Throughout this essay I will try to discover who or what is to blame for Eddies death. There are many possible answers, for instance; Eddie betraying Marco and Rodolpho, Marco’s honour, Eddie’s feelings for Catherine and the law being unable to intervene and many more. The question at a glance looks like it could be answered in a word however there are so many underlying factors that creep into the equation. By understanding the situation and keeping in mind that the play was set in the mid 20th century when attitudes towards things were different then I will come to a conclusion.
The play by Arthur Miller set in Red Hook in Brooklyn takes place in America in the Carbone household. Eddie, Beatrice and Catherine all live under the same roof in a poor part of the town. Near the beginning of Act 1, already we can see the dominance that Eddie possesses over Beatrice and especially Catherine. This is shown first, when Catherine seeks Eddie’s approval on the skirt she has recently bought. ‘You like it? ‘ questions Catherine, ‘I think it’s too short…
I don’t like the looks they’re giving you in the candy store. ‘ Eddie says this because he is attached to Catherine and wants her to be his possession which explains why he does not feel content at the thought of others looking at her. Eddie has a tendency toning of Act 1, already we can see the dominance that Eddie possesses over Beatrice abnd prevent Catherine from going out or communicating with others. Eddie succeeds in doing this as Catherine does not realise the long term damage this will cause her.
The fact that Eddie refers to Catherine as a ‘baby’ and a ‘Madonna’ and because Catherine rarely has the permission from Eddie to go out, she has not had the chance to develop or mature. Often, When Eddie speaks to Catherine, he uses a condescending tone, ‘I’m responsible for you, you’re still a baby, you don’t understand these things’. Rather than reacting angrily, Catherine defends herself “you sound like I’m goin’ a million miles! “. This infers that Eddie is capable of manipulating her and also shows his dominance.
The family seems to be functioning well and even though there is a few problems with Eddie not letting Catherine grow up it didn’t really seem to be that much of a surfacing issue. However this all changed when Beatrice’s cousins Marco and Rodolpho (nick named the submarines because they came to America on a boat). As soon as Rodolpho arrived Catherine was drawn towards him, which aggravated Eddie. Later when Eddie is speaking to Beatrice, we can see that he has developed a profound distaste for Rodolfo “he gives me the heeby-jeebies”.
Because of Eddie’s over protectiveness of Catherine and his urge to keep her from her independence, it makes him increasingly sensitive and threatened by Rodolfo’s presence. To find out who or what killed Eddie we have to look at all the possibilities. We know it was Marco’s hand that finally killed him, however is that the whole story, who was in the wrong? Did he deserve to die? Why did he die? All of these things come into it.