Act 1

Alfieri, a lawyer, explains his life story and describes his Red Hook neighborhood. Eddie goes up to his apartment and meets with his niece, Catherine, as well as his wife, Beatrice, who announces that her cousins have landed from Italy after being smuggled over. Marco and Rodolpho arrive at Eddie’s home and discuss their dreams for living in the U.S.

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Act 1 (Continued)

While Catherine and Rodolpho go to a movie, Eddie discusses his apprehension toward their relationship. Eddie goes out and meets Louis and Mike who commend him for taking in Marco and Rodolpho. When Catherine and Eddie are alone, he again expresses his anxieties. Beatrice tells Catherine that she must make her own decisions about marriage. Eddie visits Alfieri to ask if there is anything he can do to prevent Catherine from marrying Rodolpho, but Alfieri tells him to let Catherine go. 

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Act 1 (Continued..)

Rodolpho and Eddie discuss their views on women in America, and Eddie expresses his displeasure with Rodolpho for going out too much and not working enough. Eddie asks Rodolpho to box with him.

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Act 2

Catherine and Rodolpho discuss the possibility of marriage, with Catherine revealing her fear of how Eddie will react. Eddie arrives home drunk and orders Rodolpho to leave, and after kissing Catherine, he pins Rodolpho down on the ground and kisses him. Eddie calls immigration on Marco, Rodolpho, and two other immigrants, who are all sent to jail. Alfieri bails Marco and Rodolpho out, and though Rodolpho will marry Catherine, Marco will be deported. On the wedding day, an altercation between Eddie and Marco transpires, leading to Marco stabbing Eddie, who dies in Beatrice’s arms. 

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