A View from the Bridge

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In the play A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller explores the unspoken laws of the Sicilian community and the codes of morality that are defined through Eddie’s inappropriate relationship with his niece Catherine. Eddie refuses to acknowledge or deflect his suppressed sexual desires for Catherine, which ultimately leads to his downfall. After being frequently warned by Mr Alfieri, Eddie remains unaware of the consequences that his passion could have not only on him, but on his relationship with his wife; Beatrice. Eddie also attempts to deter Catherine from Rodolpho, which ruins their relationship, and eventuates in the loss of his name and respect from the community. Eddie cannot confess to his inner passions for Catherine and among other factors, this leads to his downfall. Eddie Carbone’s lust for his niece is a source for much of the conflict in the play, and this is highlighted when she begins to be taken away from him. The uncontrollable “passion that had moved into his body, like a stranger” is noted by Mr Alfieri, yet he is powerless to stop Eddies desires for his niece; and has to watch the situation run “its bloody course” from afar. The inappropriate relationship between Catherine and Eddie is depicted by Miller in the scene where Catherine leans over Eddie and lights his cigar for him; which is a phallic symbol. After Eddie is pleaded with by Beatrice and Mr Alfieri to “let her [(Catherine)] go”, he still is desperate to keep her for himself, and is mentally confused to the point where he claims that Rodolpho is “stealing from [him]”. The disturbing sexual desires that Eddie has for Catherine drive him to be overprotective of her and ultimately lead to his downfall and the destruction of his marriage. Whilst the initial portrayal of Eddie is one displaying strong family values, his relationship with his wife suffers at the expense of his obsession with Catherine. Eddie gradually loses his grip on the things that he holds dear to...
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