Explore how the relationship between Catherine and Eddie changes over the course of the play.
At the start of the play we can see that Catherine is obedient and submissive to Eddie, this is demonstrated by stage directions such as ‘she turns to him’ and ‘she gets a cigar for him’. However at this point Beatrice is in opposition to him over Catherine taking the job at the plumbing company. So Catherine at this point is the one who is taking care of Eddie it seems, and by showing this Miller raises the question of whether actually Catherine is taking the role of a daughter in Eddie’s life, or the role of a wife. Her submissive attitude is shown also by the stage direction where Catherine ‘sits on her heels’ beside Eddie. But this quote also illustrates that Catherine is child-like and possibly slightly naive. Another example of where Eddie tries to control Catherine is when he doesn’t want her to take the job because he says it is in a bad part of town where he believes men will take advantage of her. This shows how Eddie is always worried about other men coming into Catherine’s life because he believes they will hurt her or take her away from him. We can see that Catherine looks to Eddie for approval, and also that his praise is extremely important to her, by the stage direction ‘Almost in tears because he disapproves’ which highlights the intimacy in their relationship, as well as just her dependence on Eddie’s opinion being positive. Eddie’s comment “you ain’t ‘all the girls’” demonstrates again Eddie’s protectiveness and also hints at the unnaturalness of their relationship. In this scene Eddie repeatedly calls Catherine “the Madonna” which shows that Eddie thinks that Catherine is pure and innocent, and this highlights why he is unhappy about her going into the ‘real world’; the fact that he does not want that innocence to be removed. Eddie also tries to justify his reluctance to let Catherine into the real world by saying, “Katie, I promised your...
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