I strongly disagree that Beatrice was a weak wife and I think that she did the best that she could have done in the circumstances. Beatrice was a typical nineteen forty’s housewife who’s responsibilities were to look after the home and her family she does this well as she is very caring about her family. This is seen at the beginning of the play as she is looking forward to her cousins arriving it is also visible that Beatrice is extremely house proud as she is concerned about ‘washing the walls’, ‘waxing the floor’ and how she has ‘nothin’ to eat for them’. However Beatrice is a lot more presumptuous than most housewives would be.
Beatrice is firstly revealed to be much stronger that you would expect a woman in this play to be when she uses effective persuasive techniques to convince Eddie her cousins should stay at their home. Beatrice says ‘I’m just afraid if it don’t turn out good you’ll be mad at me’ this makes Eddie feel guilty and he replies ‘ then what the hell’ this proves that Beatrice is loving but tactile. She is so pleased that she calls Eddie ‘an angel’ whilst having tears in her eyes.
It is obvious that Catharine has been secretly talking to Beatrice about a job before Eddie knows about it when Catherine says ‘we didn’t tell him about me yet’. This makes us assume that Catherine and Beatrice have a very strong relationship. Beatrice is very keen to convince Eddie ‘it’s very good news’ that Catherine has got a job but he is upset as Catherine ‘didn’t ask him before she took the job’. However, Beatrice continues to help Catherine using arguments such as the ‘fifty dollars a week’ and ‘work is the best practice’ and eventually her force makes Eddie agree.
Beatrice is first seen to be slightly concerned about Eddie and Catherine’s relationship when she asks ‘when am I going to be your wife again, Eddie? This obviously means that there is no sexual relationship between them. Though we don’t realise it has got something to do with Catherine until Eddie says ‘I’m worried about her’ and Beatrice replies ‘ the girl is gonna be eighteen years old, it’s time already’ and she tells Eddie he has ‘to cut it out, now’. This is the second warning that Beatrice has given Eddie to he ‘has to get used to it, she’s no baby no more’.
The next course of action that Beatrice takes is to confront Catherine. She is very forceful telling Catherine ‘ don’t tell me you don’t; you’re not a baby anymore, what are you going to do with yourself’. She is concerned about making Catherine realise she must grow up and leave, this maybe because she can tell something bad may happen. She respectively tells Catherine ‘he’s not your father’ and then says she can’t ‘walk around in front of him in her slip’ or ‘talk to him when he’s shavin’ in his underwear. All of these are Beatrice’s desperate attempts to make Catherine understand she not a ‘baby’ and Eddie realise he has to ‘let go’.
Beatrice is clearly pleased when Catherine takes a liking to Rodolfo and defends them to Eddie. She says Rodolfo ‘didn’t drag her off’ and that ‘well, you said the movie ended late, didn’t you’ when Eddie is very inquisitive over Catherine and Rodolfo going to the cinema. He tries to find excuses for them not to go out again but Beatrice continuously takes Rodolfo and Catherine’s side. Beatrice does not realise at first why Eddie wants to box Rodolfo and encourages him saying ‘go ahead, he’s a good boxer he could teach you’, when she senses there is something wrong she tries to cover it by commenting on how ‘very good’ Rodolfo is. However, she is very concerned when Rodolfo feints and tells Eddie ‘that’s enough’.