How Does Miller Dramatise the Downfall of Eddie Carbone?

Topics: Illegal immigration, Jealousy, Tell Pages: 7 (2804 words) Published: February 25, 2008
Author: Sadeer Nasser 

How does Miller dramatise the downfall of Eddie Carbone?
Eddie Carbone is the protagonist of the play. He is forceful, hard working and possessive of Catherine. However, he does show generosity and warmth especially when Marco and Rodolpho come into the country. Eddie is a simple man who has little interests outside of work and family; he is too protective of Catherine always laying down laws for her and expecting her to obey him. As the play develops Eddie is finding it more and more difficult to accept that Catherine is growing up this leads Eddie to change to a more aggressive, angry and jealous person leading to his eventual death. The obvious reason for Eddie's death was that Marco was outraged with Eddie because he informed the information bureau about Marco and Rodolfo being illegal immigrants. Technically, Eddie is wholly to blame as it was his decision to tell the immigration bureau. However Catherine and Rodolfo didn't help make the situation any better by their actions throughout the play. As the play starts Carbone endows his fatherless niece so much attention, Catherine relishes in this and pleasures in hearing it for Eddie's mouth. As soon as the cousins arrive Catherine matures but she still continues to obey Eddie's instructions. Rodolfo listens to Catherine's first words ‘you are married too? No' this shows Catherine interests in Rodolfo and the ambition to find more about him, Catherine instantly answers the question she's just asked which implies that she hopes Rodolfo is not married like Marco. From this point Miller shows us Eddie's jealousy becomes clear which makes his relationship with Catherine to develop ambiguously. As the play progresses towards the end of the first act, Catherine and Rodolfo start to go out. As result Catherine and Eddie discuss Catherine's feelings towards Rodolfo. ‘Yeah. I like him' what Catherine announces during this conversation. Eddie is amazed by Catherine's straightforwardness and as he dislikes Rodolfo, he makes his judgement to convince Catherine that Rodolfo is only 'bowing to his papers' however she is discomforted by this opinion. Throughout the play, Miller deliberately makes Eddie and Catherine's relationship to change into more distant relationship, simultaneously Rodolfo's relationship with Catherine strengthens. In act two, Eddie shows his jealousy of Catherine's relationship with Rodolfo when he kisses Catherine to show he can control them. When Eddie ‘kisses her on the mouth' Rodolfo tells Eddie to ‘Have respect for her'. Eddie doesn't like this and shows it when he ‘pins his arms, laughing, and suddenly kisses' Rodolfo. A pivotal moment is when Eddie rings the immigration bureau as when Catherine finds out that he has betrayed the immigrants she stares at Eddie in ‘a realized horror' and is furious at him for doing this. The next time she sees Eddie she calls him a ‘rat', from this the audience can see that Catherine has absolutely grown up and no longer worries about Eddie's opinions. Rodolfo is a crucial character as his arrival is what makes Catherine change. Beatrice is also an important character as she makes Catherine see that her relationship with Eddie isn't right but Catherine is ‘moved at the prospect'. Overall, their relationship begins by being very close and ends up being distant and spiteful as Eddie is unable to portray his emotions. Catherine enjoys the way Eddie behaves towards her but she changes when Rodolfo arrives. Catherine's relationship with Rodolfo grows which results in her relationship with Eddie deteriorating. Moments before Eddie dies Catherine is feeling hatred and anger towards Eddie but she tells Eddie ‘I never meant to do nothing bad to you'. This could be understood by the audience as Catherine admitting that she regrets some of her actions and partly blames herself for Eddie's death. The illegal immigrants arrive, Carbone greets them nicely however the audience can tell using the speech...
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