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Examine the relationship between Eddie and Catherine before and after the arrival of Marco and Rodolfo in Act 1 of 'A View from the Bridge'.

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Examine the relationship between Eddie and Catherine before and after the arrival of Marco and Rodolfo in Act 1 of 'A View from the Bridge' The very first conversation between main characters in A View From the Bridge establishes and reveals much about each individual, their roles in the play and the relationships between them. At first glance, the reader is only aware of what appears to be a happy family environment, although even at such an early stage in the play there are hints of possible problems and tensions. It is clear that Eddie is the character of authority in the house. He has Catherine rallying around him and in this first scene we notice that she is always searching for his approval. She is so desperate to be comforted by his affection and support that when Eddie negatively comments on the way she walks, she is "almost in tears" which conveys her as a na�ve and vulnerable child. This 17-year-old girl reduces herself to a baby for Eddie, as she knows this pleases him and is herself reliant on his affection. ...read more.


Eddie has always had supreme control over the household and has always had a certain influence over the situations and people in the house. He has been the object of Catherine's affections for many years; however, the introduction of the Italian brothers gives her a new interest. Her excitement especially towards the handsome Rodolfo troubles Eddie and after their first night in the house, Eddie already senses the threat posed to his and Catherine's relationship. His 'concealed suspicion' is described in the stage directions. He watches Catherine and Rodolfo from the other side of the room with 'his face puffed with trouble'. This scene is then broken by Alfieri commenting on the situation. This was done partly to bridge two different scenes, but also to highlight the immediate result of the brothers' arrival. "There was a trouble in the house that would not go away" Alfieri, page 22. Alfieri's comment confirms our thoughts that from this point the relationship between Eddie and Catherine will inevitably change dramatically. Catherine, upon first sight of Rodolfo becomes enthralled with him. She conveys her fascination like a curious child, although now she is not acting like a child for Eddie's benefit. ...read more.


It is the point at which Catherine realises she must stand up to Eddie. Eddie, who still believes he is in control orders that Rodolfo should not stay out late with Catherine. No one protests to this demand, and so Catherine who has become tired of hearing the man she loves denounced, challenges Eddie's authority by asking Rodolfo to dance. Eddie is not defeated so easily though, so he tests Rodolfo to a boxing lesson. He does this to humiliate Rodolfo and show his own manhood in an attempt to win back Catherine's affection. However the situation only worsens for Eddie when Marco gets involved. By the end of the scene everyone in the house was questioning Eddie's authority, Catherine could no longer trust Eddie and he felt that she had betrayed him. Act 1 undoubtedly saw the relationship between Eddie and Catherine completely turn around. In the beginning the pair had a close, if somewhat questionable bond. Although the introduction of Rodolfo and consequentially Eddie's growing jealously and possessiveness, leads Catherine to free herself from her dependence of Eddie into the arms of Rodolfo. Their relationship was left in tatters by the end of the act and since Catherine had grown up there was no turning back. Ellen Taylor 11E ...read more.

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