In this scene Eddie comes home early from work because it is Christmas holiday. He is drunk and seems unsteady. He calls out to Beatrice to see if she is at home. Catherine enters the room ‘you got home early’ she says ‘knocked off for Christmas early’ he replies. Rodolfo then appears in the bedroom doorway, Eddie sees him and he is slightly shocked. This scene shows Eddie’s character to be quite angry. He loses his temper very quickly, he threatens Rodolfo and at one point you think he might actually hit Rodolfo. Eddie shouts very loudly at Catherine and he makes her cry because he doesn’t usually talk to her in this way.
He is usually very nice to her but lately since Rodolfo moved in, he has been very unsupportive of her and he is trying to get her to change her mind about him because Rodolfo is not like him. There is evidence of this when Eddie says ‘he marries you he’s got a right to be an American citizen. That’s what’s going on here the guy is looking for a break, that’s all’. Eddie does not approve of Rodolfo because he has blond hair, he sings, cooks and he doesn’t know how to box! Eddie thinks that all men should be physically strong, hard working and supporting his family.
Eddie is more favoured towards Marco because he has the same qualities as he does. Eddie doesn’t have anything in common with Rodolfo because he thinks Rodolfo is different and that he isn’t right. Basically Eddie doesn’t think Rodolfo is anything that a man should be. Eddie is not pleased to find Catherine and Rodolfo at home alone together. Catherine seems distressed and frightened at Eddie’s behaviour towards her. This is when she becomes rather tearful. Catherine is bold enough to stand up to Eddie but Eddie suddenly grabs her and kisses her on the mouth.
Rodolfo jumps to Catherine’s rescue by yelling at Eddie and forcing him to let go of Catherine. Rodolfo then flies at Eddie in attack and then Eddie pins his arms, laughing and suddenly kisses him. Catherine is raged at Eddie’s behaviour; she is horrified by what he did. Rodolfo is rigid. Both Eddie and Rodolfo are like animals torn at one another and broken up without decision, each waiting for the other’s mood. The tensions being explored in this scene are the ones between Eddie and Rodolfo and also the tensions between Catherine and Eddie. Eddie kisses Catherine because he is sexually attracted to her.
There is proof of this in the beginning of the play when Eddie says ‘you been giving me the willies the way you walk down the street, I mean it’. Kissing Catherine could be something that Eddie has been waiting to do for a while. Eddie’s obsession with Catherine is something he is not able to recognize or understand for himself. Instead he focuses all his anger and frustration on Rodolfo. Rodolfo has no responsibilities and has a more frivolous, light-hearted attitude towards life. If it is this that Catherine finds attractive about Rodolfo, Eddie finds it repulsive and unmanly.
Eddie is suspicious of Rodolfo’s interest in Catherine; he thinks that Rodolfo only wants to marry her in order to gain American citizenship. In the play evidence is given to prove this point when Eddie says ‘Katie, he is only bowing to his passport, he marries you and he’s got the right to be a citizen! ‘ It becomes clear to Catherine that Rodolfo’s intentions towards are honourable and motivated by his love for her. There is evidence of this when she tells Eddie that ‘he’s got all kinds of respect for me. And you to! We walk across the streets and he takes my arm – he almost bows to me!
You got him all wrong’. When you analyse the way in which Eddie talks, looks and acts towards Catherine gives you the impression that Eddie has feelings for her. Eddie has intense desires for Catherine and he wants to have a sexual relationship with his wife. This is shown when Beatrice says to Eddie ‘when am I gonna be a wife again’. Eddie makes excuses and says that he hasn’t been feeling good since Marco and Rodolfo moved in. Beatrice thinks that Eddie doesn’t find her sexually attractive anymore. It is shown when she says ‘what’s the matter Eddie, you don’t like me heh? She asks whether something is wrong.