What makes the end of Act I so tense and dramatic? What differences are there between the end of Act I with the end of Act II? ‘A View From The Bridge’ is an elegant 20th century tale of love, betrayal, lawlessness, jealously and tragedy. The play is set in the 1950’s and is about the growing number of immigrants. Alfieri is a character in this play and he also narrates which is very unique. ‘A View From The Bridge’ is about a man called Eddie Carbone who is originally from Italy and is married to Beatrice with a foster daughter/niece called Catherine, of whom his is very protective.
The first sign of his protectiveness over his niece Catherine is when she is offered a job, out of her whole class, as a stenographer (typist). Eddie is not yet prepared to accept that Catherine is maturing and becoming an adult who should have her own independence. On the arrival of Beatrice’s cousins, Marco and Rodolpho, Eddie’s guardianship of Catherine becomes increasing protective as he notices the attraction between Rodolpho and Catherine. As the feeling between the two become more evident Eddie begins to get jealous and then becomes concerned about Rodolpho true intentions. Eddie finds out that Catherine and Rodolpho are engaged and will be getting married soon.
Eddie is dead set on stopping the wedding and thinks that Rodolpho is marrying Catherine only to get his citizenship in America. Eddie then goes to Alfieri (the lawyer) to pursue legal advice which will prevent the marriage giving the reason that he is an illegal immigrant. When Eddie discovers that he can do nothing to prevent the marriage his hatred builds up towards Rodolpho. Beatrice and Catherine, knowing the way Eddie feels towards the idea of letting go of Catherine, are constantly trying to make the atmosphere relaxed by conversing about the numerous countries and places that Marco and Rodolpho had been making light conversation about their experiences.
“They went to Africa once on a fishing boat” Rodolpho then cuts in the conversation by stating “Once we went to Yugoslavia.” The mood in the room at this point was calm and had a fair bit of jolliness. Eddie then gets hot headed knowing that they are having a relaxed conversation aggravates him greatly and he then says something that kills the mood and instantly Rodolpho responds in a sarcastic way hoping to cool the situation. Eddie however gets very angry and his temper is extremely tested as he uses the expression
“For Christ sake!” This is when the tension between Eddie And Rodolpho really becomes evident and there is obvious hatred by Eddie towards Rodolpho was growing rapidly. Beatrice trys to divert the attention away from Rodolpho and Eddie by asking Marco about his family and their life but to no avail. Eddie is on the edge and can’t resist so he steals the show again speaking his mind. “So free here” The narrator also says “he is pacing up and down”. This indicates that it is trying desperately to keep a lid no his emotions. Eddie then goes not directly speaking to anyone in particular but meaning to direct the statement at Rodolpho.
“You wouldn’t just drag off some girl without permission”. Eddie then states that Rodolpho is a bad influence on Catherine due to them staying out on the street until 12 O’Clock at night. He says this to try to convince Beatrice that this is a wrong move that Rodolpho has made to influence Catherine’s behaviour. Beatrice (who approves of Catherine’s and Rodolpho’s relationship) begins to defend them. Eddie becomes stressed and does not know what to do he then tries to persuade Beatrice again by saying Rodolpho intentions have changed since he met Catherine.
This annoys Marco as he says. “If he’s here to work, then he should work; if he’s here for a good time then could fool around!” “But I understand, Marco, that you was both coming to make a living for your family”. Eddie backs down quickly with this statement as he can see he has aggravated Marco. The situation would become more awkward by the events that followed. Catherine tries to change the mood to a happy and relaxed mood by playing music and dancing to lighten the atmosphere.
By doing this Catherine changed Rodolpho and Marco’s mood and calming the anger within them, but Eddie was obviously harder to convince and pacify this actually had him more upset seeing Catherine dance with Rodolpho. Eddie’s jealously starts as he sees Rodolpho dance with Catherine. The movement made Eddie sick. The audience can see Eddie’s frustration by his body language. The audience having seen the aggression has been teased and led to believe that a physical fight would has taken place in the middle of this scene.