Another source of friction is Rodolpho’s unusually ‘natural’ blond hair. His hair is a great concern to Eddie as he thinks he has dyed it, which is a very strange concept to him – “And with that wacky hair, he’s like a chorus girl or sump’m”. Eddie’s conclusion of this is that Rodolpho is a homosexual or a “weird” as he puts it. His hair is not the only thing that leads him to this, as Rodolpho sings, makes dresses and can cook- “It’s wonderful. He sings, he cooks, he makes dresses…” I feel Eddie undermines Rodolpho’s multi-talents as he is used to being the dominant male in the household, but suddenly a new figure has arrived and stolen his limelight. He may also do this to make Rodolpho seem gay and therefore less attractive to Catherine- who he doesn’t want to lose.
Many differences can be distinguished between Eddie and Rodolpho, which may explain the ‘friction’ surrounding them. Rodolpho is a confident extrovert who likes to have a good time, and is very flirtatious when women are concerned. This is a stark contrast in personality, as Eddie is a quiet traditionalist who is rarely outgoing with people exterior to his family. Eddie is happy to keep himself to himself, so when Rodolpho arrives, his arrogance and vainness are amplified annoying him further. “I have a nice face” this comment proves Rodolpho’s vain personality. He is self-obsessed as Eddie sees it; he dyes his hair in addition to spending a great deal of money on materialistic items such as shoes and records -“A snappy new jacket he buys, records, a pointy new pair of shoes”.
Rodolpho often disagrees with Eddie for being too authoritarian with Catherine and feels he should let her be more sociable. Rodolpho tries to break his strictness by regularly staying out late at the movies with Catherine, to her delight -“Hey Eddie, what a picture we saw! Did we laugh!” These trips the couple have together irritate him as it takes the authority that he once possessed, out of his hands. Before the arrival of Rodolpho, Catherine’s every decision had to be approved by Eddie such as when she is offered a job -“That ain’t what I wanted though.” Eddie immediately dismisses Catherine’s career request, as it would mean her working further away from him.
When Eddie comes back to the flat drunk, Catherine and Rodolpho come out of the bedroom, her rearranging her dress. Eddie realising what has happened, orders rodolpho to, “Pack it up. Go ahead get your stuff and get out of here.” When Catherine attempts to follow Rodolpho, Eddie becomes angrier, grabbing her and kissing her on the mouth as if to stamp ownership on her. Then he is so angry that he kisses Rodolpho as well, as if to emasculate him. This attempt to convince everyone he is a homosexual backfires dramatically as they think he has a problem and are disgusted at what he has done -“what you done to him in front of her; you know what I’m talking about. She goes around shakin’ all the time, she can’t go to sleep! That’s what you call responsible for her?”
From my analysis of A View From The Bridge, I have concluded that the main supply of friction between Eddie Carbone and Rodolpho is the battle over Eddie’s niece Catherine. Eddie has a strong relationship with Catherine but his role as a father figure is occasionally distorted by his emotions to her and his unwillingness to let her go. An example is when he refuses to let her work as a Stenographer and when Catherine says Rodolpho loves her, he tells her he is just using her to stay in America, which he has no proof of -“He marries you he’s got the right to be an American. That’s what’s goin’ on here.” This bond is very important to Eddie and he resents Rodolpho for getting in the way of them and making a mock of him. To prevent him getting in between them, Eddie creates vindictive rumours to attempt to deter everyone in his microcosm from Rodolpho. Eddie then convinces himself these rumours are reality and so any friendship between the pair can never form.