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Arthur Miller (1915-) A View From the Bridge Discuss the complex relationship between Eddie and Catherine.

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Introduction

Rowen Salt 11th March 2002 Arthur Miller (1915-) A View From the Bridge Discuss the complex relationship between Eddie and Catherine. 'One that loved not wisely but too well.' (Othello v.ii) The play is set in a slum area in Brooklyn.Between 1861 and 1920, 30 million people immigrated into America. Many people settled by the ports as there was a steady supply of work from the ships and Eddie Carbone is one of these longshoremen. Eddie is the forceful, irrational protagonist with many complex emotions while his niece (by marriage only) is rather na�ve and open. As they live in the same house, they spend most of their time with each other and get on well together as family. Eddie and Beatrice (his wife) took Catherine in when her mother died and therefore, Eddie feels a great sense of responsibility; 'I promised your mother on her deathbed. ...read more.

Middle

Eddie is never completely at ease. He tells her she's 'walkin' wavy', but this is because he is subconsciously sexually attracted to her. He criticises her appearance and behaviour because she is attractive to other men and he does not like that. I think, in a way, he believes she is his and he wants her all to himself- i.e. - if he cannot have her, no one can. I think to aid this, he tries to keep her a little girl, when actually, she is becoming a woman; 'You're a baby..... when you stand here by the window waving outside.' The word 'baby' is mentioned constantly as if it will eventually persuade Catherine that she is one. This environment would be suffocating for her. However, Beatrice isn't blind to all this; 'You gonna keep her in the house all your life?' ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Catherine is rather innocent, but I think that is because she is overprotected, so, in effect, there is a viscous circle. Catherine's attitude to Eddie is, totally non-sexual, but after Beatrice's talk, she does start to become aware of what could be going on, perhaps a little. It didn't even cross her mind that she was a potential 'rival' to Beatrice; 'He said you was jealous?' When Catherine falls in love with Rodolfo, Eddie cannot stand this, and does everything in his power to stop it, as his subconscious desires tear him apart slowly. He even calls the immigration bureau and risks his respect (which means so much to him) for her. I feel that both Eddie and Catherine were partly to blame for the tragic end of their relationship and in general. However, Catherine gained her confidence and independence a little more toward the end of the play. Eddie's possessiveness and dominance over Catherine suffocated her into staying a 'baby', but I feel she could/should have been more self- aware, especially of the situation around her. ...read more.

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