Perhaps one of the most dramatic sections in the play is the last one, where all the tension that has built up throughout the play is finally released in a terrible climax. So far in the story, Rodolpho (an illegal immigrant from Sicily, staying in Eddie’s house) has taken Eddie’s daughter, Catherine, from him (Eddie’s view), and is going to marry her. Eddie is against this, as he thinks that Rodolpho isn’t right, and just wants to marry her to become an American citizen (and also the feeling we have throughout the play that Eddie loves Catherine in more ways than just fatherly love). He has vented out his anger on Rodolpho physically, and, seeing that it didn’t work, went against the rules of the neighbourhood, and phoned the immigration bureau to take him away.
This has had two effects; firstly, to make Eddie totally alienated from the rest of the community, alone with no one to turn to (which, in a man like Eddie, could have disastrous effects), and secondly, make Marco (Rodolpho’s immigrant brother, who’s family is relying on his income to survive, and who is also being deported) want to kill him. The end section starts off in the reception room of a prison. In the scene are: Marco, Rodolpho, Catherine and Alfieri. Marco has been imprisoned, and has no chance of being freed. Rodolpho though is going to marry Catherine, and become an American. The only way Marco can go and see the wedding is if Alfieri bails him out, which he will only do if Marco agrees not to go and attack Eddie.
The section begins with something that puts a doubt on Rodolpho’s sincerity, “ Well-we did something ” The fact that Marco looks at him is very significant, as a lot of information can be conveyed with a look. Then the way in which they clasp hands reminds us of the sealing of a pact. This is only speculation, but they could have come to America with the intention of tricking a girl to marry Rodolpho so he could become an American citizen. This is entirely possible, as throughout the play we have heard evidence from Eddie suggesting this, and for a lot of it, he persuaded us. It is only towards the end that we start to trust Rodolpho, and there is still some doubt. This gesture makes us question his motives again. It also makes us question Marco, who throughout the play, we have considered to be honest. If it turns out he isn’t, then it’s even more likely he’ll go against Eddie.
We also see that if the American law won’t help him, he’s ready to take the law into his own hands, when he queried, “There is no law for that?”(He is referring to snitching on Marco, and, because of it, depriving his children of food). He is obviously shocked that there is no law, and is still thinking in the Sicilian way, where law and justice were almost the same thing. In his mind, Eddie should be punished, but the American judicial system says otherwise. This brings us back to something he said before, “In my country he would be dead by now”. If he can’t get justice from the law, then he will have to make his own. This starts the build-up of tension, as we believe we can uses what will happen next.
Then, just in case we were in any doubt, he tries to get out of promising not to harm Eddie, “ What do you say to me? : All right. : You won’t touch him. This is your promise. Maybe he wants to apologize to me. .” When asked for the first time, Marco lowers his eyes. He is avoiding eye contact; something you do when you’re not being entirely honest, as your eyes can easily give you away.
It also seems as though for him, not taking revenge would be morally wrong (“It almost seems he’s ashamed”). When he’s asked for a second time, he doesn’t even answer the question (notice the “slight pause”; A possible sign of him trying to think about how to get out of the situation). When he finally agrees, he stares away, as though what he just did was something extremely shameful. His body language gives him away, he doesn’t persuade Alfieri, and he certainly doesn’t persuade the audience.
To add even more to the anticipation of what’s to come, Alfieri himself seems unsure of what Marco will do, “Only God Marco ” First of all, there is his final, parting comment. He is reminding Marco that only God makes justice, and the fact that he has to repeat himself shows that he is not confident that Marco will stick to his promise. Then there’s the way in which he leaves the stage. The words “processional tread” remind us of a funeral; an omen of what’s to come.
Then the scene changes. We are with Eddie, who has obviously upset and distracted, verging on mad, “” As seen earlier on in the play, Eddie rocks when he is in a particularly unstable mental state, and last time, he hit Rodolpho just afterwards. This already tells the audience that something bad’s going to happen, but that’s not all; there’s also the way in which he rocks.
The word “surges” suggests that every so often, he pushes quite hard, venting his anger. It shows how furious he is inside, but he doesn’t know how to let it out without resorting to violence, which also helps build tension with the audience. Beatrice knows how mad he is, “. The word “fear” tells us that we should watch out, as she probably isn’t afraid for nothing. She knows him really well, and if she’s afraid, it means he’s going to do something.