The Eddie/Catherine relationship changed drastically after that. Actually, I think that the relationship was very tense before this incident, Catherine is nervous when Eddie is around, when he walked into the room, she adjusts her dress, little things like that which people do when they are under stress. Catherine has always accepted Eddie’s treatment of her before, always did what he said, always putting up with his remarks and keeping her personal discomfort to herself; Eddie: “What’s the high heels for, Garbo?” Catherine: “I figured for tonight -” … “Embarrassed now, angered, Catherine goes out.
At that time, Catherine wants to appear sophisticated to impress the newcomers Marco and Rodolpho but what Eddie says means that she doesn’t normally dress like this so why is she doing it now? From that early on in the play, we already notice Eddie’s jealousy, if Catherine wasn’t so interested in Rodolpho, Eddie probably wouldn’t have said what he did.
The greatest blow to their relationship was most definitely Eddie’s betrayal of Marco and Rodolpho to the immigration bureau, even though he denies it was him who called the officers, she knew; “She stands a moment staring at him in a realized horror.”
At the end of the play, Catherine asks Eddie to go to her wedding, she’s trying to forgive him but can never fully do so after what happened, but when he stubbornly denies it and insists that Marco apologizes to him, Catherine gets very angry; “He’ s a rat, he belongs in the sewer” spilling out her true feelings about Eddie, that he’s a traitor and a liar.
I don’t feel that Eddie actually registers the two women’s existence towards the end; he seems distant and obsessed with Marco’s insult. He doesn’t even look at Catherine in his dying moments, maybe he finally remembered someone who always was and always will be there for him, his wife, Beatrice and that’s where his heart truly lies, even if he didn’t know it before.
The relationship between Eddie and Rodolpho isn’t quite so complicated but plays an important part in the outcome of events. Unlike the relationship between Catherine and Eddie where both sides of the story where quite similar, Rodolpho’s feelings towards Eddie are very different, almost the opposite to Eddie’s feelings towards him. From the first time Eddie saw Rodolpho, he took an immediate dislike to him; everything from his hair to his ambitions. Rodolpho is a flamboyant character, ready to laugh and have a good time no matter what the situation is. He is very outgoing and humorous which may be good in normal circumstances but in his position in the play, it’s rather hazard because he will be easily noticed and if found out, he would be sent back to Italy. This makes Eddie nervous, asking him if he wants to be picked up and if not, stop singing.
He can’t seen to take him seriously from the very beginning, preferring to speak to Marco than him; “He’s coming more and more to address Marco only” but in those days, Eddie was just ignoring Rodolpho but it develops into something more; “He is sizing up Rodolpho and there is a conceded suspicion.” He’s also very impatient with Rodolpho, like when he comments that the lemons are green, Eddie says; “I know lemons are green… I didn’t say nothin’ about lemons.” Everything Rodolpho says are annoyances to him but some words annoy him more than the rest; “It’s more strict in our town, it’s not so free.” Eddie immediately picks up on that and seizes the opportunity to give him a lecture about coming home late, clearly voicing his discontent.
Eddie prefers Marco because he’s more “manly” than Rodolpho, he can work all through the day without complaining, and he has a family and is responsible and caring. Marco is serious and doesn’t make jokes and rarely understands them either. But maybe the family issue was one of the reasons Eddie prefers Marco, he knows where he stands knows that Catherine has no chance with Marco. From the very beginning of the play when Beatrice’s cousins first arrive, Catherine has taken an interest in Rodolpho, asking him if he’s married or not and if he likes sugar.
Eddie is rather hostile towards Rodolpho, at first it may have been an unconscious hostility, before Eddie himself even recognised his jealousy. He definitely denied that it was jealousy; “(Jealous) Of him? Boy, you don’t think much of me.” I feel that the fact the Eddie’s keeping him in his house as a guest makes Rodolpho different from the rest of the men who he’s had to pry away from Catherine; he feels responsible for him and because of this he feels more contempt for him due to the personal ties. With the other men, Eddie can just brush them off, but with Rodolpho, it’s different; he is related to his wife which means he is related to Eddie who feels the full backlash of his flamboyancy and actions in public.
“Paper doll they’re calling him, Canary” and “Why? What’d he do?” are fine examples of his embarrassment and paranoia, as though every comment made about Rodolpho is negative and directed at him so he’s being very defensive, trying to defend himself rather than Rodolpho. Eddie sees most of the good qualities others see in Rodolpho as bad he is distorting everything he hears and moulding it to fit in with his own ideas. Because if their family ties, Eddie feels more strongly towards Rodolpho, he feels self pity perhaps, he uses his bed, his house, eat the food he provides and repays him by embarrassing him, taking the person he loved… everything just builds up to a point of intensive hatred.
He often spoke of his dislike of Rodolpho; “He gives me the heebie-jeebies” “I don’t like his whole way” and also hinted at his doubts on Rodolpho’s sexuality; “He’s like a weird” “I just hope that’s his regular hair” “if you close the paper fast, he could blow him over” “he wouldn’t be looking for him you’d be looking for her” etc. Eddie is so sure of his beliefs that he would do anything to prove to Catherine of Rodolpho’s “secret plan” and get her to see things in his point of view. He is so desperate that he even kisses Rodolpho to try and prove his point of Rodolpho’s sexuality, which, if is true what Eddie says, then Rodolpho is obviously not telling Catherine the truth.
Rodolpho on the other hand, was never openly hostile to Eddie until the start of Act Two and always preferred to cover up his discomfort rather than oppose or confront Eddie. He treats Eddie with respect and gratitude seeing as Eddie allowed him to live in his home; his attitude towards Eddie is one of a son trying to get along with a disapproving father, trying to gain his respect and attention. Rodolpho doesn’t seem totally aware of the situation at first, he doesn’t’ realise that Eddie thinks his talents are just another piece of evidence to show that he’s homosexual; “”He sings, he cooks…” (Rodolpho smiles thankfully)”
When Catherine asks him to dance in spite of the awkward situation, Rodolpho realises that it was a direct attempt to disobey Eddie on Catherine’s part so he tries to decline; “(in deference to Eddie) No, I-I’m tired.” Eddie is jealous of Rodolpho in more than one way, he feels undermined by Rodolpho’s talents, cooking, dress making, singing. Even though he uses them as something to attack him with, he secretly feels that Rodolpho can do more than him and can go further in life than he ever will. I feel that there’s a strong sense of self-pity about Eddie and he’s finding faults in Rodolpho and making up elaborate schemes to justify his actions. He finds ways to hurt him, like during the boxing “lesson” whilst Rodolpho on the other hand doesn’t want to cause any trouble or cause arousal; “I don’t want to hit you,” he says during the boxing scene.
Although Rodolpho is courteous towards Eddie for the majority of the play, he does lose his composure when Eddie violently kisses Catherine but even after Eddie insults him, he does not fight back and goes out the apartment like he was told. This shows that he is willing to fight for Catherine but on his own behalf, he’d rather not start any arguments and still bears in mind that the house belongs to Eddie.
I think that deep down, Eddie feels a sort of respect for Rodolpho; “He’s lucky, believe me… I can’t cook, I can’t sing, I can’t make dresses, so I’m on the water front.”… “I mean he looked so sweet there, like an angel,” but this becomes jealousy seeing as Catherine is involved. I don’t think that Eddie would mind Rodolpho and his talents if Catherine was still his little girl instead of Rodolpho’s wife to be. Near the end of the play, Rodolpho tries to sort out the family crisis, he doesn’t want them to suffer or even for Eddie to be hurting but Eddie has lost all sense of logic by then and the combined insults from Catherine and Marco were enough to divert his attention from Rodolpho and onto Marco, it’s like the beginning of the play all over again but this time, instead of respect for Marco, it’s pure hatred, beyond reason. Rodolpho still wants to make peace but realises that it’s not his place to make decisions but still tries. However, Eddie is not listening to him and goes ahead with his act anyway.
All in all, even though it was Marco who finally tipped Eddie over the edge, the cause of all of this was still Rodolpho and Catherine’s love for him that drove Eddie to the point of insane jealousy and committing the unforgivable crime of calling the Immigration Bureau. Finally, I come to the relationship between Catherine and Beatrice. It seems completely normal on the surface but just below the mask of family, there are dark hints of jealousy, rivalry, betrayal and divided loyalty.
Beatrice is Catherine’s aunt, they are blood relatives and very close. Beatrice, like Eddie has been caring for Catherine since she was very young and has grown to see her as a daughter rather than a niece. However, we get the sense that Beatrice keeps her distance and there is an unspoken rivalry between the two. Beatrice’s influence on Catherine plays a bigger part on the turn out of the play than their actual relationship. Catherine takes in what Beatrice tells her and sets them to action, she may be reluctant to believe everything she is told at first but realises that what she says makes perfect sense in the end.
Beatrice is Eddie’s wife and we get the impression that he takes her for granted and doesn’t give her much credibility; “(strangely and quickly resentful) You live in a house all your life, what do you know about it? You never worked in your life.” He is quick to dismiss her whilst he pays Catherine a lot of attention. She’s rather like a third wheel, often not included in conversations or ‘banished’ to the kitchen. Catherine sees her as a confident and advisor, she feels at ease discussing personal issues with Beatrice. From the fact that she told her about her job before she told Eddie tells us that she probably doesn’t take Beatrice’s opinions as seriously as Eddie’s or she just knows that Beatrice is more understanding and forgiving than Eddie is.
In the beginning of the play, Beatrice firmly stands up for Catherine and is behind her on almost everything, she disapproves of Eddie’s actions and Catherine finds this rather unacceptable. This is very ironic seeing as how, towards the end of the play the roles are reversed and it becomes Beatrice on Eddie’s side. Beatrice recognises Eddie’s rather unhealthy love for Catherine and decides that it’s best if he let her take the job and get out of the house a bit more.
“I don’t understand when it ends.” Beatrice also realises that Eddie himself may not have noticed his own emotions for Catherine so she is not too harsh about it; “(with sympathy but insistent force)”. Beatrice has a very hard role in the house after the cousins arrive, she becomes peace keeper, agony aunt and has to bear the responsibility of her cousins and probably feels guilty for both being the person who brought them over and having such an uninviting husband. She has had to deal with a lot and the Catherine/Eddie relationship is just the icing on the cake.