strong man and is married and Eddie initially gets along very well with him. The younger cousin, Marco's brother Rodolpho, is fair-haired, handsome, unmarried and not so strong. ...read more.


Eddie had a simple and hard life in which he worked in the New York docks and lived in a Brooklyn slum. The play described him moving from place to place looking for work when work was scarce and at times going hungry in order for his family to eat. Miller very much describes him as a character that will do what is "right" and what is "right" is, in Eddie's case, determined by the virtues and attitudes of the Sicilian and Italian environment into which he was born and raised. This environment gave him a conservative attitude towards life, family and in particular the role of men and women. Towards the beginning of the play, Eddie talks with Beatrice and Catherine about the fate of a boy in the neighbourhood who betrayed some relatives to the immigration authorities. Eddie clearly shows his attitudes towards "traitors" of this kind by saying: "You'll never see him no more, a guy do a thing like that?" Sicilian pride and the views of society are very important to Eddie. This is shown throughout the play but most forcefully in the final scene where Eddie demands Marco to apologise to him for "lying" in front of the neighbourhood. Eddie is not, however, a simple character that is defined entirely by the society that has produced him. ...read more.


She called him a "rat" and told him the he "belongs to the sewers". When Rodolpho apologised Eddie just ignored him, although Rodolpho was the one who stirred things up by wanting to marry Catherine. Eddie now wanted is an apology from Marco, so he could get his name back, who really did not have much to apologise for, as Eddie was the one who betrayed him. Eddie knew that Marco was stronger (Marco showed that to Eddie when he challenged Eddie to lift a chair with one hand) and that if it had come to a fight he would be the one to get hurt. In the end Eddie was killed because Marco was angry and wanted an apology as well. Eddie, though perhaps to an extent unknowingly, wanted both Catherine and for himself to be true to his Sicilian attitudes and upbringing. This is what leads the narrator, Alfieri to state, "it is better to settle for half" than to be uncompromising like Eddie. Eddie was, in a strange way, true to himself and his contradictory character. He did what the combination of his emotions and attitudes made him do. The reader can either detest Eddie's hypocrisy or admire the way in which Eddie refused to "settle for half". The play is very simple but leaves a powerful impression on the reader. This powerful impression is created by the way, in which Eddie betrays himself. ...read more.

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