A View from the Bridge - Notes

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  • Topic: Irrationality, Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn
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A View from the Bridge - Notes

“Just remember, kid, you can quicker get back a million dollars that was stole than a word that you gave away.”

Eddie speaks this quote in Act I, while eating dinner with Beatrice and Catherine. This quote reveals the irony and madness of Eddie's character. In the beginning of the play, Eddie tells the story of a young boy who called immigration on his relatives. Eddie lectures Catherine about how they must tell no one about Marco and Rodolpho, the illegal immigrant cousins the family will be hiding. However, in the end of the play, Eddie obviously calls Immigration on these cousins, just like the boy. Miller sets up Eddie so vehemently against betrayal that his transition to the betrayer seems illogical. The set-up requires Eddie to undergo a drastic change, if not complete breakdown, within the play to make such a transition. The force of this transition reveals no only his self-destructive madness, but the deepness of his unspoken love for his niece. This quote also reveals that Eddie knows his own fate—he knows what will happen to him, but cannot escape his fate. Much like Alfieri, Eddie watches himself make decisions he knows will not only ruin his reputation in the community, but also possibly kill him. Eddie may know the consequence of what he does, but remains powerless or too mad to stop it.

“His eyes were like tunnels; my first thought was that he had committed a crime, but soon I saw it was only a passion that had moved into his body, like a stranger.”

In this quote, found in Act I, Alferi describes Eddie's appearance at their first meeting, to the audience. Alfieri almost seems to fear Eddie as a paranormal beast, a remnant of the great Greek or Roman tragedy. Alfieri truly believes that Eddie was possessed with, "passion that has moved into his body, like a stranger," and was unable to control him. The passion that Alfieri describes is the passion for his niece Catherine. The passion, unreleased and suppressed in his unconscious was a stranger to Eddie's conscious self that actively denied any thoughts of incest or otherwise. This quote also reveals the style of Alfieri. Alfieri tells the tale of Eddie Carbone as if he is a legend. Eddie is described with dramatic and literary descriptions that are unusual in the dramatic form.

“Eddie: Then why—Oh, B.! Beatrice: Yes, yes! Eddie: My B.!”

This quote occurs at the conclusion of the play and is spoken between Eddie and Beatrice. As Eddie lies dying in Beatrice's arms, the couple finds some sort of reconciliation and repair of their torn and battered relationship. Beatrice, even under such horrible circumstances, is able to forgive Eddie. Eddie constantly dominates Beatrice throughout the play, but in this tiny moment Eddie needs Beatrice more than she needs him. It is the first time the audience hears that Eddie needs and it is the first time that he honestly needs Beatrice. Beatrice is the tirelessly forgiving character of the play. She is terribly jealous of her niece, who receives more attention from her husband than she does, but still forgives Eddie in the end. This final scene was one of the major alterations of the revised script of A View from the Bridge. In the original version, Eddie dies at the feet of Catherine. However, because of Beatrice's increased presence in the revised version and downscaling of the relationship between Eddie and Catherine—Eddie must return to Beatrice. Beatrice is the only female who, in the end, needs him. Catherine, now beyond his control, no longer seeks his approval. Thus, Eddie is drawn to Beatrice and for the first time he seeks out Beatrice, her forgiveness and love.

“Beatrice: You want somethin' else, Eddie, and you can never have her!”

This quote, spoken by Beatrice in the conclusion of Act II to Eddie, is the first time that Eddie seems to realize his true feelings for Catherine and recognize his own madness. Until this moment, no one has directly spoken about...
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