At the beginning of the scene Beatrice and Catherine are attempting to make the atmosphere relaxed, by diverting the conversation away from Rodolfo, onto subjects that they believe will not give Eddie any reason to confront Rodolfo. Eddie however is unable to restrain from showing his contempt for Rodolfo. He does this by shouting at Rodolfo because Rodolfo said lemons are green’ which is not even remotely offensive to anyone. Eddie replies by saying ‘for Christ’s sake’ this suggests that eddies is annoyed that Rodolfo who he regards as an inferior corrected him this is because ‘for Christ’s sake’ is a religious swearword.
Beatrice reacts to this situation by again changing the conversation to another subject. Eddie then begins to antagonize Marco by suggesting that his wife may have been un-loyal to him. Eddie does this by saying ‘ I betcha there’s plenty of surprises’. Marco responds to this situation by showing his confidence and trust in his wife he says ‘no no the women wait’. Eddie shows his anger towards Rodolfo by pouncing on the situation. On the previous page Rodolfo says ‘ its more strict in our town it’s not so free’. Eddie uses this statement as an excuse to let out his anger.
Eddie says ‘ drag off some girl’ the word girl suggests that he is talking about Catherine whilst the word drag tells us that Rodolfo is taking her out against her will. This however is not true so Beatrice says ‘he didn’t exactly drag her off ‘. Marco reacts by cautiously agreeing, as if he suspects that Eddie might drag him into something, to everything Eddie says. At the top of page 39 there I an awkwardness which has bean caused by eddies statement at the end of page 38 in which he says ‘but I understood Marco that you was coming here to make a living for your family’.
This obviously annoys Marco because as we have read earlier he stressed the fact that he misses his wife tremendously. The audience expects the awkwardness to be resolved by a further change in conversation by either Beatrice or Catharine. The characters on stage by doing the exact opposite that the audience expects. Catharine decides to incise the situation by saying ‘you wanna dance, Rodolfo. After Catharine says this Eddie shows his disappointment by freezing as if he can not believe what he has just heard. Rodolfo who had been instructed by Marco to keep Eddies best interests at heart refuses.
Beatrice is the only character to recognize that if Eddie was not present Rodolfo would jump at the chance to dance with Catharine so she gives Rodolfo some much needed encouraged by saying go ahead dance Rodolfo. Eddies speech and actions on the top half of page 40 increase the dramatic tension because whilst he sarcastically talks about how lucky Rodolfo is he is unconsciously twisting the newspaper up and then tearing it into two. This gives us the impression that Eddie imagines the newspaper as Rodolfo and therefore is doing to the newspaper what he wants to do to Rodolfo.
Eddies real intentions are reveled in the stage direction ‘he is weirdly elated, rubbing his fists into his palms’ this suggests that Eddie is massaging his fists as people usually do before getting into a fight this gives me the impression that Eddie wants to beat up Rodolfo. The dramatic tension increases on pg 40 and 41 of eddies sudden change of attitude towards Rodolfo. Instead of criticizing Rodolfo at every available opportunity like he has done earlier on in the play he begins to become friendlier towards him.
The dramatic tension also increases because of eddies sudden decision to teach Rodolfo how to box . When Eddie punches Rodolfo the characters react in many different ways Catherine rushes towards Rodolfo in order to see if he is all right. Beatrice dosents see anything but the sportsmanship but nevertheless decide that for the moment that is enough. Eddie reacts by suggesting that he and Rodolfo should box again but whilst saying this he is uncouncensioly rubbing his fists together this suggests that he cannot wait to beat up Rodolfo again.
The effect of eddies punching of Rodolfo is that become certain that something big will happen soon because they realize the true hatred inside Eddie. When Marco challenges Eddie to lift up the chair Eddie reacts by taking marco’s challenge as a joke . the audience however realize that marco is trying to tell eddie that although he respects him when it comes down to the wire blood is thicker then water and that he will not hesitate to defend his brother Rodolfo.
The action on page 42 reflects the change of power in the carbone household because the carbone household now ujnderstand that Marco is the most powerful person in the house. Miller ends act 1 in what is a fundamental scene of the play this is because it shows the transfer of power. Also this scene is important because it ends in a sort of mini-cliffhanger which increases the audience’s expectations that something will happen when the curtains rise again.