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The Drama A View from The Bridge

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 8 (1774 words)
Categories: Conflict, Heart, Psychology
Downloads: 50
Views: 14

Conflict is at the heart of the drama A View from The Bridge’. The tragic protagonist of the play, Eddie Carbone is a hard-working man who supports his wife Beatrice and his niece Catherine, whom he has raised like a daughter. He begins the play as a well-liked member of his neighborhood community and has a strong sense of honour. Eddie’s death is made all the more tragic because it stems from his inability to understand ” let alone articulate ” his feelings.

While Eddie’s incestuous desires for Catherine is impetus of his downfall and a grudge against Rodolpho is the catalyst, what ultimately causes his downfall is his inability to express and control his inner feelings. Inner ” conflict is very widespread throughout the play and is also heavily linked to the conflict between characters that is presented in A View from The Bridge. At the beginning of the play, Eddie walks up to his house and sees Catherine waving to his friend Louis, a fellow longshoreman of the Italian community, from the window.

She is dressed in new clothes and Eddie lectures her about her short skirt and wavy walk’, he complains “I don’t like the looks they’re givin’ you in the candy store. And with them new heels…the heads are turnin’ like windmills.” This shows that he is very protective of his niece and does not like the amount of attention that she is getting from other men in the community.

While, at first glance, this act looks like an ordinary lecture that would be given by any overprotective father. However, the simile used in this quote implies that Eddie treats Catherine like an object, it is almost as though he owns her. This worries the reader since they are now given an insight into Eddie Carbone’s disgruntled mindset. Eddie’s inner conflict is demonstrated by his reaction to Catherine’s walk. He cannot voice his own fear and jealousy that Catherine may attract or be looking for another man. He is threatened by this and wants her to stop. She gives him the willies’, but it is not clear whether this is his fear of her leaving him or his own fear that his suppressed feelings for her will come to the surface. Through this inner conflict we see that Eddie is not honest with himself about his genuine feelings. Instead of letting Catherine grow up and become a woman, he tries to prevent this and have her remain a little girl.

We learn that Eddie is controlling as well as having untoward feelings about his niece. He is also concerned about her new job and finds it difficult to accept that she is no longer a child. He is not aware of his feelings for his niece and, at this point, neither is the audience. The jealousy could be a normal feeling for an uncle as he had always been the most important man in her life and now, she is meeting other men. It later becomes obvious that he is in love with Catherine (has inappropriate feelings). She, however, loves Eddie like a father and is desperate for his approval in everything she does – her new job, her clothes, her hair and her choice of husband. However, Eddie does not approve of much and always mentions other men when giving a reason or his disapproval.

From his behaviour the audience is able to interpret his confused feelings. Eddie suffers from inner conflict throughout the play. Initially, his conflict concerns his relationships with Catherine and Beatrice. He cannot help his shifting feelings and does not know how to cope with Catherine’s growth into womanhood.His inner conflict is what leads him into conflict with all the other characters ” it is the source of the play’s central problem.Later, when he sees that Catherine is about to be lost to him, he struggles within himself to know what to do to prevent the inevitable. Ultimately, he betrays his own code of honour and becomes someone he despises. He lies to himself, saying that Marco has stolen his reputation and has to be made to give it back. In the end, his denial leads to his death. This clearly showcases Eddies inner conflict and jealousy, which is ” coincidently ” also at the root of all the drama in this play.

External conflict is an essential element of this play and is key to the character development of Eddie. The relationship between Eddie and Rodolpho has become more aggressive on Eddie’s side, perhaps due to his underlying jealousy for Rodolpho who is managing to woo Catherina. Eddie’s conflict with Rodolfo is apparent almost immediately after the Italian cousins arrive at the Carbone’s home. Rodolfo is flamboyant and charismatic as well as good-looking. Eddie sees that Catherine is instantly attracted to him and it fuels Eddie’s dislike and mistrust. In an act of hatred, Eddie pretends to teach Rodolpho boxing, however, this turns out to be a cover-up for his real intentions. Eddie decides to try and scare Rodolpho and intimidates him by saying Here I come, Danish!’ (Eddie’ feints with his left hand and lands with his right. it mildly staggers Rodolpho. Marco rises.). Eddie calls Rodolpho Danish because he believes Rodolpho is homosexual and is unlike the typical Italian male’ stereotype. Rodolpho also has blond hair, a common trait for Danish people and ” according to Eddie ” a defining gay characteristic. Therefore, Eddie believes he has the authority to call Rodolpho Danish. This angers the reader due to Eddies use of stereotypes to define Rodolpho and his inability to accept Rodolpho for what he is. Eddie hits Rodolpho in an attempt to warn him off Catherine as well as venting out some of the anger that he has built up towards him.

He has quite cunningly arranged a way of hitting Rodolpho without confronting him; this gives the reader an insight into his malicious and sly personality. It’s quite low to try to revenge yourself in such a manipulative way, taking advantage of Rodolpho’s forgiving nature and weak build. The fact that he does this in public shows that this is an attempt to humiliate Rodolpho in front of Catherine and highlights this unexpected cruelty inside Eddie. Rodolpho’s personality sets Eddie on edge. He has unusual skills for an Italian male such as the ability to sew and he is a larger than life character. Eddie also holds Rodolfo’s hair colour against him, as if being blond is a sign of his unnaturalness. All the things that Catherine enjoys about Rodolfo are the things that Eddie despises. In this way, external conflict is represented in the play A View From The Bridge and highlights the unstable foundations upon which the Italian community is built.

Honour is shown to be very important throughout the play, especially to the male characters in the Italian community since it is the main cause of conflict. It means far more to them than the law. To be honourable is to be respected. If you do anything dishonourable, you lose respect. That is why Marco and Eddie are so keen to protect their names and get a ‘just’ conclusion. Codes of honour bind families and the whole neighbourhood with a sense of community. Everyone should look out for one another, to betray someone is the most dishonourable action imaginable. Inner conflict resurfaces again when Eddie has to decide whether he is prepared to betray the values of the Italian community and snitch on Marco and Rodolpho.

This ties in with the theme of honour and justice as Eddie is readying himself to break the unspoken Italian code. Eddie and the lawyer, Alfieri, have been discussing the situation. Alfieri becomes the voice of Eddie’s inner conflict as he wrestles with social ostracism and his jealousy. Alfieri reminds Eddie that committing this heinous deed will leave him without “a friend in the world”. This goes to show the extent to which honour is emphasized in the play as his community will sever any personal ties with Eddie if he breaks the Italian code. This causes the reader to forebode Eddies downfall as they make a connection between Eddie and Vinny Bolzano. Both of whom were in very similar positions and let greed and jealousy get the better of them. He is torn between the rules of the community, and the desire not to lose Catherine. His jealousy and desire fight with his common sense. We see that Eddie is a person who is divided between himself, but, since he does phone the immigration police, his feelings are stronger than his belief in the rules. Eddie appears to the audience as a character who cannot accept matters easily; he is too individual; he cannot put aside who he is for the sake of community.

He is prepared to betray everyone for the sake of his taboo love. This intern is the cause of most of the conflict in this play and leads to his doom and unhonourable death. Consequently, highlighting the lengths to which Italian men will go to protect their dignity, even if it means provoking conflict within your own family.When Eddie fights Marco to reclaim his name’ and dignity after Marco accuses him and spits on his face, we see conflict. Marco has sought out Eddie to punish him and Eddie wants a fight ” Eddie: (Eddie raises the knife). Eddie has betrayed the values of the community and then does it again by pulling a knife. We see that Louis is shocked as he steps back’. At this point Louis is appealing to Eddie, but Eddie might even try and hurt him. This demonstrates not only Eddie’s violent streak, it also shows the wildness of his emotions. Eddie is portrayed as a character who will try to protect his public reputation, even though it is in tatters, because he cannot face up to what he has done. This also highlights the extent of his ego and how he is still trying to defend himself. A man who is prepared to fight unfairly despite being guilty of betraying his family and a man who is so insecure, that he cannot face up to what he has done.

Throughout the play, Eddie Carbone makes many mistakes, most of the time they are tiny, however the smallest drop of water can get back at you as a wave’ and all his mis endeavours (jealousy, ego, pride) all combine to get back at him and ultimately lead to his death. Alfieri rightly once said it is better if we sometimes settle for half because half is better that nothing at all.

Cite this essay

The Drama A View from The Bridge. (2019, Aug 20). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-drama-a-view-from-the-bridge-essay

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