The audience are fed an idea of what Eddie presumes to be manliness right from the start of the play. Catherine has just told Eddie that she has got a job as a stenographer, but Eddie thinks that she should stay at school. Catherine then uses the argument that shell be earning $50 a week. Eddie reacts angrily to this look did I ask you for money and then claims, I supported you this long I can support you a little more this gives the indication that Eddie believes that a man should be supporting the family and should go out of his way to make sure his niece doesnt need to go to work.
Eddie then gives his views of manliness by judging Rodolfos way of living in an argument with Beatrice about Rodolfos friendliness with Catherine. Beatrice thinks he is a nice boy but Eddie doesnt like him because he sings on the ships, didja know that he then goes on to say that the other men think the same way as him because theyre callin him¦ paper doll, theyre callin him Canary. Hes like a weird Beatrice then argues with Eddie that he is adjusting to American life but Eddie begins to compare him to his brother Marco why dont his brother sing Marco goes around like a man; nobody kids Marco.
This is showing that Marco is what he views as a man and Rodolfo isnt. Later Eddie talks to Alfieri, his lawyer, about what he can do to stop Rodolfo seeing/marrying Catherine. He tells Alfieri the guy aint right he claims that the fact that Rodolfo ¦ is a blond guy and ¦ if you close the paper fist you could blow him over This is saying that to be manly a man should not only act like a man but must look like a man. This is backed up when he says that Rodolfo sings like a woman ¦ sometime he hits a note¦
I mean high and ¦ if you came in the house¦ you wouldnt be lookin for a him you be lookin for her Eddie keeps on complaining about how Rodolfo makes dresses and a man shouldnt be making dresses he should be buying them he takes the dress¦ cuts it up; one-two-three he makes a new dress. In Act two Eddie shows again what it means to be a man. He fights Rodolfo and pins his arm. Catherine is watching and he is trying to show her that Rodolfo isnt a man because he cant break Eddies grip.
He then tells Alfieri about it and explains why Rodolfo isnt a man Im tellin you I know he aint right. Somebody that dont want to break your grip can break it¦ he didnt give me the right kind of fight¦ Mr Alfieri the guy aint right. This is showing that Eddie believes that a man should be strong and if he wants to protect his woman he should fight for her. Eddies views on manliness cause a lot of conflict throughout the play. The first instance of this is when Eddie criticises Catherines new dress I think its too short he then goes on to say that Catherines walkin wavy.
This is showing that Eddie doesnt want men to be perving over her and this causes conflict as Catherine is young and immature and doesnt realise that the men are like that. The next instance of Eddies views causing a conflict is when Catherine tells him shes got a job. Straight away Eddie is on the offensive, or what could be called an offensive defence, when he says NO-NO you gonna finish school Catherine tries to calm him down but Eddie continues, You cant take no job.
Why didnt you ask me¦ Eddie begins to calm down when he finds out she hasnt accepted the job yet, but becomes strangely nervous and continues to cause conflict with abrupt answers and repudiating any attempt to sway him. This again shows that his views that a man should provide for his family and woman should do what there told causes even more conflict. It is not only Catherine that Eddie causes conflicts with; he can even cause a conflict with Rodolfo when hes not there.
This happens when Rodolfo is at the pictures with Catherine and Beatrice makes a comment that Rodolfo is a nice kid Eddie reacts aggressively to this he gives me the heebie-jeebies and starts insulting the way Rodolfo acts and that its not manly he sings on the ships¦ theyre callin him, Canary this is showing that when someone doesnt conform to his views on masculinity he wont hold back in saying so. Throughout A View from the Bridge Rodolfo fails over and over again to conform to Eddies image of masculinity a pivotal moment of this is when he starts to sing paper doll just minutes after arriving.
Eddie thinks that your clothes, the way you look, music and seeing sites isnt that important where as this is all Rodolfo seems to spend his money on. This leads to a pivotal and dramatic event in the play when Eddie comes home drunk to find that Catherine and Rodolfo have been in the bedroom together he immediately thinks the worst and tells Rodolfo to get out of his house. Catherine argues with him and then decides that she has to leave as well but Eddie grabs her. Rodolfo reacts angrily to this and flies at Eddie in attack.
To this Eddie pins him to the floor and unexpectedly kisses him. Eddie gets up with tears rolling down his face and laughs, mocking Rodolpho. This is a big moment as it is the first time Eddie as acted to back up his displeasure of the way Rodolfo has acted but it evidently hasnt helped his cause of getting Catherine to split up with him and has in fact caused more of a friction between himself and Catherine. Marco, Rodolfos brother, is the complete opposite of Rodolfo and portrays a conventionally masculine appearance.
For this reason Eddie is more partial to Marco than Rodolfo and quite often ignores Rodolfo and addresses Marco even when the two of them are together. Arthur Miller uses Marcos manliness as a climatic moment on more than one occasion. For example at the end of Act One Marco and Eddie have a test of strength. One may presume that Eddie would be the one to challenge Marco but on the contrary it is Marco who initiates the challenge as a show of strength, power and masculinity.
He does this because Eddie had taught Rodolfo how to box as an excuse to fight him and therefore proof his manliness. Marco does the same thing with the test of strength because after Eddie cant lift the chair Marco doesnt laugh or rub it in his face and just lifts the chair without emotion and then again without emotion looks Eddie in the eye chair raised above his head and gives a defiant warning for Eddie to keep away from his brother.
Arthur Miller uses Marcos manliness again to as a climax to the play. The play ends with Marco pressing a knife into Eddies chest and without emotion lets him fall to the ground still clutching the knife that has ended his life. This gives a dramatic end to the play and shows that although Eddie was always critical of others when they werent manly and strong, the fact that he wasnt man enough and strong enough ended his life.