How Eddie's downfall is represented in scenes of A View from the Bridge.

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Sam Fiske        10Gr

How Eddie’s downfall is represented in scenes of A View from the Bridge.

A View From The Bridge is a play set in 1955 New York written by Arthur Miller, about love, passion and jealousy, and how it can destroy and hurt people. A View From The Bridge is a kitchen-sink drama set in an Italian/American homogenous community.  The play shows step by step, the tragedy of Eddie Carbone. Eddie Carbone is an Italian longshoreman working on the New York docks living with his wife, Beatrice, and his wife’s niece, Catherine, who he has brought up since she was a little girl. When his wife’s cousins, Marco and Rodolfo, seek refuge as illegal immigrants from Sicily, Eddie agrees to shelter them and let them stay at his place for a while. However, trouble begins when Catherine is attracted to the glamorous younger brother Rodolfo. Eddie becomes jealous and dislikes Rodolfo, which leads to the tragedy of Eddie Carbone.

        Alfieri, a New York lawyer to the family, says, “I could see every step coming, step after step…” I have been asked to analyse 3 scenes from A View From The Bridge that show Eddie’s downward path.

        The first scene that I have chosen is when Eddie is waiting outside the house for Catherine and Rodolfo to return from the “Paramount”.  In this scene, we see Eddie and Beatrice have a conversation. Eddie starts asking questions about Catherine, saying he hasn’t seen her practice her stenography in a while, and asking whether she has said anything to her. He is obviously worried and concerned. We then see Beatrice, even though the subject of Rodolfo hadn’t been brought up, ask Eddie why he has a problem with Rodolfo. Eddie claims he gives him the ‘heeby-jeebies’. What he means by the ‘heeby-jeebies’ is up to the audience. The impression I get is that he thinks Rodolfo is homosexual, but he isn’t comfortable using that word himself, so changes it for heeby-jeebies. He might not like to use the word because he is homophobic, or he actually is homosexual himself. We see that Eddie is on a slow downward spiral, and hasn’t been feeling right lately. Beatrice asks when is she going to be a wife again, to which Eddie replies saying he hasn’t been feeling right lately and that Rodolfo has bothered him since he came. This shows that Eddie doesn’t like Rodolfo and how close with Catherine he is, and how jealous and angry he is with Rodolfo. Later in the scene, friends of Eddie who work with him come over to him to ask if he wants to go bowling, and they end up talking about Rodolfo. We see how Eddie is uncomfortable with the subject in both his words and his actions/stage directions, but he doesn’t want to admit it to Mike and Louis. They start talking and then, they start talking about Marco, and how strong he is. Mike, grinning, says that ‘the blonde one’, referring to Rodolfo, has a sense of humour. This is a euphemism, because what he is really saying is that he is odd, and people laugh at him. Eddie then replies in agreement. But before his words, there is a stage direction (searchingly) which shows he doesn’t really know what to say, and is uncomfortable in the conversation. He is worried that if people laugh at Rodolfo, they may look at him funny too, and think that he’s a bit odd also, and obviously Eddie doesn’t like this and it makes him dislike Rodolfo even more. A few lines later, he repeats himself by saying, (uncomfortably, grinning) ‘Yeah, well…he’s got a sense of humour.’ This shows that he doesn’t know what to say, so he’s just repeating himself and getting paranoid, in case he says something he regrets. Then, after Mike says how everyone was laughing at him, Eddie starts to get paranoid and worried. He starts asking why they were laughing, what he had done. But after Mike says “I don’t know”, and doesn’t really give an answer to the question, Eddie is troubled. He knows that Mike is covering something up, and that people don’t really think that Rodolfo is a funny guy, but that he is someone to laugh at. And again, we see Eddie repeat the same line ‘Yeah…He’s got a sense of humour.’ To give us further reassurance that Eddie is comforted and is attached to Catherine, as she gets back from the paramount, we see a smile suddenly appear on his face.

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The second scene I have chosen is the scene where Eddie teaches Rodolfo to box. In the scene, the two of them start to play fight, with Eddie telling Rodolfo to try and hit him, although Rodolfo is unsure about whether he should, and is a bit apprehensive.  Eddie cleverly introduces the subject of boxing (a suitably masculine activity for Eddie) and, while pretending to teach Rodolfo how to box, hits him in the mouth. For Eddie, this demonstrates to Catherine what a weak man Rodolfo is and what a strong one he (Eddie) is. It also shows that ...

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