The relationship between Eddie Carbone and Rodolpho in A View from the Bridge
Eddie and Rodolpho are two key characters in Arthur Millers novel A View from the Bridge, as they lead of the story. Eddie is longshoreman; he lives with his wife Beatrice and his niece Catherine.
Catherine is a sweet naive young girl aged eighteen; she will be the one to really lead of the play making fall in love with her, her uncle and also Rodolpho, the Italian illegal immigrant.
Eddie Carbone himself has Italian origins; he is the one who provides food on the table for his family, a roof over their heads, and an education for his orphaned niece, Catherine, whom he and his wife have raised. He will be the one to accept his wifes cousins to come in his home as illegal immigrant, until they can find somewhere to live with their own money. He will also insist on the importance of the community law (that protects illegal immigrants), and that in breaking it ones completely rejected by the community loosing the respect of his own friends and family.
He his conflicted because his feelings for his niece are two far important than they should be: he loves her two much and not in a paternal way; that will lead him in losing his head.
Rodolpho is a Beatrices cousin that just arrived from Italy with his brother Marco. The two are illegal immigrant looking for a job, so that they can send money to Marcos family in Italy.
Rodolpho is slender, graceful and, unusually for an Italian, blond-haired, in fact Eddie calls him Danish. He also looks a bit effeminate because he cooks, he sings, he makes dresses and he dance.
At the begging when the two cousins arrive Eddie welcome them, being nice with them and offering them somewhere to live. Although Eddie since the begging finds Rodolpho a little bit weird the relationship between them is friendly. But when Eddie starts to feeling the attraction between Catherine and Rodolpho, things start to change. Eddie sets about pointing out all of Rodolpho saying that he is "not right", that he is gay, using Rodolpho's effeminate qualities, such as dress-making, cooking and singing, to back up his argument.
Rodolpho starts to go out more and more with Catherine keeping her away from home. Eddie jealously adverts Rodolpho saying: It ain't so free here either, Rodolpho, like you think. I seen greenhorns sometimes get in trouble that way - they think just because a girl don't go around with a shawl over her head that she ain't strict, y'know? Girl don't have to wear black dress to be strict. Know what I mean asking for his name and his respect, for the first time in the book.
Things began to be difficult when Catherine invites Rodolpho to dance on the Paper Dolls record. Here Eddie cannot avoid this comment: Eddie (to BEATRICE): I can't cook, I can't sing, I can't make dresses, so I'm on the waterfront. But if I could cook, if I could sing, if I could make dresses, I wouldn't be on the water-front.
The second time they confront is when Eddie tells him about boxing matches and offers to teach him to box. After allowing Rodolpho to land some blows, Eddie strikes him harder: "It mildly staggers Rodolpho". Marco, Beatrice and Catherine all see what Eddie is trying to do, but his attempt to make Catherine think less of Rodolpho has failed. Marcos react making understanding Eddie to do not touch is brother.
Catherine starts to thinks she has to marry Rodolpho so that he could have his passport and live normally. When she tells Eddie he says that if she does it she will not return in his home never again.
One day when Catherine and Rodolpho are for the first time alone in the house, Eddie arrives drunk; he finds them and when Catherine says she wants to go away he kisses her. Rodolpho says that he has to respect her but at that same moment Eddie kisses him too to prove in front of Catherine that he is gay and that he only wants to marry her to have his passport.
Eddie has lost his mind for Catherine loving her has he should not do. He really behaves badly in front of the two immigrants not being coherent with what he said at the beginning (of the community law). He and Rodolpho have two completely different and determined characters; they will never find a compromise as they love the same woman.