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How does Miller explore the character of Eddie Carbone in 'A View From the Bridge'? Discuss, with close analysis of at least two scenes in the play.

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Introduction

How does Miller explore the character of Eddie Carbone in 'A View From the Bridge'? Discuss, with close analysis of at least two scenes in the play. The story of 'A View From the Bridge' is set in an Italian neighborhood which has migrants shipping in. The central character is Eddie Carbone, who is a working longshoreman. Eddie lives with his wife, Beatrice and orphaned niece, Catherine, in Red Hook Brooklyn. They are expecting Beatrice's migrant cousin brothers from Sicily to arrive shortly. Eddie and Beatrice don't have any children of their own, but they have raised Catherine as their own. Arthur Miller wrote 'A View From the Bridge' for social, artistic and personal reasons. He had heard of the story of a man who had betrayed his own community out of jealousy. The story had the 'cleanliness' of some Greek tragedies. Miller explores Eddie Carbone's character as a 'tragic flaw'. When Eddie's desires take control, his inevitable fate is to die at the end of the play. Eddie Carbones role as a tragic hero develops in the course of the play. He harbors a secret lust for his niece Catherine which eventually causes his destruction. Eddies stubborn attitude about getting his own way and having to suppress his feelings leads him into conflict with his family and community. Eddie doesn't take other peoples feelings into consideration, he stands firm on what he considers to be right. Eddies pride means so much to him, that everyone who challenged it failed unsuccessfully. The character of Eddie changes from a simple man of honour and respect in his community, to an outcast who is in need to defend for himself in order to restore his pride. Miller has said that he wanted to make this play a modern equivalent of classical Greek tragedy. In the ancient plays, an essential part was that of the chorus: a group of figures who would watch the action, comment on it, and address the audience directly. ...read more.

Middle

Eddie ends up hitting Rodolfo quite hard, this is a way of Eddie getting out his anger. We see Eddies character change a great deal, especially after the arrival of Rodolfo and Marco. It is Eddie's jealousy of Rodolfo that leads him to turn Rodolfo and Marco in. Although Eddie seems unable to understand his feelings for his niece until the end of the play, other characters are aware. Beatrice is the first to express this in her conversation with Catherine. 'You still walk around in front of him in your slip'. Beatrice is telling Catherine to grow up and is trying to discourage Catherine from going along with Eddies desires. Alfieri also realises Eddie's feelings during his first conversation with Eddie. Beatrice clearly articulates his desires in the conclusion of the play, "You want somethin' else, Eddie, and you can never have her!". Eddie is restrained, he wants to believe Catherine is his own and a virgin. The image of Eddie getting kicked out of bed when the in laws stay over, relates to him getting out of the sexual picture of Catherine when Rodolfo comes. In scene 4, act 1, we see Miller balancing all different aspects of Eddies character. Eddie is waiting outside his apartment. Beatrice arrives, but it's clear that he is not waiting for her. He is waiting for Catherine, who is out with Rodolfo. The audience and so can Beatrice recognise that he is waiting as a jealous lover. Beatrice and Eddie argue, she accuses him of jealousy and points out that Catherine is nearly 18. Beatrice also defends Rodolfo. "His a nice kid, what do you want from him". To this Eddie replies "he gives me the heeby-jeebies". From this use of language, Miller makes Eddie seem like an unintelligent man, who cannot express himself properly. In this scene we also get to see Eddie as a neglecting husband. Beatrice points up that they no longer have sex. "When am I gona be a wife again Eddie?". ...read more.

Conclusion

Also Eddie wanted to get rid of Rodolfo and Marco, but they got rid of him. In this scene we see that Beatrice has faith in Eddie despite everything, she holds him when he dies. Eddies death results from his character flaw. Near the end of the play, the respect Eddie once had from his family is now lost. The forbidden love he has for Catherine has disgusted the family which in turn cause them to disrespect him. Eddies actions of betraying Rodolfo and Marco can never be justified in the views of the Italian community. He loses his respect from not only family, but the community as well. Through out the course of the play we see Eddies character change, he starts to break down when he lets his desires take control. We are shown at first a good man who seems perfectly happy he is liked in the close knit community of Red Hook, and he has the love of wife and niece. The happiness is destroyed when jealousy takes over. His stubborn attitude leads him to his downfall. Eddie has many different roles in this play which come into conflict. Miller presents Eddie as a respectable image in the community, a husband, guardian and a forbidden lover. Eddie feeling as a jealous lover leads him into conflict with his community. He placed his desires above family responsibilities. This causes him to come into conflict with just about everyone, his family and the community. His respect and honour meant everything for him, but he was blinded by his love for Catherine, so everything else was forgotten. Eddie betrays the community values that he used to cherish. He had lost face and dignity in front of the whole community. Eddie resorts to desperate measures to protect his identity and name. He could not live with losing face, he wanted to assert himself. Eddie's death was the only way in restoring the moral order. Eddie dies for, not that of the community values, but for his own pride. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rejwana Rajib 10Q English Coursework ...read more.

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