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When Marco reveals that Rodolfo is a very good cook, Eddie finds this amusing and mockingly says, “It’s wonderful. He sings, he cooks, he could make dresses. ” Thus making another dig at Rodolfo, implying that he has homosexual tendencies. Rodolfo mistakenly takes this as a compliment and smiles thankfully. Marco knows this not to be true and kneels down to grasp the chair leg. With strained tension flowing throughout his body he raises the chair, up and up until it towers over Eddie.
Eddie and Marco are now face to face with the chair raised like a weapon over Eddie. Marco issues a glare of warning to Eddie and then transforms this look into a smile, Eddie blankly absorbs this message. Marco uses this act to deliver a message to Eddie; he is showing Eddie that he is more powerful and strong than Eddie and also warning him to leave Rodolfo alone. Also this is another peak in tension, as it is humiliating to Eddie. Eddie tells Rodolfo that he is simply her uncle, Beatrice pounces on this and retorts “Well then, be an uncle then”.
The others would take this at face value, however Beatrice is referring to Eddie’s un-natural affection for Catherine, which will shock Eddie. Marco then issues a challenge to Eddie, asking him to say what Rodolfo has done wrong. Eddie says that Catherine was never out on the street till twelve o’clock at night before Rodolfo came. Marco instantly tells Rodolfo that he must come home early now. By saying this Marco has eliminated the supposed problem, which leaves Eddie with no problem in which he can camouflage his jealousy.
Now that Eddie has no more problems but has a dented ego. He begins to create new problems, however he disguises them so that these problems are perceived as concern for Rodolfo; ‘I mean suppose he gets hit by a car, where’s his papers, who is he, you know what I mean? ‘ Beatrice states that the same risk is generated during the day when he is at work. As Eddie is reading his paper, awkwardness is felt in the room. Catherine reacts by putting the record ‘Paper Doll’ on; the title in itself indicates the song content.
Then Catherine is overcome with rebellion/revolt and asks Rodolfo to dance, causing Eddie to freeze and feel uncomfortable. Rodolfo realises this and refuses to dance however Beatrice and Catherine soon persuade him. As Eddie burns a hole through Rodolfo’s back he asks, “What’s this, a new record? ” Eddie has heard this song many times before, however he is no hearing it through new ears, new jealous ears. This is another opportunity for Eddie to put Rodolfo down and he says that he should not be working on the boats but instead working in a dress shop.
Yet again he phrases it so that it may be perceived as a compliment. During this speech he unconsciously twists his newspaper into a tight roll, which gives an insight into his somewhat angered/resentful thoughts and also symbolises the rise in tension. When the paper eventually snaps in to, this is Eddies cue to get up and change the subject. Here we see that Eddie is ‘holding back a voice full of anger’. This simple action is showing the rise in tension as a result of Eddie’s problem. Eddie now retreats to his rocking chair, showing that he is fighting a losing battle.
Working with an arterial motive Eddie questions Marco whether he has ever boxed. Marco and Rodolfo both reply No. So Eddie issues the challenge directly to Rodolfo, saying that he will teach him how to box. This is simply creating a smoke screen, so that Eddie can vent some of his frustration and jealousy against Rodolfo. Eddie begins by happily showing him how to jab and allowing Rodolfo to land multiple punches, with one connecting and grazing Eddie’s jaw. Eddie, still keeping up the friendly act, now reverses the roles and tells Rodolfo to block a few punches. Eddie begins swinging with intent.
Throwing his left as a diversion and then landing with his right he releases some of his jealousy. Following the punch, Marco quickly rises. Eddie says to Rodolfo “Did I hurt you kid? ” to which Rodolfo replies “No,no, he didn’t hurt me” flashing a smile towards Eddie. Rodolfo’s reply is a result of him feeling that he is finally developing a relationship with Eddie and does not wish to spoil it;”no, no” This quick reply shows his eagerness to defend Eddie and keep on the right side of him. Beatrice pulls Eddie down into his rocking chair, the rocking chair seems to symbolise almost a peace zone.
Eddie sits stewing and rubbing his fists, “He could be very good, Marco. I’ll teach him again. ” Eddie enjoyed embarrassing Rodolfo and wishes to do it again. This time Rodolfo initiates the dancing with his newfound confidence. The song playing is ‘Paper Doll’, Rodolfo places his arms around Catherine, which would usually anger Eddie, however Marco distracts him. Marco places a chair in front of Eddie with Beatrice spectating, this time Marco challenges Eddie, he challenges him to lift the chair from the bottom of a singular leg.
Eddie takes up the challenge, but soon finds it to be harder than he had expected. He raises the chair 1 inch but then drops it, he repeats this process a few times until he pleads, and “it’s on a angle, that’s why, heh? ” Beatrice (Eddies wife) suspects that Eddie’s feelings towards Catherine are un-natural and contributes throughout this scene to the rise in tension. ‘Well he didn’t exactly drag her off though, Eddie’. This would annoy Eddie, as he is not receiving any support, she is also saying that Catherine is independent and chose to go with Rodolfo which would raise tension further.