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To what extent is Miller presenting Eddie as an isolated figure in Act 1?

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Introduction

To what extent is Miller presenting Eddie as an isolated figure in Act 1? Eddie Carbone is portrayed as a very isolated man in many ways. He cares a great deal about his niece Catherine, and she is one of the only people he is very close to: "She looks at him, then rushes and hugs him" and "almost in tears because he disapproves". In the first few lines of the play, he starts an argument with Catherine about her skirt. When he says, "I think it's too short", he is referring to his dislike of her going out and attracting men. He believes that, if she finds a man and gets married, he will lose her and have hardly anyone left. Later on, when Rodolfo and Marco arrive, he shows that he is extremely protective over Catherine. "Look kid, I ain't her father, I'm only her uncle but-" and " I don't want her hangin' around Times Square. ...read more.

Middle

it is clear that Eddie hit him quite hard. As no one shows any sympathy towards Eddie, it shows how isolated he is, and how alone he must feel. When Eddie is with Louis and Mike, he is bitterly disappointed to find that they too like Rodolfo, and find him hilarious. "He's got a sense of humour" and "I'm tellin' you they was all hysterical" proves this. This makes Eddie feel more and more isolated, as his two best friends seem to be on Rodolfo's side. His marriage with Beatrice is a very unstable one, and they often argue. "What are you mad at me lately?" and "I'm not mad. You're the one who's mad" establish this. When Beatrice goes on to speak about her relationship problems to Catherine, it is obvious that their marriage is on its last legs. "But, you see, if only I tell him, he thinks I'm just bawlin' him out, or maybe I'm jealous" reflect this. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Will you listen to me for a minute?" and "I know what's in his mind Mr. Alfieri!" reflect this. It seems like his frustration and anger has been building up inside him and he has vented it all on an unsuspecting Alfieri. The frustration and anger that Eddie has comes from the fact that no one understands him and that he is alone. Near the end of Act 1, it is clear that Catherine has grown more confident and is desperately trying to pull free of the protectiveness of Eddie. When she asks Rodolfo to dance, she is 'flushed with revolt', and this shows confidence. This makes Eddie feel more and more isolated, as his beloved niece is deliberately trying to annoy him. He then feels like she will leave him and marry Rodolfo, and that he doesn't have a say in the matter at all. Miller has portrayed Eddie Carbone as an extremely frustrated and isolated man, who is alone in his views on the world, his niece and his difficult marriage. Chris Nash ...read more.

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