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How far do you agree that Miller wants the audience to blame Eddie for what happens during the play?

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Introduction

How far do you agree that Miller wants the audience to blame Eddie for what happens during the play? Eddie Carbone, probably the most influential character in the play, plays a very vital role in "A View from the Bridge." A great deal of trouble and tension occurs between the characters and in most cases this is somehow connected to Eddie. In this essay, I aim to describe what devices Miller uses to try to persuade the audience to blame Eddie for everything that happens in the play and what devices he uses to make us understand Eddie. I will also say, if I think Eddie really is to blame for all the incidents that occur in the play, including his death, and why I think so. At the beginning of the play, we are immediately aware that there is a lively, intimate relationship between Eddie and his wife's niece Catherine. There are no barriers, as far as Catherine is concerned, and she is quite happy to show off her clothes to her uncle. "I just got it. You like it?" Eddie is infatuated with her beauty, and because of this he fears what other men will see. To him she would no longer be his little girl but she would belong to the world and to the men outside. ...read more.

Middle

"Eddie: You like him, Katie? Catherine: (with a blush but holding her ground) Yeah. I like him" The audience can see that when Eddie makes a negative comment about Rodolpho, he does so out of anger and frustration and that his attempts to keep Catherine for himself are unsuccessful. "And now I gotta sit in my own house and look at a son of a bitch punk like that; and he takes and puts his hands on her like a goddam thief!" In a desperate attempt to force her to break up with Rodolpho, Eddie accuses Rodolpho of using Catherine to become an American citizen. However Eddie's attempt to break them up might not be a desperate one, he might genuinely believe this and fear this. "Katie, he's only bowin' to his passport" He hopes this will force her to break up with him. However, his plan backfires. Miller attempts to toy with the audience's emotions, trying to make them sympathise for Catherine and Rodolpho. The audience could also sympathise towards Eddie as his attempts to save Catherine from heartache (in his eyes) have failed. Beatrice tries hard to tell Eddie that he must let Catherine go, that he must allow her the freedom to have a relationship with Rodolpho. It's not until the end of the play that Beatrice says to Eddie that he cannot have the relationship that he wants with Catherine. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Marco was praying in the church before he approached Eddie, we are still not certain that Marco would have killed Eddie if Eddie had not pulled out a knife on him. Miller does not allow Marco to express any sorrow or regret for Eddie's death. This is how he wants the audience to react, to show no remorse or sympathy. However the audience's reaction is balanced by Alfieri's closing speech, throughout the play Alfieri tries to understand Eddie instead of blaming him like most of the other characters. I believe that Eddie is partly to blame for everything that happens in the play including his own death. If Eddie did not pull out a knife on Marco, Marco might not have killed him. Also Eddie's feelings towards Catherine are unnatural, and he found it impossible for Catherine to have a life of her own apart from her relationship with him. Eddie's reaction to Rodolpho demonstrates how emotionally unstable he is and how irrational he can be. Eddie is deeply aware of the nature, and the consequences, that follow of betraying an immigrant to the authorities, but when his own cosy relationship with Catherine is threatened he is prepared to break the code of honour. If Eddie did not betray Marco he would not have been in the situation that he was in. However Eddie was only thinking of the well being of Catherine and didn't mean her any harm. ...read more.

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