Explain how Miller builds-up and develops the character of Eddies Carbone in the three key scenes from A View from a Bridge ‘A View from the Bridge’ centres predominantly around a poor Sicilian patriarchal community. The first publication of the play was 1950 in United States. The play was set around 1940-1960 and the setting of the play was in Brooklyn. Their culture entails loyalty and family honour at any cost. Arthur Miller has used these fierce cultural beliefs as an aid to build up dramatic tension, irony, hatred and love through the characters who are supposed to abide by this notion.
He also uses characters with strong personalities and potentially dangerous character flaws to create and develop the character. Arthur Miller’s intentions of writing the play were for it to be a Greek Tragedy. The Greek tragedy shows the downfall of an individual through the capacity and limitations of human life. It is a melodrama because it involves action and improbable events. The play was first presented in a one-act format. This enabled Arthur Miller to make the action continuous drawing attention to the single line of plot which emphasises the inevitability of the ending.
It is also like the Greek tragedies because it observes the unities of being a single plot, strong story line, a single setting and a continuous time or a 24 hour time span. To reduce the time span Arthur Miller introduces a chorus which is undoubtedly Alfieri, he is the super-chorus who narrates the play with a habit of hopeless intervention. Arthur Miller describes this play as a tragic betrayal. I also cogitate that Arthur Miller tries to express how someone’s feeling towards something can be changed by love and jealousy.
This is because at the beginning of the play Eddie was degrading a boy named Vinny Bolzano for ‘snitching’ on his uncle and due his love for Catherine and his jealousy towards Marco and Rodolfo executed something that he clearly was disgraced by. He says Eddie is an incestuous character in the play. He compares the play with Macbeth where again a tragic betrayal takes place. He says ‘love is what fuels the violence in this play’. In an interview which took place by BBC he talks about the play . He portrays America as where all the hope was.
He states that the play has a history; he establishes that this play is something extraordinary. He personifies the bridge by saying the bridge has its own culture. Eddie Carbone is the main character in the play and every significant act in the play is reflected on him. Eddie is a forty-year-old hard working, Italian-American who is a Sicilian descendant. He is forceful, energetic, obsessive, and overprotective. This is shown when he says “Please do me a favour will ya? I want you to be with different kinds of people. I want you to be in a nice office”.
The repetition of the word “want” emphasises and portrays his domineering character and over protectiveness towards Catherine. He is capable of self-delusion on a grand scale. Eddie Carbone is an epic character; he makes bold moves and does things that are completely out of the ordinary On the other hand he can also show warmth and generosity. “The less you trust, the less you’ll be sorry”. This shows that Eddie doesn’t tend to trust can be suspicious about people who seem to be a stranger to him. Eddie’s obsession towards Catherine becomes uncontrollable and obviously unnatural. He is a man who has few interests outside the family.
Eddie: unromantic but considerate, demanding but responsible, scheming but stubborn, brooding but pessimistic, uncompromising but self-interested, irrational but passionate, and love-abiding. Rodolfo and Marco who are two brothers, who came from America as immigrants. Their main aim is to earn because of the difficulties in Italy. They are Beatrice’s cousins. They both have totally different personalities compared with each other. When Eddie offers to let Rodolfo and Marco stay he conveys the image of himself being very munificent and generous. Here I explain in detail about each of them.
Rodolfo is the more spirited and attractive of the two immigrant brothers whose arrivals change Eddie Carbone’s destiny. It is he who impulsively speaks first in the street, unselfconsciously celebrating the fact of his arrival in America. He is a ready verbaliser, eager to offer vivid little pictures of life in Italy and his ambitions for e. g. where he wants to be a messenger with his motorbike in Italy. When he expresses something stage directions tell us that he tries to precisely explain what he’s saying. His short, grammatically simple sentences add to the general impression he creates of ebullient and intelligent oddity.
Rodolfo is a character who is very ego but his charm overrules it. He makes jokes and is not afraid to use his own experience as a subject for them. Marco offers an example of what counts manliness. He’s got a lot if masculinity to himself. Marco is a person who tends to have a responsible character. He is obviously devoted to his family and speaks of his wife with deep, if restrained, affection. He is more sensible than Rodolfo, whom he treats with the indulgence of an older, wiser brother. He also is a very responsible and supportive person for his younger brother Rodolfo where he supports him when Eddie tries to mock him.
Marco is polite and courteous. He has a strong sense of justice. Marco is the character we know least about throughout the play. Eddie Carbone shows varieties of aggression throughout the play to all the characters. Eddie is a very aggressive where he wants Catherine to finish school he says ‘You’ll get no-where unless you finish school. ‘He describes Rodolfo as ‘nice kid or weird. ‘ To Marco says ‘It ain’t so free here either’ and also says ‘Don’t make me do nuttin’ and he says ‘The truth isn’t bad as blood. ‘ In all these quotes he’s shows a lot of aggression to the surrounding characters especially to Rodolpho and Marco.
Eddie is the tragic protagonist, meaning that he’s the central character the tragedy falls upon, but also is the tragic hero throughout the whole play. In the opening minutes of the play the main focus is conflict, with the first being between Catherine and Eddie. The conflict is an emotional one about something physical. It is clear at this point that Eddie is fond of Catherine: he refers to her hairstyle being ‘beautiful’ and this compliment suggests his affection towards her. Eddie’s more protective nature is revealed when he comments on her short skirt and her high heels, saying, ‘You are walkin’ wavy!
I don’t like the looks they’re givin’ you in the candy. ‘ and he also says to Catherine, “Where you goin’ all dressed up… And what happened to your hair? ” soon after he begins to enquire about her skirt when he says, “You look like one of them girls that went to college… I think its too short”. Catherine tries to defend herself, but is reduced to tears when Eddie harshly comments on her. At the very begging of the play it becomes apparent that Eddie cares a lot about Catherine and is very affectionate and caring towards her.