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Examine the end of Act 1 from He's lucky, believe me…" what is learnt about the characters and their relationship throughout this scene?

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Introduction

Examine the end of Act 1 from He's lucky, believe me..." what is learnt about the characters and their relationship throughout this scene? This scene marks the end of the first act; it represents the climax of Act One. There is tension in the Carbone household and this scene tells the audience and the other characters on stage how everyone is feeling and their feelings towards the other characters. All from an Italian heritage, where men are portrayed as macismo and women where there to cook and look pretty. Set in the late 1940's it is a play about Eddie Carbone, and Italian American longshoreman. Who takes in the illegal immigrants from Sicily, Marco and Rodolpho, his wife, Beatrice's, relatives but trouble begins when Catherine begins to fall for Rodolpho and Eddie becomes jealous. The scene begins with Eddie sitting, taking about Rodolpho. Rodolpho is in the room, dancing with Catherine, Eddie's niece, but Eddie finds it difficult to confront him, as he doesn't what to confront the situation as it is. It finds it easier, simply to talk about Rodolpho rather than to him. "That's why the water front is no place for him" In this quote Eddie is referring to Rodolpho's sexuality, when this play was set, being a homosexual was seen as a weakness and you were seen as being abnormal. ...read more.

Middle

At this point, Catherine knows something is wrong, she is "nervously happy" She is delighted that Eddie is trying to make an effort to try and be nice to Rodolpho but is unsure whether he has any ulterior motive. Catherine goes to make some coffee and Eddie becomes "weirdly elated, rubbing his fists into his palms" When Catherine asks about coffee he says "Make it nice and strong." He is implying that he is a man, and can take his coffee really strong, and that he can take anything that is coming to him. Again he is referring to their Italian heritage that as he is stronger that makes him better. Rodolpho doesn't want to fight with Eddie, he respects him as Eddie has taking them in his home and could easily ring up the authorities and get them arrested. Rodolpho is embarrassed by the situation; he knows what Eddie is trying to do. Eddie insists that he'll teach Rodolpho. In the end Rodolpho grazes Eddie. Eddie doesn't see it as a let down, instead he sees it as a reason to retaliate, and he knows Rodolpho wasn't putting everything into the punch, but now he has a reason to hit back. Eddie can now hit back harder. Eddie tricks Rodolpho, "(He feints with his left hand and lands with his right.)" This now becomes the turning point of the play, "Marco rises" Catherine runs to Rodolpho. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eddie falls to lift the chair, Marco then lifts it. This way he is showing everyone that he is the strongest of them all. Marco never made this statement before, as he never had the need to, and he respected Eddie, but now Marco feels the need to prove to him that he is more macismo. By the end of the scene we can see a define barrier between Eddie and everyone else, with Beatrice in between. Rodolpho and Marco understand why Eddie is angry and Catherine is angry with him as he hit Rodolpho. Within the scene there is an element of foreshadowing - what has been shown here will be shown again later on in the play. This is true as the barrier stays up until the end, later on when Rodolpho and Catherine are going to get married there is still competition between Marco and Eddie, because of the situation with Rodolpho and Catherine, and Beatrice is left trying to calm everyone down, stuck in the middle as before. There is no resolution to this argument, it is now between Marco and Eddie and neither of them will back down as they both believe that they are in the right and neither of them want to be shamed or brought down to a lower level. That's why, unfortunately, there is only going to be one solution, and in this case it is where Eddie dies, this can only be blamed on Italian heritage. ...read more.

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