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A View from the Bridge - Catherine

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sharkalinum
Words 2488
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Character development – Catherine

Catherine is 17 years old, orphaned daughter of Beatrice’s sister, she sees Beatrice as a mother and Eddie as a father. She sees herself quiet and nice. She is dutiful and loving to her elders. She is very attractive, energetic and cheerful. Yet she is also naïve, she has a sheltered life; she has never known anything of life outside the Carbone household. Naturally a high achiever, Catherine innocuously embraces opportunities for advancement. In “A view From the Bridge” Catherine takes a journey of self-discovery.

In the beginning, according to her speeches, Catherine mainly speaks in a dialect language. During the first part of Act 1 we can see that Catherine is excited and energetic, this can be explained by the stage direction “running her hands over her skirt”, Catherine sees Eddie as a father and she wants to show him her new clothes. Catherine has also affection for Eddie, “She sits on her heels beside him”, this tells us that Catherine loves Eddie and she respects him. Eddie is overprotective of Catherine and sometimes harsh but they have a good close relationship. “(Trying to joke out of his warning) I wish there was one guy you couldn’t tell me things about”, Catherine received a warning from Eddie but she is ignoring it, this shows that she knows Eddie well and she get on well with him, it also shows that Catherine gets frustrated when Eddie criticise every boys she likes, this foreshadows the story, especially the relation between Eddie and Rodolfo. Catherine sees Eddie as a father is 17 years old however she still acts and treated like a child. “Almost in tears because he disapproves” by using “almost in tears” we can see that Catherine is sensitive and childish, as readers this show to us that Catherine wants Eddie’s approval for everything she does, she is dependent. Catherine is treated like a child by her carers, “Go baby set the table”, the word “baby”, which is a metaphor, describes Catherine. This tells us that Beatrice has affection for Catherine, it also shows how Catherine is seen by Beatrice; a child. Eddie is overprotective of Catherine because he sees her as a child, “listen kid”. Catherine is treated both by Eddie and Beatrice like a child. In the beginning of Act 1, readers might be a bit concerned about the relationship between Eddie and Catherine; we don’t know whether Catherine is a daughter or a niece.

Later we could discover more characteristics of Catherine. We can see that Catherine is quite jealous, “We didn’t talk about me yet”. Catherine didn’t get the attention from Beatrice and Eddie; she wants to be the centre of attention because she is used to. This jealousy makes Catherine even more immature, it is almost like a child deprived of his toys she throws a tantrum reflecting her child-like mind. When the three characters were talking about Catherine we could see that she is also an opportunist, Catherine has been offered a job and she took It quickly, “And there’s a company who wants a girl right away”. Her character starts to develop a little bit as she has now become more assertive; she had started making her own decisions outside Eddie’s guidance. By saying this sentence we can see that she tries to get Eddie’s approval and tries to persuade him. By saying “a girl right away”, we can see that she is telling to Eddie that she wants the job, the “girl” represents Catherine. In this part we could also see discover that Catherine is ambitious, “I’m the best student in the class”, by using the adjective “best” we can see that Catherine is quite pretentious and ambitious, it also shows that she is an intelligent girl. Catherine is also a determined and motivated person, “There’s nothing more to learn, I just gotta practise… I’ll keep getting better, you see?”. “There’s nothing more to learn” shows how determined Catherine is and her willingness to work; she is ready to leave her education for her new job. “I’ll keep getting better, you see?” tell us that Catherine is quite self-confident and determined for the job. Catherine uses emotive language to get Eddie’s approval, she tries to persuade Eddie; she really wants the job. This shows that she knows how to get her own way, she is not exactly naïve. Her use of language tells us that Catherine can manipulate her carers to achieve her desires. Catherine is yet childish and immature but in this part we could see another side of her, this section corroborates that Catherine is quite grown because she wants a job; at the age of 17 she is ready for a profession.

Eddie is yet a father for Catherine however he has a more obvious relationship with Catherine. “Here I’ll light for you”, Catherine received Eddie’s approval for the job and then thanks him, this shows that she appreciate Eddie’s decision and she loves him. However, Catherine lights Eddie’s cigar, this action is unsettling but Catherine doesn’t mind that. She doesn’t mind because she sees Eddie as a father figure, but as readers we can see that this act is quite flirtatious and not exactly a typical father and daughter relationship but due to her own innocence Catherine does not pick up on this. This act makes Beatrice frustrated, worried and jealous. Later we hear she still stays in the bathroom when Eddie shaves; something that only children do. Catherine is too familiar with Eddie, Beatrice tells her not to wander round the apartment in her underwear, which saddens and shock Catherine. Beatrice starts to Catherine as an adult whereas Eddie still treats Catherine as a child. The comment of Beatrice will affect Catherine’s behaviour later on the story.

Eddie secludes Catherine from society. As the audiences we can infer that this may be the reason why Catherine’s character doesn’t really evolve or develop at the beginning as she is mainly controlled by Eddie and his affections towards her.

With the news of the cousins, Rodolfo and Marco, Catherine was happy, “claps her hands together”, we can see that she is excited with this news. Rodolfo and Marco come from Italy and they are illegal immigrants. Catherine spends most of her time in the Carbone household and she doesn’t really have a clue of the “outside world”, the cousins represent the world for her. These cousins become the spark of developing her character; they take out of her sheltered life, make her comfortable and show her other side.
Rodolfo is a light skinned, blond Italian, he likes to show off his skills and is distinctive. “(wondrously) How come he’s so dark and you’re so light, Rodolfo?”, by using the adverb “wondrously” the stage directions tell us that Catherine is attracted to Rodolfo. This also foreshadows the relation between Rodolfo and Catherine. She is so interested in Rodolfo that her behaviour towards Eddie changes a little bit, Catherine doesn’t listen to Eddie like in section 1, “What happened to the coffee?” unlike the first part Eddie has to repeat his orders several times. Catherine is pleasing Rodolfo instead of Eddie, her affections have shifted. The arrival of the cousins influenced Catherine’s character and behaviour towards Eddie
Catherine becomes attracted to Rodolfo more and more and she tries to attract Rodolfo and get his attention so she wore her high heels but Eddie is against this act, “What’s the high heels for, Garbo?”. “I figured for tonight”, because of Rodolfo Catherine is reluctant to take off her high heels when Eddie tells her to, she begins to find Eddie’s decisions annoying. “Embarrassed, now angered, Catherine goes out into the bedroom.” Eddie makes insecure comments about her appearance that knock Catherine making her angry. In section 1 Catherine acted as a child and she did what was expected by Eddie quickly without being angry, now she doesn’t do that. This is a direct contrast to how she was in the beginning. For example, in the beginning she wants Eddie’s approval for everything she does, right at the start she is desperate for him to admire her new skirt, now she does not want Eddie’s admiration but Rodolfo’s. She has become more assertive in her choices. As reader we now know that the cousins, especially Rodolfo changed the behaviour of Catherine, she is less secluded by Eddie so she is more “free”

Catherine is initially torn because her love of Rodolfo is at odds with her love for Eddie. She tries to encourage Eddie to talk to Rodolfo, “Why don’t you talk to him, Eddie? He blesses you, and you don’t talk to him.” we can see that Catherine wants Eddie to accept Rodolfo and accept her relation with Rodolfo. This tells us that the bond between Catherine and Rodolfo is strong. Eddie tries to regain the control over Catherine, in the beginning we could see that Catherine is controlled by Eddie. Eddie said “Don’t break my heart, listen to me”, by saying “don’t break my heart” Eddie tries to make Catherine guilty with the hope that she will listen to his expectations but Catherine answered by saying “(sobbing) I don’t believe it and I wish to hell you’d stop it!”. By using “sobbing” the stage directions tell us that Eddie has hurt Catherine feelings, it also shows to us that Catherine is sensitive and she gets angry quickly when we criticise her feelings. Catherine’s feelings towards Rodolfo are strong and she became rude towards Eddie, by using “I wish to hell” we can see Catherine’s frustration. She now starts to retaliate with Eddie. From “Why! It’s a big company” in the first part of the play, to “I wish to hell you’d stop it”, we can see that Catherine’s behaviour towards Eddie, a man she respects, gravely changed, Catherine is more insolent.

Catherine is loyal to Eddie because she said that her marriage will be wrong if Eddie is against it. At the end of Act 2 we can see that Catherine starts to take her own initiatives, “(Flushed with revolt) you wanna dance Rodolfo? (Eddie freezes)”. By using “(flushed with revolt)” and “(Eddie freezes)” the stage directions tell us that Catherine is angry and she goes against Eddie’s expectations. Catherine had the courage to go against Eddie’s wills, she danced with her lover in front of him, which irritates and shock Eddie. This tells us that Catherine is independent and is not afraid of Eddie, she is comfortable to do what she wants. In the beginning, Catherine asked Eddie’s permissions for everything she attempted, for example when Catherine asks for her job. Now however, she did the opposite and took her own decision quickly without hesitating.. Catherine loves Rodolfo, at the end of Act 2, when Eddie spars with Rodolfo, Catherine rushes to help her lover, this prepares us for her choosing to marry Rodolfo in spites of Eddie’s wishes.

We have now seen that the two lovers have been enjoying each other’s company. Now Miller enables us to see the strength of their love. They are two serious young people who want to ensure that they begin their life in a firm foundation. Catherine is trying to test Rodolfo, “Suppose I wanted to live in Italy”, this quote shows that Catherine obviously loves Rodolfo as she will go and live in poverty with him however it also shows that she wants to banish any doubts about Rodolfo’s reasons for being with her, she wants to know is he is here only for the American citizenship. This tells us that Catherine is doubtful and she believed Eddie. Although she is in love with Rodolfo, she has enough common sense by now to doubt people’s action. She is not letting love fool herself – a sigh of maturity. Catherine became a mature grown woman.
Further on, when the immigration officers came to arrest the cousins, Catherine tried to save her lover, Rodolfo. “He was born in Philadelphia”, Catherine is lying and risking prison for Rodolfo, this reflects how strong their love is strong. Catherine will risk everything to be with her love. This part tells us that Catherine has become a decision maker, she thinks of the consequences and follows her own mind, albeit going into prison. From being a sheltered naïve childish girl, she has now become a passionate lover willing to risk all that she knows for Rodolfo.
Catherine became strong enough to leave Eddie to get married, and is furious with him both for betraying the cousins and for forbidding Beatrice to attend the wedding ceremony, calling him “this rat”. “(Clearing from Beatrice) what’re you scared of? He’s a rat! He belongs in the sewer!”. We can see Catherine’s frustration. “What’re you scared of” aims Beatrice, Beatrice said a similar sentence to influence Catherine to be more independent. “What’re you scared of?”, Catherine used a rhetorical question to influence Beatrice, she wants Beatrice not to be dependent on Eddie like herself. Catherine’s love and respect for Eddie have turned to hate and loathing. She feels suddenly strong to tell him this to his face. We are surprised by Catherine, she is now insulting a respected man she considers as a father. Catherine has strong feelings for love, she is sensitive and emotional. This part tells the reader that Catherine now hates Eddie.
Earlier, I said that Catherine hates Eddie however at the end of Act 2 when Eddie dies. Catherine said “Eddie, I never meant to do nothing bad to you”. Despite her new independence and maturity, she blames herself for the death of Eddie. We can see that even though she hates Eddie because he was against her feelings, she still loves him. This shows that Catherine is guilty for her actions, she admits that her actions were “bad”, she regrets. The death of Eddie makes the reader thinks that Catherine’s love for Eddie was greater than her love for Rodolfo. However she still feels the paternal love of Eddie, but she has made her own choice and walked through her chosen path, in marrying Rodolfo. She is woman enough to live with the consequences.
At the beginning of the play Catherine is carefree and loving; she really loves and respects her carers. By the end of the play Catherine has realigned herself with Rodolfo. When Eddie dies, she has morphed from the carefree girl into a woman forced to face the harsh new reality. Catherine changed from an innocent and naïve childlike teenager to a woman who is passionate, independent and mature. Catherine took a journey of self-discovery and wasn’t blinded by her feelings, she was empowered by them. Her route to finding her own identity outside Eddie is what had finally led to her freedom. A freedom of expressing herself, a freedom of making a decision for herself and a freedom of making her own life choices.…...

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A View from the Bridge

...A View from the Bridge In the play of a View from the Bridge consisted of an Italian community that lived on New York by the New York Bridge. The Italian community tended to be united and protected each other special since it consisted of illegal immigrants. The Italian community protected their illegal immigrants by not talk about it because immigration might find out and deport them back. For instance, Eddie states “I don’t care what question it is. You-don’t know nothin’. They got stool pigeons all over this neighborhood they’re payin’ them every week for information, and you don’t know who they are. It could be your best friend.” Eddie quote reflects how the Italian community felt and saw immigration officer. Immigration officer where potrayed as the bad guys who were constantly watching over their illegal immigrants. Everyone tend to be afraid of the immigration office. The legal were afraid of their illegal relatives being deported. Then illegal immigrants were afraid to be turned them in by someone and be deported. It seems that during those times the Italian community lived in a fearful environment due to the immigration raids. We still see this fear toward immigration in Hispanic illegal immigrants. In the article “More than 200 gather for meeting following immigration raids in Central Wa.” Shannon Dininny discuss how more than 200 people gather central Washington College to stand protest against a series of immigration raid that resulted in......

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