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Eddie’s inability to articulate his feelings leads to explosive situations later on the play. This cause for aggression is kept concealed within each character at the beginning of the play. The aggression is released towards the end of the play when Marco demonstrates conventionally ‘masculine’ characteristics in such a way that Eddie feels threatened. It is the realisation of this aggression that leads to the death of Eddie Carbone.
As Rodolpho resumes dancing with Catherine, Marco initiates a contest in physical strength; the chair lifting challenge- the result is a defeat for Eddie, as Marco ‘raises the chair like a weapon over his head’.
We know that Eddie’s hostility is directed towards Rodolpho as Eddie begins ‘sizing up Rodolpho, and there is a concealed suspicion’. This implies that Eddie is already hesitant towards Rodolfo and towards the end of the scene, Eddie has his ‘face puffed up with trouble’ as Catherine is pouring Rodolfo some tea. Eddie is not pleased at how Catherine is treating Rodolfo as it used to be that Eddie would be the one who she would pour tea for but since the arrival of Rodolfo, she has seemed to forget about him.
Eddie does not seem to think that he is the man of the household anymore as the attention is not upon him. He feels he is not the dominant character anymore and this later builds up hostility between Eddie and the immigrants.
Marco tends to demonstrate conventionally masculine characteristics, which may make Eddie feel inferior towards Marco, or less of a man; he may feel threatened.
In this scene we see that Marco has a protective attitude towards his brother and will not allow him to be bullied. Similarly, Eddie shows this same sort of protection towards Catherine. Eddie is a very forceful character; he has a somewhat demanding personality that is apparent in his relationship with his wife. He expects her to always agree with him, and he becomes increasingly angry when she fails to share his opinions. Quote. We see an unconcealed example of this, when Eddie first enters the apartment and asks where everyone is, Beatrice does not answer.
Consequently, recent events have taken their toll on her feelings and she is emotionally wearied by her husband’s irrational behaviour. A first she expresses her feelings openly, ‘I don’t wanna hear no more about it, you understand? Nothin,’ and her annoyance is evident when she asks, ‘What do you want from me? They’ve moved out; what do you want now?’ Beatrice’s open annoyance at her husband is too much for Eddie to take. He sees himself as the man of the house, the person in charge, and he reprimands her: ‘I don’t like it! The way you talk to me and the way you look at me.’ He expects to get his own way and his wife to obey him. He needs to reassert his authority, to feel the same again.
We learn more about the relationship that existed in the past between Eddie and Catherine. Beatrice’s remark, ‘You kept her a baby, you wouldn’t let her go out,’ tells us how possessive Eddie has always been of Catherine. Beatrice had tried to get her husband to adopt a more relaxed attitude towards Catherine, ‘I told you a hundred times,’ but Eddie has always seen himself as the man in charge of his family and he has always been able to get his way. Now, as his wife points out, it is too late; his need for being the one always in charge has just lead to matters to get worse.
When Eddie refers to sex by telling Beatrice there will be no further discussion of their love life, or rather the lack of love in their life, Beatrice accepts what he says and simply agrees with, ‘Okay’ This could imply that Beatrice is so used to agreeing with Eddie and doing as he says, or we could say that she is just too tired to argue back. Either way, Eddie is showing that he is the man and whatever he says should be done is the right way and nobody should dare argue.
We see that Eddie believes that Rodolpho does not conform to this image of masculinity as Eddie says of him, ‘The guy ain’t right’ and ‘the guy is no good’. Eddie is clearly unhappy with the close relationship developing between Rodolpho and Catherine. He accuses Rodolpho of being effeminate, meaning that he acts more like a woman than a ‘real’ man, by suspecting that his blond hair is not natural and that his singing at work makes him more like a ‘chorus girl’. Eddie attempts to justify his clearly irrational dislike of Rodolpho when he ‘gives me the ‘heebie-jeebies’.
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