"A view from the bridge" is a two-act tragic play by Arthur Miller in the mid 50s. This play puts light on the working American-Sicilian population, in particular the Carbone family, the head of which is Eddie Carbone. In this essay I will be analysing Eddie Carbone's character whilst occasionally making comments on the language and Arthur Miller's skills as a dramatist. Eddie is a simple, straight forward man that lives with his beloved wife and niece. Alfieri describes Eddie as a "long shore man".
He is very protective over his orphaned niece, Catherine. Arthur Miller uses informal language to show Eddie's social class. It is worthy to note that Arthur Miller was skilfully able to come down to the status of long shore man and was able to produce speech successfully in their tone and language. Eddie is portrayed as generous, but at the same time selfish and self-protective. This is since, although he is generous to offer his home to two of his wife's cousins, Marco and Rodolfo, he believes he is Superior.
This is shown as he reminds Beatrice not to offer them his bed and he is very jealous of anyone that gets too close to Catherine. This jealousy also adds to his hardship in accepting Rodolfo and Catherine's relationship, another reason to this envy is his over-protective nature. He has brought up Catherine as his own daughter and feels afraid to let her grow up, so he cannot face her having any relation to other men. Eddie's wife, Beatrice's is unhappy with Eddie's attitude towards Catherine, which soon starts to create a rift between the couple.
"It's been many days and nights since you haven't slept with me"; shows that Eddie has been so caught up in Catherine and making sure she does not fall for Rodolpho, that he begins to forget about his duties as a husband. Further into the play, Eddie begins to feel another emotion towards Catherine: sexual attraction. This is shown by many things which happen throughout the play. He quickly begins to feel extremely jealous of the immediate impression Rodolfo makes on Catherine.
The stage directions state at a point, "He looks at [Catherine] like a lost boy", when she reveals her feeling for Rodolfo to him, but he is unable to admit it to everybody else. Furthermore, Eddie becomes so obsessed with Catherine, that he has no control over his emotions; for example Catherine begins to like Rodolpho, Eddie cannot control himself and has to find a way to vent his anger, so He decides to hurt Rodolpho, by using an exercise of teaching him to box,:"you ever do any boxing"?
Eddie, at this point, feels so remorseless, that even when Rodolpho refuses to hit him, "I don't want to hit you Eddie," he stills feels like the need to hit him, showing how obsessed he is. Moreover, Eddie becomes too interested into the relationship between Catherine and Rodolpho, that he involves the Immigration Bureau, this is because he could not spilt the true love apart. In the eyes of the audience and the other characters, it causes Eddie's remaining honours to be thrown in the dirt.
As in any community, even though there may be accused, the government should not be called in, otherwise the one, who spread the word, shall not be respected by all others and therefore, he becomes an out-cast. His redemption occurs towards the end of the play. His honour is restored with his own death. This is as he fights with Marco and ultimately dies, but he accepts his fate, and therefore restoring his respect and honour. In this part of the play, he also shows how he had planned the fight and was so obsessed that he brought a knife and fought like a coward.
This brought his redeemed respect again to an all time low. Society respects a man, who acts like a man, and Eddie in this part, fights like a coward, which is unacceptable in the society. In conclusion, Eddie, although being a real man at the start, ends his life in a shameful and cowardly way. In my analysis, I have shown how Arthur Miller portrays this in an effective and skilful way, which shows his brilliant ability as a writer. I feel that 'A View from the Bridge' is a very high-quality book with a interesting and deep story, giving it full marks in my view.