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Catherine says Eddie is "a rat" who belongs in the sewer - To what extent by the end of the play, does the audience agree with her?

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Introduction

English coursework Catherine says Eddie is "a rat" who belongs in the sewer. To what extent by the end of the play, does the audience agree with her? To begin with, the point at which Catherine says this, it is a very emotive moment; it's at the climax of the play. It is the first time Catherine has confronted Eddie by telling him exactly how she feels. She is fed up of being controlled by him and is therefore unhappy with the way he treats Beatrice also. It annoys her that Beatrice is not defending herself and when Eddie does not allow her to go to Catherine's wedding, she does not even answer back. This results in Catherine unusually insulting Eddie in an enormous way, "He's a rat! ...he bites people when they sleep!... and poisons decent people, in the garbage he belongs!" Here Catherine is releasing all her anger and intense emotion which has been built up over the years, now she finally has found the courage and independence to let Eddie know he cannot make her decisions for her anymore, as if it is a threat. However while she says this, she is "weeping", so it is unlikely she meant it. It is unusual for Catherine to disrespect Alfieri, as in the past she has a close relationship with him. She says to Eddie, as soon as he gets home, "I'll get you a beer" and "I'll light it(cigar) for you", she likes to 'fuss' over him, this shows that she cares a lot for him, so she is a kind and caring person. This particular incident, when calling Eddie a "rat", some would say is out of character. When she says, "Eddie go away please", perhaps at this point she is regretting what she said before. The audience however may agree with Catherine, that Eddie is "a rat", because of the way Eddie's character has been portrayed. ...read more.

Middle

This makes the audience trust Alfieri because he is able to interpret the situation fairly and because of his profession, he is regarded to have a high authority. Alfieri is separate from the other characters, in that he is looking at the situation from an outsider's 'eyes', and as the narrator, he is often involves his own thoughts. This suggests that perhaps Muller is showing his point of view through the character of Alfieri. This explains the reasons for the audience to trust his judgement. Eddie seems to realize his own feelings when he takes Alfieri's comment the wrong way "she can't marry you can she?" so I think Alfieri is actually trying to shock eddie into a realisation with his comment. Eddie takes this literally, when Alfieri is only saying that Catherine can't marry someone like Eddie, not him himself. Alfieri influences the audience's view on Eddie because he also notices there is something wrong with Eddie's intentions he implies that Eddie has "too much love" for Catherine without realizing. Eddie feels there is no other way to get what he wants other than to inform the immigration that Rodolpho and Marco are living in the country illegally, even though he knows the serious consequences that would occur due to this drastic action. In the Italian culture, it was not seen as respectable to go against your family, as families were very 'close knit', secrets within the family were not suppose to be known by others out of the family. This idea is introduced at the beginning of the play, when Alfieri tells Catherine about Vinny Balzano, the boy who was disowned by his family and disrespected by his neighbourhood, because he "snitched on his own uncle!" so Eddie is contradicting himself when he does this. Which highlights his desperation and many would say unhealthy obsession over Catherine, as he has willingly sacrificed his status and recognition in the neighbourhood. ...read more.

Conclusion

In fact I think Catherine is partly to blame for Eddie's growing obsession with her, from the start she has been giving him an enormous amount of affection, some would say is too much considering her age. So her immaturity enabled Eddie to rely on her affection and when she finds interest in someone else, he has never experienced it before, so you cannot blame him for his jealousy. Therefore I think there is enough evidence to suggest that he is concerned about Catherine, however these concerns begin to develop in to an obsession, one thing leads to an other and by the end I think he has forgotten what his intentions were from the beginning. This shows signs that he becomes power hungry, he is attempting to receive that power again, whilst finding every accuse in order to get Catherine back. I do not think he realises the feelings he has for Catherine, in fact I do not think he loves her anymore than is acceptable, as I said before he is dependent on her affection that he does not receive from Beatrice. He obviously becomes confused and does not think things through before he does them; he goes by his instincts, which unfortunately leads him to attempt the murder of Marco. This ending, I think may influence the audience to describe Eddie as "a rat ", many would be able to see that his character portrayed in the play emphasises the good side of his character, which is more evident than the negative side. So overall I think the audience would think that Eddie is portrayed as a good man with good intentions, but the way in which he acts upon them are not always sensible, however I think even though the audience may disagree with some things he did, it is too extreme to describe him as "a rat"! Sara Malik 11 Thomas 1 ...read more.

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