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Why and How Does Eddie Carbone Change As The Play Progresses? What Leads to His Death? How Do You Think an Audience would respond To the Changes in his Personality As They Watch Him Destroy Himself?

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Introduction

A View from the Bridge Why and How Does Eddie Carbone Change As The Play Progresses? What Leads to His Death? How Do You Think an Audience would respond To the Changes in his Personality As They Watch Him Destroy Himself? Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge is set in the 1950s, when communities were forced to reconcile between American culture and the Italian community culture that surrounds. The cultural and moral difference between the two provides one of the great conflicts in the play. Eddie is made to choose between the two, which questions his loyalty to his family. The play explores relationships. Eddie Carbone is a tragic protagonist who needs to believe that his masculinity denies any sexual desires. To him, being homosexual is "not right"; this shows his insecurity of being a dominant character. His strong emotions for his niece suggest incestuous desires. Becoming suspicious of his own motives, Eddie doesn't realise these feelings until at the very end. His feelings for Catherine are suppressed. He transfers this sexual frustration into a hatred for Marco and Rodolpho, which causes him to act completely irrationally. Eddie's fear need to secure his good name from Marco is a result of his failure to 'protect' Catherine. The community witness his loyalty die away due to his commitment to keeping Catherine to himself, and turning his vengeance into a need for acceptance by spending his last moments fighting Marco for his good name in the community. According to Eddie, men should protect the innocent and provide a better life for their family. Because of this devotion, he believes that men should be respected and not told what to do. "I do what I feel like doin' or what I don't feel like doin'". This concept stays in Eddie's mind throughout the play. He exercises his authority. He believes that loyalty should stay strong, not only within a family, but the whole community. ...read more.

Middle

Beatrice might not be satisfying him, due to his desires for Catherine. He tried to persuade Catherine that Rodolpho isn't for her, because he thinks so. Seeing as Eddie's plan didn't work, Eddie was left deprived of everything he held onto to prove his masculinity, and battling for his respect. Altogether, his fear of being gay drove Eddie to fall for his own niece, disregarding the relations and incestuous desires, and make him behave the way he did. "I want my respect, Beatrice". Miller shows Eddie's progression through his rage for Rodolpho. This jealousy drives Eddie to call the Immigration Bureau, which destroys his loyalty. To Eddie, this may have been his way of protecting Catherine, but not betraying his community. Readers can see how self-interested Eddie is; he risked breaking a community's trust just so he could have Catherine. He believed that with Rodolpho gone, he could continue over-powering her. His efforts, all of which failed, made Eddie's situation grow worse. Eddie had also questioned Rodolpho's masculinity. "You ever do any boxing?". He asked if Rodolpho would fight him, fighting being a masculine thing to Eddie. This scene could've been an output for his tension, being in a position to hit Rodolpho and get away with no conflict. Instead of taking Catherine, he targets Rodolpho - who happens to be Eddie's obstacle in his path to Catherine. Readers are aware of Rodolpho's innocence; he doesn't mean to be a victim of Eddie's emotional battles. We feel sympathy, but anger towards Eddie for using Eddie as a way out for his frustration. This scene expresses how Eddie has changed in the play. Rodolpho happens to also be Catherine's uncle, but not directly. This isn't pointed out because Miller isn't too concerned with this fact, but it could still help analyse both Eddie and Catherine. "...she'll be with a lotta plumbers?". Due to Eddie's promise to protect Catherine, she's isn't used to meeting people her age. ...read more.

Conclusion

The passion, unreleased and suppressed in his unconscious was a stranger to Eddie's conscious self that actively denied any thoughts of incest, or otherwise. Miller was successful with showing how a man can easily destroy himself by jealousy. He did this by increasing Eddie's jealousy for Rodolpho. This increase of jealousy reveals the strength (or strengthens) Eddie's desire for Catherine. His protectiveness is way too strong, and his jealousy shows it. His theme of incest is considered, but isn't such a large problem. The problem is how his affection for Catherine shows another theme, loyalty, through. Eddie breaks a community's trust, which is a major theme as the 1950s had a cultural rule for the Italian community. This theme teaches readers of how loyalty was a powerful concept back then. Alfieri acted as narrator. He knew what was going to happen, like foot steps behind a door. He foreshadowed the tragedy at the end, and hinted it many times. All he could do was watch Eddie's jealousy eat him and eventually kill him ("I was powerless"). If Eddie's death hadn't been the end of him, the kiss would've been. His death had released from his 'world' and made him realise what he had done and felt. He would've realised that if Catherine had mutual feelings for him. This would've opened his mind. This realisation would've also prevented his death. The end was when Eddie realised what he went through and put others through. The title was to tell readers that Alfieri had to watch over Eddie, like over a bridge. It's as if he can watch, as readers read, but can't act. We watched Eddie change, whilst Alfieri watched him destroy himself. I thought the change of Eddie was not worth it for a woman he could never have. Alfieri said it was better to "settle for half". This means that Eddie went too far for Catherine. His desires changed him into a jealous man, who made his death inevitable as it gave characters justice in the play. Only at the end did Eddie realise who he needed. ...read more.

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