The writer Arthur Miller based the play, ‘A View from the Bridge’ on two Sicilians who value honour and respect. The Play is told in the eye of Alfieri, A lawyer who is a witness and a character, which was involved in the events. This play shows how the Sicilians fit into an Italian, American community. Miller showed this by what happened in the story. Eddie had no respect or honour for his cousins, Rodolfo and Marco and paid the ultimate price. ‘A view from the bridge’ is very good at increasing tension around the audience and decreasing it straight away as well.
From pages 35 to 41, I have seen tension increase very fast and likewise decrease at the same rate. At the beginning of the scene, the main characters of the play are sitting around and chatting to each other like any normal American family would do. Eddie and Marco talk about how in Italy they paint fruits so that it looks really juicy and ripe and then it will sell well and will welcome lots of money. Eddie makes a silly mistake which he does not realise, he says that in Italy they paint oranges. Rodolfo corrects Eddie and says, ‘ They don’t paint oranges, they paint lemons. Eddie responds by saying, ‘ I know lemons are green for Christ sake…’ he is very clearly angry and frustrated at having Rodolfo telling him what to do.
Throughout the scene and the whole play Rodolfo shows the utmost respect to Eddie. Eddie pays back Rodolfo’s respect by showing him none in return whatsoever, as if Rodolfo isn’t an important cousin who needs support from the people around him, but instead he gets a lot of stick from them no matter how hard he tries. Most of the tension is triggered of in a scene involving Eddie and Rodolfo.
The friction between Eddie and Rodolfo was set off due to their feelings for Catherine, Beatrice’s and Eddie’s niece. Eddie has raised Catherine to be the pretty and loving girl that she is. He loves her very dearly like she was his own daughter and wants nothing but the best for her, at least what he thinks is the best for her. He does not want to except the fact that she is a grown girl now and that she is old enough to make her own decisions. Rodolfo also cares about her but his love is different, his loves goes deep down into the chamber of his heart where a lies a place for one women in his life who he will never let go and love till death does them part. Catherine also feels the same way.
Later on, Eddie gets his opportunity get his own back on Rodolfo for the correction that he made earlier which caused Eddie a lot of embarrassment. The correction that Eddie made to Rodolfo was not just for the sake of joy and satisfaction of knowing that he had accomplished pay back, no, there was a deeper meaning to Eddie’s purpose. Rodolfo was just mentioning how the freedom in America was so much better then the freedom in Italy. This was an opportunity that Edddie just could not resist and let pass by, he snapped at Rodolfo and said, ‘It ain’t so easy here either, Rodolfo, like you think.’ Eddie is not just clarifying the fact that it is not that easy in America, but he was also implying that it is not easy specially for him, he is having to pay the rent, the tax, the bills and having to spend extra money out of his own pocket to feed Rodolfo and Marco. He might even be trying to create a guilty conscience inside of Rodolfo.
Later on in the scene, Eddie was having a conversation with Marco about how Catherine comes home late now since Rodolfo started to take her out. Eddie says that he isn’t really Catherine’s father but he would have liked it if Rodolfo would’ve asked for his consent in taking Catherine out. He is expressing that although he isn’t her father he is still her guardian and has been like a father to her all the past years in her life so he has a stand in it therefore he needs to know what she is doing in her life. At that point Eddie’s wife Beatrice gets really angry and says, ‘Well be an uncle then, I mean!’ Here Beatrice has openly in front of every one, criticised her own husband Eddie. The audience will really start to feel the tension now. Eddie, who has tried his best to put Rodolfo down and outshine him, has been slagged off in front of Rodolfo, who he really despises.
The relationship between Eddie and his wife has been on the edge for a long time, but now it has tipped over, one of the reasons held responsible was that their marriage was failing. Things had got so poor that Beatrice at one point even said, ‘When will I be a wife again?’ Things had actually got that bad in their life. Another cause could have been Catherine. Since Catherine had arrived to live with Eddie and Beatrice, Eddie had focused a lot of his attention on the welfare of Catherine and not paying enough attention to the needs of his wife.