Arthur Miller’s “A view From The Bridge” is a story about a man called Eddie who because of his jealousy caused by his idea of manliness, through hostility and aggression led to his death. Rodolpho and Marco are brothers, illegal immigrants in Brooklyn New York. They went there to find work, Eddie housed them because of their family ties with his. Eddie thinks that a real man should be strong, tough and mean. The appearance of a man should be with dark features and big size. He thinks that a real man should be like him, the breadwinner who works hard, doing work that uses muscle and not much brain.
He perhaps also thinks that a man would always look at pretty woman in a sexual way rather than just another person. Catherine is his niece; she is the reason of his strong jealous feelings towards Rodolpho and it also made him express it. His jealousy is based on his feelings towards Cathrine. His feelings are more than just one of a fatherly figure shown by the way he is shy when she says hi to him. At the start of the play he is over-protective over Catherine but soon after Rodolpho appears it developed into possessiveness. He takes over as Catherine’s fatherly figure because her mother died and left eddie as her legal guardian.
Right before the cousins came, Eddie, Beatrice and Catherine had a discussion about Catherine getting a job. Eddie was ill at ease with the idea, he gave reasons that she is too young, still studying and that the location was a bad place. His view of a manly quality wanting more than just friendship is portrayed in this excuse, saying a “bad location” meaning with bad people in it. He is unconsciously trying to discourage the idea of Catherine growing up and turning into a workingwoman. Surprised by the amount of money she is going to get paid he was reluctantly persuaded to change his mind.
In a way to stop her turning into a woman he tries to separate her from Rodolpho as she has more mature feelings towards him rather than childhood friendship. Stopping Catherine growing up seems to be all what Eddie does when he speaks to her. Name-calling is also one of Eddie’s traits calling her “Garbo” among others. When Catherine was wearing a shorter than usual skirt Eddie uses this technique to dampen her spirits of growing up, he also does this when she wore high heels and uses this opportunity to accuses her of “walkin’ wavy”, saying she is not “one of the girls” so she should act differently.
Rodolpho is not what Eddie imagines a “real man” should be. He is blond and pretty, he can cook and also can sew dresses. To top that up he too can sing, and he can sing as high as a lady can as well. Appearance also is important according to Eddie, as being important, a real man should be dark if it was in his genes it would be o. k. But if that particular man happened to cook, sing and sew, that would be too “weird”. Eddie describes him, as “ain’t right “and” no good, he doesn’t trust him so Eddie and his little buddies call him names such as “Paper Doll”, “Danish”, “Blondie”, “Canary”, and “Parka”.
When Beatrice tries to confront him about his obvious dislike of him, he repeats his excuses of Rodolpho being “no good” and “ain’t right”. He also said that if you go into a house and looked for Rodolpho singing you would be looking for a she not a man. Beartice’s relationship has always been one of a wife. Eddie does not like to talk about the fact that they haven’t had sex in a long time. This in a way is also not a manly quality which maybe means that he is embarrassed and feels weaker as a man. Beatrice seems to be always taking Rodolpho’s and Catherine’s side as she could already figured out Eddie’s intentions from the start.
He pushes her aside a number of times and ignores her pleads of changing his attitude towards Catherine “I’ve told you a hundred times”. The conversation of Beatrice and Eddie about Rodolpho is important because it shows clearly what he really thinks about Rodolpho, one of the defends Beatrice gave is that maybe that’s how they do it in Italy, Eddie quickly and confidently points out that Marco is a hardworking, strong man the breadwinner, working hard to support his wife and sick children, and to add up to that Marco is also dark haired and big.
Marco also has a moustache; facial hair seems to play a big part of the perception of being manly. Marco one of the cousins, and Rodolpho’s brother defends Rodolpho and tries to stop Eddie from expressing his feelings, like when Eddie accuses Rodolpho of thinking that Eddie is a very free guardian towards Catherine taking her out till late, Marco is always trying to find out what is wrong and begs Rodolpho to change his ways. At the end of Act 1, Eddie teaches Rodolpho to box, but after a while things got a bit out of control and Eddie punches Rodolpho.
Marco seeing this and Eddie’s threat towards himself and his brother shows him how strong he really is by challenging Eddie to a kneeling on one knee and lifting a chair contest in which Marco excels and Eddie struggles. Eddie seems to be not very well educated as he seems to act before he thinks; although some very well educated men seem to act that way as well. But he has an advantage, as he being a workingman should be strong, growing up in the streets of New York full of gang warfare.
The mafia is also involved in bringing Marco and Rodolpho over. Putting a dream of the bright lights of the city in their head. Eddies excuse of being so unfortunate to have not been well educated, doesn’t mean that he has make such drastic decision of the termination of Rodolpho and later transferring his anger to Marco afraid of his real intention of keeping Catherine all to himself on the edge of being discovered by Beatrice, making him act towards the extermination of Marco and so leading on to his death.
Arthur having seen somebody in the same situation as Eddie thinks that this could achieve a great storyline being born by different ideas of the same principal. He obviously isn’t like Eddie as he wrote a book in which I think that Eddie would consider not very manly. Also if Arthur Miller were really like that he wouldn’t discourage his own behaviour by writing a book, which looks at how negative this point of view can result in. After having read the book we don’t really know what the three main men in the book really thinks. Except probably Marco because he has less of a suspicious motive to do what he did.
Rodolpho could have really not loved Catherine and could be planning to run away from her after gaining U. S. citizenship. Eddie could have desired more than what his relationship with Catherine had, turning his attention from Beatrice towards a younger more attractive looking innocent girl. Eddie walked into his death blindly not seeing it because of a built up frustration over a long period of time. He couldn’t predict what would happen and wasn’t able to assess his opponent Marco in such a short time give to release his anger.