The Play “A View From The Bridge” by Arthur Miller is set in the 1950s in Brooklyn, America in a small cramped apartment, focusing the audience’s attention on to the tension in this household. It is a tragedy about an Italian American man called Eddie Carbone. It is a story of self destruction that Miller suggests is inevitable when a strong man like Eddie defies the standards of what his culture holds to be right and wrong. Eddie and his wife Beatrice have brought up Beatrice’s niece Catherine.
Catherine is now old enough to go out for work. Eddie is very protective over her and is reluctant to let her go out for work. When Beatrice’s cousins Rodolpho and Marco arrive as illegal immigrants, Catherine falls in love with Rodolpho. Eddie becomes jealous as Catherine moves further away from him but never admits it. Throughout the play Eddie tries to destroy Rodolpho and as a final desperate measure he betrays him and his brother to the authorities. In his community this is unforgivable.
Marco is so mad that he finally kills Eddie before he is deported. The play ends with everyone losing something. I found it very difficult to decide who I felt most sympathy for in the play because ultimately, everyone lost something. Eddie dies a sad broken man. Beatrice weeps over the loss of her husband. Rodolpho and Catherine are sorry for Eddie’s death and Marco is deported and loses his goal of earning money to send home. Eddie is a strong, impulsive man. He acts by instinct and prejudice.
He is convinced just by looking at Rodolpho that he is a homosexual and unfit to marry his niece, whom he is over protective of. This becomes clear in his conversation with Alfieri about Rodolpho. Eddie says, “he ain’t right” and he also says, “He’s a blonde guy. Like… platinum. ” Eddie thinks that Rodolpho is homosexual just because he has blonde hair. He suggests that Rodolpho is weak when he says, “I mean if you close the paper fast – you could blow him over,” showing how he believes Rodolpho is not ‘manly’ enough to marry his niece.
In his mind he neither understands nor admits his true feeling towards Catherine. Alfieri confronts him about this, “She wants to get married, Eddie. She can’t marry you can she? ” Eddie is shocked by the suggestion and replies ‘furiously’, “What’re you talkin’ about, marry me! I don’t know what the hell you’re talkin’ about! ” He refuses to admit that his feeling for Catherine is more than fatherly. To him, Alfieri’s suggestion is absurd and unacceptable. In fact, he is only lying to himself and pushing himself one step closer to his own demise.