Alfieri tells Eddie, ‘There is too much love’ and ‘To let her go.’ Discuss this Statement and it’s Consequences. “A View From the Bridge”, written by Arthur Miller, is a play set on the edge of New York City in the 1940’s by the docks. The characters live in an Italian community by Brooklyn Bridge. They do low-paid work, usually as long-shore men, and live in the shabbiest houses around. The main characters are the Carbone family, consisting of Eddie, the main character, Beatrice, his wife, and Catherine, their adopted daughter. Eddie and Beatrice immigrated to America as youths in hope of better living and new work, “the American Dream”, as did many Italians. The community they live in is tight and stick to strict Italian traditions from their native country.
Eddie and Beatrice are both second generation Italians and speak in conversational Brooklynese, “Turn around, lemme see in the back.”, “You’ll never get nowheres……school.”, which shows their lack of education, unlike their orphaned niece, Catherine, who is clever and talented. The play is based around three relationships between: Rodolfo is also an Italian immigrant, who comes to join the Carbone family during the beginning of the play along with his older brother Marco. They come to America in hope of earning money to send home to Marco’s wife and children. Catherine and Rodolfo immediately fall in love which causes Eddie great fatherly concern. The tension in the household mounts dramatically. In my opinion this point is the “trigger in the play.
The play begins with an opening speech from a man called Alfieri. Alfieri is Eddie’s lawyer. He comes across to me as a thoughtful, good humoured, well-educated man who Eddie respects greatly. He is also from an Italian origin. The opening speech immediately indicates a tragic ending, Alfieri tells us, “as powerless as I, and watched it run it’s bloody course.” The audience would feel some sympathy for Eddie, a father figure, who may only want what is best for his daughter, or so he tries to convince himself.
It is obvious from the start of the play that there is a strong, loving relationship between Eddie and Catherine. Catherine repeatedly asks Eddie, ” you like it?” which shows that she thinks a lot about Eddie’s opinion, which shows great respect for her father. Most fathers are protective towards their children, this is natural, but Eddie’s concern over Catherine comes to the point of being obsessive. ” Why didn’t you ask me before you take a job?” He is trying to tell her what to do all the time, but he needs to realise that she is growing up and needs to make decisions of her own.
Beatrice repeatedly tries telling Catherine to let Eddie go, “you gotta be your own self more”, “you think you’re a baby.” Beatrice can obviously see that Catherine and Eddie have become too close, and tries to correct it many times, mainly towards the end of the play, when it is too late. Catherine starts to understand Beatrice’s message and begins to spend more time with Rodolfo, but Eddie, however, has his mind made up and nothing will stop him from getting his “little girl” back, as pointed out by Alfieri, the ending is inevitable.
Eddie shows his first signs of his over-protectiveness towards Catherine in the first family scene of the play, when Catherine tells him that she has been offered a job. He responds with two phrases: His repeated use of I suggests that he plans to run Catherine’s life for her. Most parents would be proud of her achievement, maybe he was, or perhaps he just wants something better for her?
I feel, personally, that he was scared of seeing Catherine move away from home or move on in her life. Maybe he feels this way because she is his only child, I think he may have reacted differently if he had more children? Although Eddie doesn’t fully realise what he is doing to Catherine, Beatrice does. She warns Eddie, “you gonna keep her in the house all her life?” Beatrice is telling Eddie that she knows what he’s doing. In Eddie’s reaction, the stage directions say that Eddie is (insulted) This tells us that Eddie was surprised with that remark and can not see how over-protective of Catherine he is.