A View from the Bridge

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Eddie Carbone Character Analysis

The tragic protagonist of the play, Eddie is a hard-working man who supports his wife Beatrice and his niece Catherine, whom he has raised like a daughter. He begins the play as a well-liked member of his neighborhood community, and has a strong sense of honor. His fatherly feelings for Catherine are gradually revealed to be an extreme, oppressive form of love: he doesn’t want her to grow up and has misgivings about her leaving the house. As the play develops, his affection for Catherine begins to seem more and more like an incestuous desire, as Beatrice hints several times, and then blurts out toward the end of the play, telling Eddie that he can’t have Catherine. When Beatrice’s illegal immigrant cousins move into his apartment, Eddie feels threatened and fears being pushed out of his position in his own home. In addition to his taboo desire for Catherine, Eddie may have other repressed desires. He is fixated on Rodolpho’s sexuality, constantly telling Beatrice and Alfieri that Rodolpho “ain’t right,” and in a (misguided) attempt to prove this, he forcefully kisses Rodolpho in front of Catherine. The real motivations behind this action are unclear, but given that Beatrice complains of Eddie not sleeping with her, there is a real possibility that Eddie is harboring other desires than for Catherine. By the end of the play, Eddie loses the respect of his own family and his neighborhood after reporting Marco and Rodolpho to Immigration Bureau, but is granted a modicum of dignity in his tragic death when Alfieri ends the play by assuring the audience that he still loves and mourns Eddie.

Eddie Carbone Quotes in A View from the Bridge

The A View from the Bridge quotes below are all either spoken by Eddie Carbone or refer to Eddie Carbone. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of A View from the Bridge published in 2009.
Act 1 Quotes

Listen, you been givin’ me the willies the way you walk down the street, I mean it.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Catherine
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

Eddie, a longshoreman, comes home one day and warmly greets his niece, Catherine, who is equally pleased to see him.

The two are very close, to an extent that becomes a source of discomfort later on in the play. Eddie is very protective of Catherine, and in this quote, he complains that her new skirt is too short and that she walks "wavy," or in a suggesting manner with her hips, when she walks down the street. Eddie disapproves of Catherine's "wavy" walk because it attracts the attention of men. Even though Catherine is seventeen years old and on the cusp of womanhood, Eddie is still thinks of her as "his" little girl. It is important to note in this quote that while Eddie doesn't like the attention Catherine gets due to her walk, he has clearly noticed it, too, revealing feelings for Catherine that go beyond that of a protective uncle and niece, and which are eventually noticed by Alfieri and Beatrice. 

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Katie, I promised your mother on her death-bed. I’m responsible for you. You’re a baby, you don’t understand these things.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Catherine
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

Catherine is an orphan whose parents died when she was young. Eddie and Beatrice, Catherine's aunt, promised the girl's parents that they would take care of her. A childless couple, they raised Catherine as if she were their own. 

Eddie is a very proud man who is insistent on his promises to people. In this quote, he tells Catherine that he knows what's best for her, and that he needs to protect her to the extent that he promised her mother on her death-bed. In this case, it means that he wants her to change the way she dresses and walks, because she's attracting the attention of men. Though Eddie urges Catherine that he knows best and doesn't want her to begin dating under the guise of his love as an uncle, it becomes clear throughout the play that he wants her to stay at home due to subconscious feelings of ownership and, to an implied extent, romantic love. 

Listen, they’ll think it’s a millionaire’s house compared to the way they live. Don’t worry about the walls. They’ll be thankful.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Marco, Rodolpho
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

Two of Beatrice's cousins, Marco and Rodolpho, arrive a week early on a ship from Italy. Beatrice is surprised at their early arrival, and is upset that she did not have time to cook and clean as she had planned.

In this quote, Eddie assures her that the two immigrant men will not notice that the walls haven't been scrubbed sparkling clean. Instead, they will be grateful to have landed in a land of opportunity, and to have a roof over their heads. It is worthy to note that before even meeting Rodolpho and Marco, Eddie has a sense that they are indebted to him because his home is sheltering them while they live and work illegally in America, in order to send money back to their families. Eddie knows that the men came to America only because they felt they had no other choice but to leave Italy and find work across an ocean. In a way, he takes advantage of their desperation, and approaches the men living in his home with the attitude that he, not America, is giving them the opportunity for a better life. 

Look, you gotta get used to it, she’s no baby no more.

Related Characters: Beatrice (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

When the family sits down for dinner, Catherine breaks the news to Eddie that she has been offered a job as a stenographer at a plumbing company, where she will earn $50 a week. Eddie immediately objects for a variety of reasons: that Catherine should stay in school (even though the principal set her up with the job, and would still allow her to take the exam to finish her courses at the end of the year), that the neighborhood in which she will work is too dangerous (even though it is one block from the subway, and no more dangerous than Red Hook, where they live), and that Catherine is too young to go to work (even though she is almost eighteen years old, and would bring home $50 a week, a significant sum of money for the family working to make ends meet). 

In this quote, Beatrice sticks up for Catherine, and eventually convinces Eddie to let Catherine go to work. She knows firsthand how overprotective Eddie is of his niece, and also knows that she is Catherine's only advocate in achieving her freedom outside of the home. Beatrice also senses Eddie's affinity for Catherine, one that goes beyond the bond of uncle and niece, even one between an uncle who has been the father figure for a niece. Beatrice's insistence that Eddie allow Catherine to work and get out of the house is, to an extent, self-serving; if Catherine is not around as much, and works to make Eddie see she is no longer "his baby," then Beatrice can be the number one woman in Eddie's life for the first time in years. 

Eddie:
There was a family lived next door to her mother, he was about sixteen—

Beatrice:
No, he was no more than fourteen, cause I was to his confirmation in Saint Agnes. but the family had an uncle that they were hidin’ in the house, and he snitched to the Immigration.

Catherine:
The kid snitched?

Eddie:
On his own uncle!

Catherine:
What, was he crazy?

Eddie:
He was crazy after, I tell you that, boy.

Beatrice:
Oh, it was terrible. He had five brothers and the old father. And they grabbed him in the kitchen and pulled him down the stairs—three flights his head was bouncin’ like a coconut. And they spit on him in the street, his own father and his brothers. The whole neighborhood was cryin’.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Catherine (speaker)
Page Number: 17-18
Explanation and Analysis:

Prior to Marco and Rodolpho arriving at the house, Eddie and Beatrice tell Catherine the cautionary tale of a boy who informed Immigration officers that there was an illegal immigrant, his uncle, living in their house. They do so in order to warn her not to do anything to bring attention to the two illegal Italian immigrants they are soon to have live in their home. This story illustrates the pride that Red Hook residents have in their blood relatives, and the collective horror and shame that the neighborhood feels when someone betrays one of their own. Though the concept of justice is palpable throughout the neighborhood, as Alfieri notes in his opening monologue, it is a kind of vigilante justice rather than one that aligns with the actual law (which would approve of the arrest of an illegal immigrant). This anecdote illustrates how protective each family feels for its members, and the shame and disappointment thrust upon anyone, even a young boy, who betrays it (as Eddie himself will later).

Beatrice:
The girl is gonna be eighteen years old, it’s time already.

Eddie:
B., he’s taking her for a ride!

Beatrice:
All right, that’s her ride. What’re you gonna stand over her till she’s forty?

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Catherine, Rodolpho
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

Rodolpho and Catherine frequently stay out late at the movies, a new development that makes Eddie upset. He claims he worries for her safety, but Beatrice knows it is due to his unusual affinity for Catherine. 

In this quote, Beatrice repeats her refrain to Eddie that Catherine is a grown woman, and is allowed to make her own choices, including what men she associates with and where she spends her evenings. Eddie refutes Beatrice's claim that Catherine is perfectly safe with Rodolpho, and states that he believes Rodolpho is only expressing a passing interest in Catherine until he marries her and acquires American citizenship. Beatrice tells Eddie that that is Catherine's choice. This is clearly true, but as a statement it's likely also self-serving for Beatrice: if Catherine marries Rodolpho, then she will be out of the house, and Eddie will be forced to stop doting upon her. This will make Beatrice less uncomfortable about Eddie's interest in his niece, and will also shift Eddie's attention back to her, his wife. 

Alfieri:
Is there a question of law somewhere?

Eddie:
That’s what I want to ask you.

Alfieri:
Because there’s nothing illegal about a girl falling in love with an immigrant.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Alfieri (speaker), Catherine, Rodolpho
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

Fed up with his inability to convince Catherine that Rodolpho is up to no good, Eddie goes to Alfieri to see if the law can intervene in what seems to be the impending marriage of Catherine and the immigrant. 

In this quote, Alfieri fails to give Eddie the answer he seeks. He informs Eddie that there is nothing illegal about Rodolpho and Catherine falling in love with each other. The only way in which the law can object to the situation is that Rodolpho is an illegal immigrant, although, of course, by marrying Catherine, he would be able to apply for citizenship. Though "sham marriages" are illegal, from every angle except for Eddie's suspicions, Catherine and Rodolpho are genuinely smitten with one another. Eddie's only recourse to split up Catherine and Rodolpho would be to give up Rodolpho's name to Immigration--an act that, in Red Hook, is considered to be one of merciless betrayal. 

We all love somebody, the wife, the kids—every man’s got somebody that he loves, heh? But sometimes . . . there’s too much. You know? There’s too much, and it goes where it mustn’t. A man works hard, he brings up a child, sometimes it’s a niece, sometimes even a daughter, and he never realizes it, but through the years—there is too much love for the daughter, there is too much love for the niece. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

During their talk, Alfieri tries to steer Eddie's emotions towards letting go of Catherine, rather than seeking legal action in order to break up the immigrant and his niece. 

In this quote, Alfieri subtly, though more explicitly than Beatrice, tells Eddie that his love for Catherine borders on inappropriate behavior. In plain terms, he is implying that Eddie's interest in Catherine goes beyond the love of an uncle who has been a father figure to his niece, and into the uncomfortable realm of romantic feelings for a younger female family member. Though Eddie has always claimed that his feelings of ownership for Catherine are really paternal instincts of protection, the fact that he is seeking legal recourse in order to separate her from a potential husband is concerning to Alfieri. Even as a third party who is not a part of the family, Alfieri can tell that Eddie's feelings for Catherine broach inappropriate--and potentially illegal--sentiments. 

Act 2 Quotes

Don’t, don’t laugh at me! I’ve been here all my life. . . . Every day I saw him when he left in the morning and when he came home at night. You think it’s so easy to turn around and say to a man he’s nothin’ to you no more?

Related Characters: Catherine (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Rodolpho
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

When Rodolpho tells Catherine that she should no longer care what Eddie thinks of her, Catherine feels wounded. Beatrice and Eddie raised her as if she were their own when her parents died, and she feels indebted to them.

In this quote, she feels insulted that Rodolpho would be so dismissive of Eddie, who similarly took in two Italian immigrants that he had never met before. Though overly protective of Catherine to an uncomfortable degree, neither can deny that Eddie is hardworking and welcoming--at least, when his guests comply to his demands. Eddie is the only father Catherine has ever known, and though his doting upon her seems strange to outsiders, she has always been complicit in their bond. She feels confused about this budding relationship with a new man, especially since the only other man she has ever had such a bond with--Eddie--so vocally disapproves of the courtship. While Catherine longs to spread her wings and go out on her own, she feels massive guilt (largely due to Eddie's words) about denying the man who has given everything to her. It is due to this guilt and reluctance to leave that the separation between Eddie and Catherine is so painful and difficult for all members of the family. 

This is my last word, Eddie, take it or not, that’s your business. Morally and legally you have no rights, you cannot stop it; she is a free agent.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

After confronting Catherine and Rodolpho--and kissing both of them, to prove his ownership of Catherine and his belief that Rodolpho is a homosexual--Eddie goes to Alfieri, to beg him to find a reason to use the law to separate Catherine and Rodolpho. Much like their previous conversation, Alfieri refuses. In this quote, he firmly tells Eddie that Catherine is old enough to make her own decisions, and that Eddie has no agency over whom or when she marries. Eddie longs to find some way to prove that Rodolpho is a homosexual, and that he is only interested in using Catherine to get a green card, but Alfieri says there is no way the law can intervene in these suspicions. It is this conversation that prompts Eddie to take matters into his own hands, and to invoke the law the only way he can think of: calling the Immigration Office and informing them of two illegal immigrants living in his apartment. This is an act of desperation that comes from a place of extreme hopelessness and lack of control, and though it is "right" from a legal perspective, on any other level it is an act of betrayal. 

The law is only a word for what has a right to happen. When the law is wrong it’s because it’s unnatural, but in this case it is natural and a river will drown you if you buck it now. Let her go. And bless her.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Alfieri insinuates that the only way the law might intervene in the case of Catherine is if Eddie does something drastic to act upon his feelings for her. Even though he is not a part of the family and has not seen firsthand how attached to Catherine Eddie is, Alfieri can tell that Eddie's feelings of ownership for Catherine come from a place of romantic, not just paternal, love. Alfieri's hands are tied: he anticipates that something tragic will happen, and all he can do is to urge Eddie to let Catherine live her life as she pleases. He warns Eddie that these feelings of attachment and rage will only serve to hurt him, not hurt those whom he has hatred for. And by hurting himself, he will end up scarring those that he loves--namely, Catherine. 

That one! I accuse that one!

Related Characters: Marco (speaker), Eddie Carbone
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

After Eddie's outbust, Rodolpho and Marco move to an upstairs apartment in the same building, thanks to Beatrice's quick arrangements. Eddie realizes too late that two other immigrants are also living in the flat, and therefore will be caught by the Immigration Officers. The officers arrive and take the four immigrants away. No one is in doubt that it is Eddie who did this, and as Marco is being dragged away, he spits in Eddie's face. In this quote, he accuses Eddie of tattling on the immigrants in front of the whole neighborhood. As we know from Eddie's previous anecdote about the young boy who gave up a relative to Immigration, to betray family members squatting in the neighborhood in order to find work and send money back to their families is an unforgivable crime. By resorting to his last hope to involve the law in separating Catherine and Rodolpho, Eddie has in fact committed the worst crime that a Redhook citizen can commit in the eyes of vigilante law: betrayal. 

Alfieri:
To promise not to kill is not dishonorable.

Marco:
No?

Alfieri:
No.

Marco:
Then what is done with such a man.

Alfieri:
Nothing. If he obeys the law, he lives. That’s all.

Marco:
The law? All the law is not in a book.

Alfieri:
Yes. In a book. There is no other law.

Marco:
He degraded my brother. My blood. He robbed my children, he mocks my work. I work to come here, mister!

Alfieri:
I know, Marco—

Marco:
There is no law for that? Where is the law for that?

Alfieri:
There is none.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Marco (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Rodolpho
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

After being arrested by the Immigration officers, Alfieri meets with Marco and Rodolpho to discuss their options--of which, really, there are none. Alfieri agrees to bail them out on the condition that they don't immediately seek revenge on Eddie. 

In this quote, Alfieri's conversation with Marco mirrors his conversation with Eddie, in that he tells both men that there is no law to appease their hatred: Eddie for Rodolpho's courting of Catherine, Marco for Eddie's betrayal. The kind of justice that these men seek is the right to retain their pride, to retain something of which they, legally, have no right (Eddie's feelings of ownership over Catherine's life, Marco's residency in the United States as an illegal immigrant). The fervent sense of justice that the residents of Red Hook feel is one of pride and vigilante law. Alfieri, as a lawyer, is legally obligated to tell his clients what the law can or cannot do; as an immigrant and member of the Red Hook community for 25 years, he urges his clients not to commit crimes for the sake of revenge and pride. The robbery that both men claim is not a motive that would stand up in a court of law, nor should it fuel violence on the streets of Brooklyn. And yet, citizens of these streets often feel that when the law fails their needs, they must take matters into their own hands.  

Eddie:
Didn’t you hear what I told you? You walk out that door to that wedding you ain’t comin’ back here, Beatrice.

Beatrice:
Why! What do you want?

Eddie:
I want my respect. Didn’t you ever hear of that? From my wife?

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Beatrice
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

After Catherine and Rodolpho move out of Eddie's bottom-floor apartment and into a neighbor's flat upstairs, Eddie refuses to speak to them. On their wedding day, he refuses to attend as well, and forbids Beatrice to go.In this quote, Beatrice, fed up with Eddie's irrational anger, says she is going to go anyway. More than space from the couple, Eddie wants his pride back. By losing Catherine, whom he has come to see as his property over the years, he feels as if a part of himself has been "stolen" by Rodolpho. He has no reason for not wanting Beatrice to attend, except out of spite. He knows how much Catherine cares for them, but he feels that her love for him is not enough--if she truly cared for him, she would never leave the house, and would stay as his "paper doll" forever.

Catherine:
How can you listen to him? This rat!

Beatrice:
Don’t you call him that!

Catherine:
What’re you scared of? He’s a rat! He belongs in the sewer!

Related Characters: Beatrice (speaker), Catherine (speaker), Eddie Carbone
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

When Eddie refuses to attend Catherine and Rodolpho's wedding until Marco apologizes--and forbids Beatrice to attend as well--Catherine becomes very angry.

In this quote, she calls Eddie a "rat" in an outburst, referring to the fact that he "ratted" on Marco and Rodolpho to Immigration due to his jealousy for Rodolpho's relationship with Catherine. Though Catherine has thus far been reluctant to break ties with Eddie, due to the bond that they have had for the majority of her life, the Red Hook ideals of justice give her license to denounce her uncle in the wake of his betrayal. Just like with the anecdote of the boy who ratted out an uncle at the beginning of the play, the only time that it is communally acceptable to denounce and publicly shame a family member is if they betray another family member.

Beatrice, though initially encouraging of Catherine to become less close with Eddie, is very quick to defend her husband. This defense reveals the self-serving nature of Beatrice's conversations with Catherine, when she told her to grow up and encouraged her to get a job, get married, and leave the house. Beatrice has clearly felt competition with the young girl for Eddie's affection for years. Though she does not approve of Eddie's betrayal, the love and allegiance she feels for her husband will always come before anything--even the vigilante law that pervades Red Hook, and even before the niece she raised as if she were her own child. 

I want my name! He didn’t take my name; he’s a punk. Marco’s got my name—and you can run tell him, kid, that he’s gonna give it back to me in front of this neighborhood, or we have it out.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Marco, Rodolpho
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

Rodolpho tells Eddie that Marco is coming to the house, insinuating that it is in search of revenge. Though Rodolpho acknowledges that he, to an extent, disrespected Eddie by not asking him for permission for Catherine's hand in marriage, he also acknowledges that Eddie greatly betrayed him and his brother by giving them up to the police. 

In this quote, Eddie states that beyond refusing to accept Rodolpho's apology--or apologizing for his own actions--he wants Marco to apologize to him in front of the neighborhood. When Eddie says he "wants his name," he means that he wants his reputation back. In Red Hook vigilante law, betraying one's own relatives to the police is unforgivable. Eddie, however, feels as if something even more unforgivable has been done to him: the loss of Catherine. Despite feeling that he has been justified in his actions, here, Eddie wants Marco to publicly acknowledge that he and Rodolpho have done him wrong, so that the neighborhood won't think that he is a "rat" and treat him as such. 

Maybe he come to apologize to me. Heh, Marco? For what you said about me in front of the neighborhood? . . . Wipin’ the neighborhood with my name like a dirty rag! I want my name, Marco.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Marco
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:

As Eddie previously mentioned to Rodolpho, when Marco arrives at the house while on bail, Eddie tells him that he wants Marco to "give him his name"--to apologize to him publicly, so that his reputation can be restored. As news travels quickly in the community, all of Red Hook knows that Eddie Carbone gave up his relatives to the police--an unforgivable act that others will assume was done spitefully for the government payoff. Of course, the members of the Carbone household know that it was done vengefully so that Catherine would not marry Rodolpho, and thus escape from Eddie's clutches. In this whole ordeal, Eddie has not only lost Catherine and her trust to another man, but he has also lost his pride--something he wants Marco to give back to him. However, he knows that the furious Marco will not comply, and ends up provoking him into a physical fight. 

I confess that something perversely pure calls to me from his memory—not purely good, but himself purely, for he allowed himself to be wholly known and for that I think I will love him more than all my sensible clients. And yet, it is better to settle for half, it must be! And so I mourn him—I admit it—with a certain . . . alarm.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

As the framing device and "Greek chorus" of the play, Alfieri closes the play with a monologue, just as he opened it. After Marco kills Eddie with the knife that Eddie hoped to stab him with, Alfieri reminisces on the kind of man that Eddie was. Prior to the betrayal, he was commonly known as a good, hardworking man. Alfieri notes that Eddie was "himself purely"--though it was not good of him to have such strong feelings for Catherine, and to do what he did to Marco and Rodolpho, everything mad that he did was done for the passion of the love he felt. Alfieri insinuates that he will "love him more" than all of his "sensible clients," because though Eddie ultimately brought about his own death, his actions were largely fueled by too much love--until they were funneled into hatred. This closing commentary by Alfieri highlights the nuances of Eddie's character, as both the protagonist and the villain of the play--the man whose love ended up killing him. 

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Eddie Carbone Character Timeline in A View from the Bridge

The timeline below shows where the character Eddie Carbone appears in A View from the Bridge. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
...neighborhood of Red Hook in the 1950s, near the small apartment of a man named Eddie. A middle-aged lawyer named Alfieri comes on stage and addresses the audience directly. He says... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
...case that some ancient lawyer in Italy “in some Caesar’s year” would have dealt with. Eddie enters, and Alfieri introduces him to the audience as Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman who works... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie notices that Catherine is well dressed and has made her hair look nice. He asks... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine begins to get upset, and Eddie reminds her that he promised her mother as she was dying that he would watch... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Beatrice is nervous for her cousins’ arrival, but Eddie says that it will be fine, as long as the cousins “know where they’re gonna... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
As the three prepare to eat dinner, Catherine shares her news with Eddie. She has gotten a job as a typist at a plumbing company, having been picked... (full context)
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie tells Catherine her hair makes her look like “the madonna type.” He relents and tells... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie and Beatrice tell Catherine the story of a nearby boy who “snitched to the Immigration”... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Catherine says she is supposed to start work the next Monday, and Eddie wishes her luck, with tears in his eyes. He jokes that he “never figured on”... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
A man escorts Beatrice’s cousins, Rodolpho and Marco, to Eddie’s apartment. Marco and Rodolpho enter the apartment and meet Beatrice and Eddie. Marco thanks them... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Eddie tells Marco and Rodolpho about the work they will have, on the docks. They talk... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...paper doll that I can call my own, a doll that other fellows cannot steal.” Eddie tells Rodolpho to stop singing, as it will alert neighbors that someone new is staying... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
.... . there was a trouble that would not go away.” The play resumes following Eddie and his family a few weeks in the future. Eddie is waiting impatiently for Catherine... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Eddie asks Beatrice if Catherine has said anything about Rodolpho, and Beatrice says that Rodolpho is... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie says that Marco “goes around like a man,” in contrast to Rodolpho. He says he... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Eddie goes outside and talks with two neighbors, Mike and Louis, about Marco and Rodolpho. They... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie asks where Catherine and Rodolpho have been, wanting to make sure they haven’t gone to... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie asks Catherine if she likes Rodolpho. She says she does, and he warns her that... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine is upset, and insists that Rodolpho loves her. She runs into the apartment and Eddie follows her. Inside, Beatrice angrily tells Eddie to leave Catherine alone. Eddie walks outside, and... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...your own self more,” and encourages her to make her own decisions and not let Eddie order her around. Beatrice tells Catherine to stop acting like a little girl around Eddie,... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Beatrice tells Catherine that she needs to act differently and tell Eddie not to order her around, because if Beatrice tells him this, he will only think... (full context)
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Alfieri comes on stage and tells the audience that around this time, Eddie first came to him. He says that when Eddie came to his office, he looked... (full context)
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie says that Rodolpho is only interested in Catherine in order to become an American citizen,... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Eddie then tells Alfieri that Rodolpho “ain’t right.” Alfieri tries to get Eddie to be more... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie says that people on the docks call Rodolpho “Paper Doll” and “Blondie,” and laugh at... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Alfieri tells Eddie that sometimes there’s simply too much love in a man’s life and “it goes where... (full context)
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Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie gets up to go, and talks about how hard he has worked, going anywhere he... (full context)
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Eddie leaves, and Alfieri tells the audience that he knew then what would happen, but was... (full context)
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...money he has been able to save and send back to his wife in Italy. Eddie jokes that there must be “plenty surprises sometimes” when people return home to Italy and... (full context)
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Rodolpho assures Eddie that he has respect for Catherine and asks if he has done anything wrong. Eddie... (full context)
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Eddie says that the docks aren’t the place for Rodolpho to be working, and says he... (full context)
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Rodolpho grazes Eddie’s jaw, and Eddie tells him to try to block his punch now. Eddie lands a... (full context)
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Marco places a chair in front of Eddie and asks if he can lift it with one hand, from one of the chair’s... (full context)
Act 2
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Alfieri says that it is now the 23rd of December. Marco and Eddie are working, and Catherine and Rodolpho are alone at the apartment. Catherine asks Rodolpho what... (full context)
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Catherine tells Rodolpho she doesn’t want to stay here because she is afraid of Eddie. Rodolpho says they will move out once he is a citizen. Catherine asks if he... (full context)
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...the only thing they have that Italy doesn’t is work. Rodolpho asks why Catherine fears Eddie, and Catherine says that he was always kind to her, and she doesn’t want to... (full context)
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Catherine tells Rodolpho that she’s lived with Eddie her whole life, and asks, “You think its so easy to turn around and say... (full context)
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...“I don’t know anything, teach me, Rodolpho, hold me.” Rodolpho takes her into a bedroom. Eddie enters the apartment, drunk. He calls for Beatrice, and Catherine enters the room from a... (full context)
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Catherine tells Eddie that she has to leave, and Eddie says that she will stay, and that Rodolpho... (full context)
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Rodolpho is shocked and tells Eddie to stop. He says that Catherine will be his wife, and then lunges at Eddie.... (full context)
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Alfieri comes on stage and says that he next saw Eddie on the 27th. Eddie came into his office and Alfieri says his eyes “were like... (full context)
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Eddie says that Rodolpho “didn’t give me the right kind of fight,” and tells Alfieri that... (full context)
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Alfieri tells Eddie that someone was going to marry Catherine eventually, and says he should let her go.... (full context)
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Eddie says he doesn’t want Catherine to move in with Rodolpho and Beatrice gets upset. Eddie... (full context)
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Eddie says that a wife should believe her husband, and insists that Rodolpho “ain’t right.” He... (full context)
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Eddie starts to cry, and Catherine enters. Beatrice encourages Catherine to ask Eddie a question. Catherine... (full context)
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Eddie learns from Beatrice that two other illegal Italian immigrants are staying upstairs in the same... (full context)
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The immigration officers come in and look around. Eddie tells them, “we got nobody here.” The immigration officers go to search the other apartments... (full context)
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...with the officers, but they carry the immigrants away. Marco breaks free, runs up to Eddie, and spits in his face. Eddie lunges at Marco, but the officers break them up.... (full context)
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As the officers take the four immigrants away, Marco points at Eddie and says, “That one! I accuse that one!” Eddie tells Lipari that Marco is crazy,... (full context)
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...out until his immigration hearing, but only if Marco promises not to seek revenge on Eddie. Marco says that in Italy Eddie would be dead by now for what he did.... (full context)
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Marco says he cannot promise not to kill Eddie, as this would be dishonorable. Alfieri says that as long as Eddie obeys the law,... (full context)
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The play then jumps to the day of Catherine’s wedding. At Eddie’s apartment, Beatrice is getting ready for the wedding and tries to convince Eddie to attend.... (full context)
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Catherine calls Eddie a rat and says he belongs in the sewer. Beatrice tells Catherine to stop saying... (full context)
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Rodolpho tries to tell Eddie that they can still be “comrades,” and Eddie says he wants Marco to apologize to... (full context)
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Beatrice says she is just telling the truth, as Marco arrives. Eddie goes outside to meet him. Rodolpho begs Marco not to kill Eddie, and Beatrice tells... (full context)
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Eddie approaches Marco and calls him a liar. Marco hits Eddie and calls him an animal.... (full context)
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Eddie calls out for Beatrice, and Beatrice and Catherine hold Eddie up. He dies in Beatrice’s... (full context)