Another character is shown in parallel to Eddie Carbone. She is Beatrice and his wife. From her actions, the reader can infer that there is a patriarchal society within the family as she is the mere housewife and she does everything that is asked of her. She is the most practical person out of the three and it is evident that she wants to enjoy her life to the fullest. Eddie describes her as having ‘too big a heart’. She is a prominent character in the sense that she can be assertive and provocative at the same time.
In the argument of whether or not to send Catherine to work, Beatrice consistently opposes Eddie and thinks that she is right, ‘BEATRICE: (with sympathy but insistent force)’ clearly shows her character that she is persistent and assertive as she believes that this would be beneficial to Catherine and that perhaps with Catherine gone Eddie’s feelings towards Catherine would deteriorate.
Beatrice also plays a key role in provoking some of the plays most tense moments and dramatic scenes, such as when she says ‘When am I gonna be your wife again?’ here she creates one of the most tense scenes in the play because she has offended Eddie’s manhood and crushed his pride, which Eddie is very protective and sensitive about.
In this example we see that Beatrice is in fact quite a strong-willed, resilient character with a good sense of right and wrong. Through this perspective, it can also be inferred that Beatrice is the one who ties the family together justifying the morally righteousness and also carried justice with her.
This can be said when she tells the story of Vinny Bolzano. She doesn’t appear to be telling this story with any bias, however, she is frank about it and by her words she demonstrates the values of the family and the consequences that lie if anyone snitches. ‘Three flights his head was bouncin’ like a coconut’, shows to the reader that she conveys a factual image and that just because Catherine is immature, Beatrice doesn’t want to simplify the story, but to tell the true facts.
Beatrice is important in some of the conflicts between Catherine and Eddie, as she is the first to realise that there is a situation and attempts to separate Eddie and Catherine, she does this in many ways such as when she warns Catherine saying that ‘you can’t act the way you act’, as Catherine has been acting inappropriately around Eddie like ‘You still walk around in front of him in your slip’. Beatrice is the character who creates doubt in Catherine’s mind towards Eddie’s fatherly love and how inappropriately excessive it is.
She is also the character who warns Eddie of Catherine and from her wordings a dark message can be brought up by the excessive love of Eddie towards his niece, which is more than normal for a man to like his niece. She likes to be the mediator among both of these characters and understands that unless she is not there, there is chaos in the house. Therefore only being the housewife can be a little too much for her sometimes. Catherine is very nai?? ve, in terms of her actions and the way she portrays herself, to Eddie especially, and the new guests.
It can be seen that when she says, ‘(wondrously) How come he’s so dark and you’re so light, Rodolfo? ‘ It can clearly be seen that she has been kept inside and hasn’t had a wider exposure of the world outside. This could be due to Eddie’s over-protectiveness and the fact that he doesn’t want people being attracted to her. This could eventually mean that Eddie would lose her and not maintain as “his own”. She has grown up in a warm nurturing environment and so has grown into a very innocent and open character.
By the tone Catherine uses she blatantly shows that she has already developed a preliminary type of attraction towards Rodolpho. Judging from the text in where Beatrice says ‘Was there ever any fella’ he liked for you? ‘ we can see that Catherine’s previous relationships have been prevented from going very far most probably by Eddie. Catherine is therefore very inexperienced with relationships and shows this in her not very subtle approach to Rodolfo and how clearly known she makes her feelings for him.
During the beginning of the play Catherine is heavily influenced by Eddie’s thoughts and feelings, as when he tells Catherine that she shouldn’t take the job as a stenographer; if he had not changed his mind then it is most probable that Catherine would not have taken the job by the stage directions that follow her reactions, ‘Catherine lowers her eyes’. We see that Catherine is very warm and compassionate, as even after Eddie has rejected Rodolpho and hurt her feelings deeply, she still finds it difficult to reject Eddie ‘you think it’s easy to turn around and say to a man he’s nothin’ to you no more?
‘ In the end, it can be easily seen that Catherine is quite emotionally attached towards Eddie and she respects him, whatever his decision to any proposal that Catherine makes to him. To conclude, Act One of A View From The Bridge, is very detailed into posing the three characters that feature prominently from the mixed feelings of Eddie towards Catherine and Beatrice who is persistently wanting to get her message across for the good of everyone. She has a sense of what is morally just and unjust and conveys this through her words – she wants Catherine to be more independent than what Eddie wants.
She is a distinct member of a patriarchal society as it can be seen her normal role on a day-to-day basis is of a housewife and that following all what Eddie has demanded of her. Eddie is a much more demanding character and very controlling. He considers his image very strongly and wants all men to have all the masculine qualities like himself. Especially, Rodolfo who he is disgusted by and poses all the opposite characteristics of a man, he wants to keep his niece away from him.
This manly character of his makes everyone think that he is a very prideful person. Catherine on the other hand is very nai?? ve and inexperienced. By her modesty, it is blatantly seen that she has been kept inside the house a lot and that she hasn’t had much exposure outside. She is also emotionally attached towards Eddie, however, Eddie’s much stronger feelings towards her are unaware by Catherine. Overall, the family is presented as a normal family in America with opposing characteristics of each family member.