Eddie Carbone Essay
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What’s more, this would make Marco’s purpose of the journey, to build a future, pointless. In addition, Eddie cruelly implies that Rodolfo is an inexperienced longshoreman. “I seen greenhorns sometimes get in trouble that way”. By saying this, Eddie aims to hurt Rodolfo’s feelings and perhaps make him feel like an unwanted boy. Soon afterwards, Eddie tries to explain how American girls are also strict and that Catherine shouldn’t arrive home late at night, “till he came here she was never out on the street twelve o’clock at night”.
In affect, both Rodolfo and Marco try to understand Eddie’s point of view, as if he were a father to them.
Eventually, Marco comes to a decision and tells Rodolfo to arrive back home earlier. But the audience knows that Eddie fails to express what’s really on his mind. Essentially, Eddie understands that if Catherine is seen with Rodolfo by any of Eddie’s friends, Eddie’s reputation would be ruined and he’ll be the joke just like Rodolfo.
It is this urge to protect Catherine, to keep her from discovering her independence which makes him increasingly sensitive to the presence of Beatrice’s cousins and to Rodolfo in particular, to whom Catherine rapidly becomes attracted.
Later on in the scene, Catherine and Rodolfo begin to dance. When they come to an end, Eddie subconsciously twists the newspaper in his hands into a tight roll. The other characters are aware of what he is thinking, but they wait for his answer. Unsurprisingly, Eddie fails to clearly express his thoughts on Rodolfo; during his attempt to mock Rodolfo’s femininity and expose him as weak, he manages only to tell everybody that with Rodolfo’s abilities, he “wouldn’t be on the waterfront… he would be someplace else… like in a dress store.
” Here, Miller has explored Eddie’s prejudice against Rodolfo, who is different. Furthermore, Eddie uses repetition to reinforce his points, “He can cook. He can sing. He can make dresses. ” Seeing that language proved unsuccessful for Eddie and even he can’t understand what he’s saying anymore, he tears the paper in two and decides to utilize physical action, a skill where he knows he can beat Rodolfo. Miller uses such gestures and stage directions as the tearing of the paper to dramatize the feelings of Eddie. Eddie’s obsession with Catherine is something he is not able to recognize or understand for himself.
Instead he focuses his anger and frustration upon Rodolfo, who has a frivolous and light-hearted attitude to life. It is this that Catherine finds attractive and Eddie finds repulsive and unmanly. Eddie is also suspicious of Rodolfo’s interest in Catherine, believing that he seeks her hand in marriage in order to gain an American passport. While a degree of realism is appropriate in the design of the Carbone family home, the street itself should also be indicated. Accordingly, throughout the boxing match, the table lamp may well collapse, leaving the room gloomy and obscure.
To compensate for the illumination, a red “MOTEL” light featuring outside the window could remain pulsing on and off. Nonetheless, the men will continue boxing, whilst Catherine switches the main light back on. I assume that merely a few seconds would allow the radiance to take full effect. The word motel indicates the cheap accommodation immigrants require in Brooklyn. In addition, while Catherine and Rodolfo dance, the main light could dim and the motel light could appear flashing on and off to the rhythm of the music.
It may encourage the passionate mood set by the music. While the fight occurs on stage, I would recommend that Marco stay solitary in the corner. By separating Marco from the rest of the characters, who are supposedly in the centre of the stage, the audience recognizes his presence, without him having to do anything. Marco has cleverly kept quiet throughout the scene unless asked a question, as he may be embarrassed to display his weak language skills. But when Eddie cracks a punch at Rodolfo, Marco suddenly gets involved.
Marco challenges Eddie by inviting him to raise a chair from its leg. Eddie has underestimated his opponent and his false sense of confidence about his own strength has led Marco to win the test of strength. Clearly Marco knows his adversary’s well and is smart enough to avoid talking, but he prevails in a physical battle. You may think of the chair struggle as a battle for primate dominance, whereby both challengers are fighting to become Alpha male. Nonetheless, in both contests Eddie’s authority is undermined and in his own living room.
In brief, I believe that Marco is in control of the situation, even though he stepped in half way through the scene. Eddie considers the challenge and presence of other men to be a threat to his authority. Eddie’s fear of losing his authority and masculinity serves as a prime motivating force, for him to assert his power. It is Eddie’s reluctance to compromise with the other characters and Catherine’s ever increasing appeal to Rodolfo that causes Eddie to fight for his control. Here, the vision Alfieri foresaw at the beginning of the play is in reaching distance.
In the final scene, the act of betrayal of members of Eddie’s own family brings about the final bloody tragedy which Alfieri foresaw at his first interview with Eddie. Despite Alfieri’s efforts, Marco is intent upon revenge for his betrayal, while Eddie is determined to maintain his reputation and his honour. During the last scene of the play, Marco and Eddie come face to face in full view of the neighborhood. This theatrical scene holds the climax to the play and even though the audience is well aware of what is to happen, they are more curious as to how the other characters will react.
In this scene Eddie’s reputation is at stake and he is prepared to stake his life on the line. By Catherine finding work and her growing attraction to Rodolfo, which leads to their planned marriage brings out an increasingly aggressive reaction in Eddie that starts to break the family apart. Eddie is trying to defend his own innocence so that, when his wife says, “You can’t have her”, he is genuinely disgusted that she could think of him that way. He defends himself against the sexual allegation to the end. But if there is a sexual guilt operating here, it is combined with the social situation he is in.
Basically, there is noting more horrifying to the general public than betrayal. It destroys the protection of their society. There is also the political side; because Miller was in the middle of the McCarthy period, the so-called Congressional investigation in America. When Eddie yells “I want my name! ” he implies that he wants his reputation back from Marco. When Eddie handed Marco over to the authorities, Eddie squealed “He killed my children. That one stole the food from my children. ” Eddie believes that Marco is to blame for tarnishing his reputation with this lie.
On the other hand, Marco was partially correct for what he had said for the reason that, without Marco earning money for his children, they will be unable to purchase food and could ultimately die. In reality, Eddie cannot face the fact that the reason he lost his name was because he betrayed Rodolfo’s and Eddie’s trust; and treachery was considered the worst act in a Sicilian society. Marco refers to Eddie as “Animal”, which suggests that Eddie was a suck up` to the American law. Resembling an animal, Eddie did anything to get his just rewards. Likewise a dog would do anything when offered a bone.
Finally, after realizing what he has done, Eddie is prepared to risk his life in order to save his reputation, his name. Eventually, Eddie dies in the arms of his wife, after Marco had killed him in self defence. In the closing speech by Alfeiri, he declares “we settle for half”, in which case he is referring to Eddie’s attitude towards the American and Sicilian law. Eddie has followed the American law, by reporting the illegal immigrants to the authorities. However, he has also pursued Sicilian concepts; such as the last moment, when he was prepared to die for his reputation.
This shows that he is half American and half Sicilian. Alfieri recognizes that the death of Eddie Carbone should serve as a reminder to those who must carry on, and to the audience, that “it is better to settle for half, it must be. ” Yet as Alfieri admits, this represents a compromise – of people’s hopes, desires and sense of justice – which he ultimately regards with alarm. The chorus, Alfieri, is the law. He has the ability to move in and out of the play. He knows the Sicilian way, but understands that the Sicilian way is something you outgrow when you come to America.
I suspect that Eddie wants to be more like Alfieri than any other character. He wants to have a foot in both camps. He wants to be defined by his job. Miller implies that Eddie is a tragic hero, since the one virtue Eddie lacks is not being able to settle for half. Eddie cannot accept the presence of other men being something other than a threat to his authority. It was obvious from the beginning that Eddie would get into trouble if he continued what he was doing, but his obsession with not being able to settle for half brought about the event that Alfieri foresaw and which he was powerless to prevent, despite his best efforts.
The play is a Greek tragedy because Eddie is led by fate towards a destiny he cannot escape. Through his death, the audience is involved, purged of their emotions by a tragic ending, leaving the theatre sadder but wiser. In conclusion, Eddie is Miller’s solution that he set himself about trying to write a Greek tragedy in Brooklyn. Shezad Chowdhury 10P Page 1 of 6 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.