How Does The Character Of Eddie Propel The Plot, Structure, Relationships And Themes Of A View From The Bridge?

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A View From The Bridge

How Does The Character Of Eddie Propel The Plot, Structure, Relationships And Themes Of ‘A View From The Bridge’?

A View From The Bridge, written in 1956 by Arthur Miller, is set in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Eddie Carbone is the central character, and it is sordid feelings around which the entire drama of the play is based. His actions and emulous motives provoke arrant sorrow and a betrayal with grave consequences.

The character of Eddie Carbone is the driving force of the plot. From the beginning, he displays a certain dismissal of the youngest cousin, Rodolpho, as he is ‘coming more and more to address Marco only’ (Act I, page 29). This instant disliking of Rodolpho is unjust, and shows a judgemental side to Eddie; a contrast to the warm, affectionate attitude he exhibits to Catherine, his niece. This personality change propels the plot along here because he becomes more aware of his incestuous feelings and tries to conceal them under a thick duvet of overprotection, thus leading to arguments and tension between the family. Also at the commencement of the play, Eddie’s longing for and compulsive interest in Catherine becomes overt, which impels an uncomfortable ambience to be created amongst the household; this of course has to be solved and confronted, and therefore the plot builds up. From here on, the main way in which Eddie drives the plot along is by his obsession over Catherine’s protection. He stops at no abnormal behaviour to try and keep his niece close to him and away from leaving his fortification. Consequently, he greatly upsets the latter, who, when enduring firm discouragement from marrying her new found love interest, resorts to crying out, ‘I don’t believe it and I wish to hell you’d stop it!’ (Act I, page 42.) She begins to increasingly become partial to the idea of leaving the house with Rodolpho, contrary to her uncle’s wishes, which accumulates his emotions and causes him to spiral out of control and lose respect for everyone around him.

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Furthermore, he thrusts the plot forward with his language. His speech is very different to that of Alfieri’s, for example, as he can boast of little diction skills. Nevertheless, he is still able to speak in a fiercely unpleasant manner when he wishes, such as when he orders Rodolpho to abscond from the house, post discovering that he has been in the bedroom with Catherine. Following this, Eddie establishes his authority over his niece by rigidly declaring that she ‘ain’t goin’ nowheres’ (Act Two, page 64). This power in his inadequate, non-learned vernacular allows him to brusquely speak his mind ...

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