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A View from the Bridge

Arthur Miller

Act II

Act I (continued)

Act II, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

From his desk, Alfieri once again frames the action of the scene. It is the twenty-third of December and Catherine and Rodolpho are, for the first time, alone together in the house.

While Catherine cuts out a pattern of cloth, Rodolpho watches her intently. Catherine asks Rodolpho if he would still want to marry her if they had to move back to Italy. Rodolpho, indignant, tells Catherine that he would not marry her if they had to live in Italy. Rodolpho wants Catherine to be his wife and he wants to be a citizen; however, Catherine is wrong to think he would marry her just to gain citizenship. Rodolpho insists the only reason he wants to be an American is to have the opportunity to work, that is the only advantage. Catherine reveals that she is fearful of Eddie's reaction toward her marriage and Rodolpho eventually calms her. Catherine weeps in his arms and Rodolpho takes her to the bedroom.

Eddie, drunk and unsteady on his feet, appears below the apartment on the street. Eddie enters the apartment as Catherine walks out of the bedroom. Eddie sees Rodolpho also come out of the bedroom and instantly orders Rodolpho to pack up his bags and leave the house. Catherine moves toward the bedroom and tells Eddie that she is the one that needs to leave. Eddie grabs Catherine and kisses her on the mouth. Rodolpho tells Eddie to respect Catherine, his wife to be. Eddie taunts Rodolpho and Rodolpho lunges toward Eddie, but is pinned by Eddie. Laughing, holding Rodolpho's arms, Eddie suddenly kisses Rodolpho. Catherine tears the two apart.

Alfieri's office is once again lit on the stage. It is December 27 and Eddie has come once again to Alfieri's office for advice. Again, Alferi tells Eddie he must let Catherine marry Rodolpho; the law cannot help him. After leaving Alfieri's office, Eddie calls the Immigration Bureau and reports Marco and Rodolpho. When Eddie returns to the house, he finds Beatrice packing up Christmas decorations. Marco and Rodolpho have been moved upstairs to live with Mrs. Dondero. Beatrice and Eddie argue about their relationship and Beatrice tells Eddie that Catherine and Rodolpho are going to be married next week. Beatrice advises Eddie to give Catherine and Rodolpho his good word and even attend the wedding. Eddie refuses to talk to her and moves toward the door. As he does so, Catherine enters the apartment.

Catherine tells Eddie that the wedding is on Saturday and he can come if he likes. Eddie once again attempts to convince Catherine otherwise, but she is resolved. Eddie suddenly tells Catherine that she must make Marco and Rodolpho move. Eddie thinks it is unsafe for them to be living with Mrs. Dondero because she is housing two other illegal immigrants. As Eddie is speaking, the Immigration police appear outside the house. Catherine hurries upstairs to try and get Marco and Rodolpho out of the house before the police enter, but she is unsuccessful. Marco, Rodolpho and the two other immigrants are taken to jail. As they leave, Marco spits in Eddie's face. Alferi pays bail for Marco and Rodolpho, with a promise that neither will hurt Eddie in any way. Rodolpho will still marry Catherine and be an American, but Marco will be deported in a few weeks.

It is Catherine's wedding day and she is getting ready in her bedroom. Eddie still refuses to go to the ceremony and stubbornly sits in his rocking chair. Eddie has lost all respect in the community because he called Immigration on Rodolpho and Marco. Rodolpho enters the room to collect Catherine and Beatrice for the wedding and suggests that Eddie leave the room because Marco is coming, but Eddie refuses. Rodolpho apologizes for everything and even reaches to kiss Eddie's hand, but Eddie pulls it away. Marco appears outside the apartment and calls out Eddie' name. Eddie and Marco exchange words and Eddie desperately attempts to justify his cause in front of the crowd of community members that have gathered. Eddie tries to stab Marco, but Marco grabs his arm and turns the blade inward toward Eddie. Eddie dies in Beatrice's arms.

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