Eddie has maintained his family through life and this fact has made him overprotective and suspicious of anyone who may come between them, especially Catherine. Eddie’s feelings for Catherine are clearly indicated in quotations such as ‘he envelops her with his eyes.’ This desire is hidden from many of the other characters but the fact that this is strong enough to ultimately make Eddie betray his family by reporting Rodolpho and Marco to the immigration police reveals how destructive and obsessive desires like this can be as they blind Eddie. The theme of betrayal is seen by this act of Eddie, blinded by jealousness.
Another disturbing effect of desire is the way that it can turn women into possessions of the men who are obsessed with trying to control them. When Beatrice asks ‘When am I going to be a wife again?’ it is clear that one of her roles in her relationship with Eddie is to have an active sexual life. At the moment they are not sleeping together. This lack of sex could indicate the lack of desire Eddie feels for Beatrice as he is clearly obsessed with Catherine.
However, the most powerful expression of desire and obsession has nothing to do with women. In my opinion is the obsession that men have with honor and moral justice. Eddie repeatedly exclaims ‘I want my name’ just before his fight with Marco at the end of the play and the repetition exemplifies the need he has to defend his reputation in Red Hook after Marco spat in his face and accused him of being a traitor and murderer following his arrest.