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Who or what is to blame for the tragic ending in Arthur Miller’s play “A View From The Bridge”?

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Introduction

Who or what is to blame for the tragic ending in Arthur Miller's play "A View From The Bridge"? Beatrice said, "Whatever happened, we all done it" in one of the final scenes in Arthur Miller's play "A View From The Bridge". I disagree with the above quotation, in my opinion, only three characters are to blame. Those being Eddie, Catherine and Rodolfo. Many factors became culpable for Eddie's downfall in the concluding scene, such as his obsession with Catherine, Catherine's flirtatious behaviour, the arrival of Rodolfo and so forth. Yet, many of these factors evolve around the character of Eddie. Therefore, if I had to point a finger of blame at one character alone, it would be Eddie. In the beginning of the play, our initial response to Eddie is that he dominates the household. He provides a father figure for Catherine, as he doesn't want her to expose herself to the attention of other men in their community. Eddie shows a lot of interest in Catherine and her appearance, he informed her of how she was "walkin' wavy" and that her skirt was "too short". The way Eddie made his opinion known and how his obsession affected his lifestyle, is obviously going to have a negative effect on him for the rest of his life. Catherine's effect on Eddie soon jeopardised Eddie's relationship with his wife, Beatrice. Eddie tried to please Catherine, whilst he became "quickly resentful" when talking to his wife. ...read more.

Middle

This is the first note of suspicion we have from Beatrice, as she seems to know what is going on in Eddie's mind. We discover later on how Eddie doesn't contemplate this advice. He does the exact opposite, as after Beatrice pointed this out to Eddie, his obsession with his niece started to become unnatural. Alfieri is the next character in turn to offer advice. Alfieri informs Eddie, "There is nothing you can do". This means nothing to Eddie. We can tell beforehand that Eddie won't take Alfieri's advice onboard, due to him previously ignoring all advise and helping himself through this situation. If Eddie had taken all the advice given to him, the chances are he wouldn't have been killed. Based on this fact, we could easily blame Eddie, and Eddie only, for his own fatality. Eddie's actions could also be a main culprit. The first action we question is when he enveloped Catherine with his eyes. We know this isn't normal behaviour for an uncle, and this already spells trouble. When Rodolfo arrives, Eddie is soon to give him boxing lessons. This might be to impress Catherine, to take his anger out on Rodolfo, to make Rodolfo look weak or even prove how Rodolfo is homosexual. Eddie "mildly staggers Rodolfo". This maddens Marco, who "rises" on occasion. When Rodolfo realised Eddie's intentions, he danced with Catherine to possibly anger Eddie. ...read more.

Conclusion

She tried to differ Eddie's feelings, but no one in her position would've been able to make an obsessed man, with "eyes like tunnels" to think otherwise. Alfieri also tried to advise Eddie, which obviously didn't work. All Alfieri could do, was advise within the law, which contrasted greatly from what Eddie actually wanted. The American law was fair in my eyes. It just seemed unjust for Eddie, whilst everyone else lived happily within its rules. I don't believe fate played a part in the final scenes. Although Alfieri did seem to believe very much in fate and destiny. He pointed out how "Eddie Carbone had never expected to have a destiny" very early on in the play. Of course, Eddie did seem to have a destiny. But, I do not believe fate controlled Eddie into having a destiny. I do feel that when events unfolded we fitted pieces of a jigsaw together, and did consider unseen possibilities such as fate and destiny. The submarines on arrival in America did have to take on the American law, which at the time differed a lot from the Italian one. It seemed as though it was easier to follow the Italian law and culture but I do feel throughout that both cultures and laws treated each character justly. With all these factors considered, I do disagree with Beatrice on how they were all to blame. If I had to blame one character only for Eddie's downfall it would be Eddie himself, but Catherine and Rodolfo didn't help make the situation any better by their actions throughout the play. Sophie Gigg 10E ...read more.

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