In ‘A View from the Bridge’, the tragic protagonist, Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman working in America acts in an ‘over the top way’ towards his niece; Beatrice’s (his better half) Sister Nancy’s daughter known as Catherine. It is his compulsive nature that affects both himself and the others around him, in the end, realizing his defeat. The moral of the play is that any of us can let our ego and pride in our way which eventually results in death, which is what happened to Eddie. This is a life lesson Miller is trying to teach us. However, this story is not about one man and his obsessions as this could happen to anyone.Considering Eddie as a tragic hero with flaws, he also has good qualities.
Eddie, a father-figure of his wife’s orphaned niece really strongly protects her alongside his wife, Beatrice. Also, Eddie is very defensive. Along with that, Eddie is very kind and generous as he offers Beatrice’s cousins to stay over at their house. The character of Eddie Carbone is seen as an overprotective father-figure as he does not approve of Catherine’s job offer at the docks. “Listen B, she’ll be with a lotta plumbers? And sailors up and down the street? So what did she go to school for?” suggests that Eddie sees plumbing as a lower class job and really dislikes the idea of Catherine working as a plumber.
In other words, Eddie wants the best for her. Eddie wants Catherine to finish school, and then apply for a better and professional job. This is because Eddie does not want Catherine to suffer by working at the docks like Eddie, himself. His refusal of the job offer makes the audience automatically think of him as a likeable, old and caring father like figure.Just as the play begins, Eddie disapproves of Catherine’s “short” skirt and suggests that she is walking “wavy”.
This is the first hint we get of Eddie that he loves Catherine in a more sexual way. This point is further proved by Beatrice’s confrontation to Catherine; “You think I’m jealous of you, honey?” which indicates that Beatrice is suspicious and envious of Eddie’s growing love towards Catherine as Beatrice and Eddie have not made love in three months. This makes the audience think of Eddie as a disloyal husband to Beatrice.
This also makes the audience despise Eddie.Later on, we notice that Eddie’s possessive nature over Catherine is disturbing Beatrice and Eddie’s relationship, as a married couple. “When am I gonna be a wife again Eddie?” Very clearly expresses that Eddie has developed feelings for Catherine which are affecting his relationship with Beatrice. We then sense that Beatrice gets slightly jealous of Catherine, as her husband, Eddie gives more time, attention and love to his niece than his own wife. Beatrice talks about this to Catherine unclearly “So you’ll act different now, heh?” resembles that Beatrice is upset that she is being left out of her own relationship. Considering that Catherine is old enough to make her own decisions as to how to act or behave when Beatrice instructs her on how to act towards Eddie clearly shows that this situation has affected her really deeply.
Also, she tries her best to resolve it, although she tries not to express it in front of everyone except Catherine. This makes the audience hate Eddie for not treating Beatrice the way she deserves to be treated.Miller draws a range of responses to the character of Eddie Carbone primarily through his relationship with Beatrice. Eddie’s reassurance to Beatrice; “Don’t worry about it, B” and “Hey, hey! Take it easy.” Clearly suggests that Eddie cares for his wife as she panics to wash the walls of the house due to its poor conditions.
The use of these imperatives throughout act one creates an impression of Eddie as an extremely benevolent person. This makes the audience think of Eddie as an amiable person. At the point when Beatrice’s cousins arrive illegally, tensions start to ascend as Eddie turns out to be extremely envious of Rodolpho and his behaviour towards Catherine.The arrival of Beatrice’s cousins is a key scene as it shows variation in the range of responses drawn to the character of Eddie. Consequently, Eddie welcomes the cousins; Marco and Rodolpho to their house which is right in front of a tenement building. Eddie commands the two to “Come on in! (He shakes Marco’s hand)” suggests how generous Eddie is especially as he greets them into their house as they have never before met. This creates an impression of Eddie as a very kind-hearted person as the cousins received a hospitable welcome from their family.
Later on, during the play, Eddie extremely hates Rodolpho and Catherine’s growing love and gets utterly jealous. “No. (He moves from her, smiling sadly.) It’s just I used to come home, you was there. Now, I turn around, you’re a big girl. I don’t know how to talk to you” proves that Eddie is trying to cause chaos just to receive attention from his niece, Catherine.
The fact that Eddie is going to such an extreme level for Catherine purely disgusts the audience. This scene makes the audience think that Eddie is very desperate and eventually builds hatred towards Eddie with hints of sympathy. As Eddie says that “I don’t see you no more. I come home you’re runnin’around someplace –” portrays that Eddie likes to be around Catherine all the time. Also, he complains that he does not get to see her very often which emphasises his feelings for Catherine.
The phrase “no more” evokes that Catherine used to be an obedient ‘daughter’ and now she has become a rebel or created love with Rodolpho. This makes the audience think that Catherine and Eddie’s relationship is not normal and that it has gone way too far. This makes the audience feel utterly sickened by Eddie’s abnormal relationship. Miller creates feelings of disgust towards Eddie, for example, in Act two when Eddie kisses both Catherine and Rodolpho; “He reaches out suddenly, draws her to him, as she strives to free herself he kisses her on the mouth” The clashing between family love and romantic is utterly disgusting and very unusual. The adverb “suddenly” suggests that Eddie’s actions are not expected. The escalation of patriarchal role escalates to obsession, driven on by tragic flaw creates feelings of sympathy towards Eddie, for example, in Act two when “He dies in her arms, and Beatrice covers him with her body”. Throughout the entire play, it seems like Beatrice is third-wheeling in her own marriage which is why the audience feels sympathy towards Beatrice.
This makes the audience feel low-spirited as Eddie was misunderstood several times and he may have just created chaos to keep his social status and name high and makes the audience feel sorrowful. Word count: 1147