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A View from the Bridge

Arthur Miller

Act I (continued)

Act I

Act I (continued), page 2

page 1 of 2

Eddie telling Catherine to take off her high heels to the end of Eddie's first meeting with Alfieri


The lights once again focus on Alfieri, who offers a brief narration and commentary on Eddie Carbone and the events that follow. As a wise onlooker, Alferi reflects that the future is always unknown—normal men like Eddie Carbone do not expect to have a destiny.

Eddie stands at the doorway of the house, looking for Catherine and Rodolpho who have gone to a movie. Beatrice enters from the street and approaches Eddie. Beatrice tells Eddie to stop worrying and come into the house. When inside, Eddie tells Beatrice he is worried about Catherine's relationship with Rodolpho. Beatrice asks Eddie what is wrong with Rodolpho, and what he wants from him. Eddie responds that Rodolpho makes him feel odd—he has heard that Rodolpho sings on the ships and the men even call Rodolpho "Paper Doll." Eddie is particularly disturbed with Rodolpho's strange blonde hair. Eddie tells Beatrice he gets a general bad feeling from the boy and cannot understand why she does not feel the same. Beatrice responds that she has other worries, in particular, Eddie's sexual impotence. Beatrice and Eddie have not had a sexual relationship in three months. Eddie will not talk to Beatrice about the problem, and he only says that he is worried about Catherine.

Eddie goes outside for a walk and meets Louis and Mike along the way. Louis and Mike praise Eddie for keeping Marco and Rodolpho. They tell Eddie that Marco is a strong worker, but Rodolpho is a big joker on the ships. Louis and Mike burst into laughter when they talk about Rodolpho and tell Eddie that Rodolpho has quite a sense of humor. Rodolpho and Catherine finally return from the movie. Eddie is relieved to hear that Rodolpho and Catherine went to the Brooklyn Paramount, as he does not want Catherine hanging around Times Square. Rodolpho responds that he would like to go to Times Square to see the bright lights he had dreamed of since he was boy.

Rodolpho exits and Catherine and Eddie are left alone. Catherine wants to know why Eddie will not talk to Rodolpho. Rodolpho asks why Catherine will not talk to him. Catherine attempts to convince Eddie that Rodolpho likes him and that he should like Rodolpho. Eddie tells Catherine he is worried about Rodolpho. Eddie suspects that Rodolpho only wants to have a relationship with Catherine to get a green card and become an American citizen. Catherine will not listen to Eddie's accusations, exclaims that Rodolpho loves her, and rushes into the house sobbing.

When inside the house, Eddie shouts again that Rodolpho is no good, and leaves the house. Catherine and Beatrice are left alone. Beatrice is alarmed at Eddie's passionate fury and talks directly to Catherine. Beatrice tells Catherine that she is a woman and must make her own decisions about marriage. Beatrice also reminds Catherine that to be a woman she must act like a woman—she cannot walk around in front of Eddie in her slip or sit on the bathtub while he is shaving in his underwear. During the women's conversation, Beatrice suggests that Eddie might think she was jealous of Catherine, but assures Catherine she is not. The idea of jealousy between she and Catherine over Eddie is a great surprise to Catherine. Catherine vows she will try to be a woman make up her own mind, and finally say good-bye to her girlhood.

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