Eddie Carbone was an Italian American longshoreman who lived in a small community near Brooklyn Bridge in New York. He was married to Beatrice, and they lived in Red Hook, a community that sheltered illegal immigrants.
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They lived with his niece Catherine whose parents were deceased. Eddie was a responsible member of the society who offered two of his nephews’ shelter because they were both illegal immigrant. He was the head of his family, and as such he protected his niece, and he catered for all her needs. He was a compassionate person because of having lived in poverty; he was willing to assist his nephews (Miller 2001).
He was a good person earlier in his life but this doesn’t last, and his unfriendly character was eventually discovered. This happened when his nephews arrived to live with him as illegal immigrants. The younger nephew felt affection towards Catherine and these feelings were reciprocated, and this angered Eddie. Eddie’s dislike of the relationship between Rodolfo and Catherine showed his vile nature this character was not desirable, especially towards his wife (Moss 2000).
It was also at this point where he noted that his concern for Catherine had gone overboard. Then his feelings for Catherine were exposed, and this was considered incestuous rather than protective of her. He was advised by his lawyer friend Alfieri to turn in his nephews; Marco and Rodolpho to immigration police. This occurred when Rodolpho declared his intention to marry Katherine, and she accepted. Eddie tried to poison her against marrying Rodolpho this act tarnished her view of her uncle (Gottfried 2003).
Eddie was an outstanding member of the society he offered help to his niece Catherine and also the immigrant nephews. He even declined to sabotage his nephews when he was first advised by his lawyer friend. He dutifully took care of his niece, and this concern got him in trouble for apparently falling in love with her. Despite his critical flaw in emotional judgment, he was a good person (Miller 2004).
Eddie happened to care for Catherine in a way that was not normal since they were related by blood. This overprotectiveness he could have controlled but made no effort to sync later on we learned that this affection grew. This affection caused him to report his nephews to the immigration authorities for not being citizens. He did this in a bid to deter Catherine from marrying Rodolpho by getting them deported. This decision caused Eddie public humiliation and family estrangement (Bigsby 2010).
Eddie’s bad judgment is brought to light when he said that he deserved Catherine’s affection since he had raised her for the twenty years, and if Rodolpho married her, he would have lost. His behavior in this incident showed how, despite being married, he publicly declared war on his nephew because of his affection for Catherine. This inappropriate situation made the neighbors’ fault his concern as a family man.
Eddie met his demise fighting with Marco who was avenging their betrayal. He stabbed him and caused his death in a confrontation in the street in front of Eddie’s house. Since Marco was regarded as the strongest, he challenged Eddie and won the proving that Eddie was weak (Gottfried 2003).
Eddie Carbone as a person, was a responsible head of his family who made sure he fulfilled his duties as a father. He led a life filled with poverty but never denied anyone from his family what he could offer. He had mishaps that led to his death; this character slips that he could not contain made him make choices that were selfish. He fell in love with his niece and took decisions after that caused a family scandal that portrayed him as a bad man (Bigsby 2010).
Bigsby, Christopher. The Cambridge Companion to Arthur Miller. London: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.
Gottfried, Martin. Arthur Miller, A Life. London: Faber and Faber (UK), 2003. Print.
Miller, Arthur. A View from the Bridge / All My Sones. London: Penguin, 2004.
Miller, Arthur. Introduction to Plays: One. London: Methuen, 2001. Print.
Moss, Leonard. Arthur Miller. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 2000.