What it's about?
Obsessed with the prohibited. Betrayed for convenience. Died for pride. Eddie Carbone drives you through the delusion that ends up destroying his entire family.
What'd I experience?
A full blur and confusion, but stoked. The outside of the venue was full of people just as confused.
“Where do I enter from?” many asked, myself included.
“To the back of the line please!” Shouted one of the security guards.
Problem: where was the back of the line?
I walked desperately towards it, which seemed never ending, the more I walked the more it seemed to stretch. As I made my way I figured this play must have had been long acclaimed. I mean it had been written by Arthur Miller, besides this was the fact I was triggered to see this play.
I have previously read another of Miller’s plays, The Crucible, but I had never read this one. The brief synopsis I had read when searching the show seemed interesting. It more or less mentioned the way of life of an Italian immigrant family in a city like New York. I thought it would be the classic representation of the struggles that a hardworking family would be going through, but it was more than that. :)
Lights dimmed and an intense suspenseful angelical sound of music started playing as a big black box started lifting from the middle of the stage. I was immediately drawn, I felt transported to a tragic movie scene for a moment and as I sat back I assured myself this was definitely going to be a good show. It was interesting to see that at the sides of the stage there were audience members, something I hadn’t seen before. And then the acting space, centered between the audiences, was this squared perimeter. I was amazed, thinking it was a really cool and unique way to open up the show.
I was captivated by the story, specifically because of the way in which the characters of Eddie and Catherine interacted with each other. It instantly caught my eye when Catherine walked onto the stage in excitement to see Eddie, a father-like figure to her. She ran towards him and jumped up to him like a little girl would do for her father. Imagine this scene but instead of a little girl, envision an eighteen year old adolescent. It seemed so strange to watch this part because I definitely didn’t connect to this scene. I couldn’t help but think - how many young eighteen year olds still do this? To top things off, she was letting him know that she wants to start working, but he quickly denies her desire and uses the excuse of education as her main and only focus. Eddie’s witless justification was a clear sign that there was more going on with Catherine than just simple desire of her well being.
The interesting part came when the characters of Marco and Rodolpho appeared. They are brothers and cousins of Beatrice, Eddie’s wife, who had emigrated from Italy in the search of a better life. For Marco it was to provide his wife and kids back in Italy with some money, while Rodolpho’s purpose was to gain citizenship to legally work in a well-developed country.
Soon after a few walks together, Catherine and Rodolpho believe and confess that they have fallen in love. Eddie, indignant by these events and in an attempt to separate Catherine’s and Rodolpho’s encounters, decides to belittle Rodolpho in front of her. Eddia exclaims that Rudolpho's real intention is to use her to gain citizenship and leave her as soon as that happens. <Claps hands together> Finally something with at least a benefit of doubt had come out of him, for I too was very interested in knowing if this was Rodolpho’s ultimate purpose.
This didn’t change the way I felt about Eddie though, he clearly demonstrated feelings for Catherine as a woman more so than a daughter. I was pitiless for him; I simply disqualified his sentiments for someone who he had watched grow. At the same time instead of confronting and correcting himself, he had created an entire different story in which he would become triumphant and have the rest would be at his feet. I wondered how that would work out for him.
Beatrice knowing that her husband has feelings towards Catherine decides to talk to her about it, whom has a hard time believing the truth since she has always loved Eddie as a father. Eddie seeks advice from Alfieri, an American-Italian lawyer friend of his, after learning that Rodolpho and Catherine have decided to marry, only to be told that he should let go of Catherine. Obviously this was the reasonable thing to do, but blinded by desire Eddie opts for betrayal, he calls immigration on Marco and Rodolpho. SMH… seriously ashamed of this guy, I had no words. But I could clearly analyze it now: Eddie lacked respect and loyalty for his family. As soon as Marco realizes, he confronts Eddie, spitting on his face. The tension grows.
With obvious rivalry between Marco and Eddie, the two brothers are taken into custody by the police. They have a chance to get out, for a limited time, until they are deported. Marco has a complication since the police will not let him out for he has set his mind to attack Eddie when he gets out of jail, but he is convinced by Alfieri, and agrees to not hurt Eddie. Of course words are just spoken, single elements that have no meaning if they are not said without intention. And Marco’s intentions were only focused on his actions. Coming out of custody on the same day as his brother’s wedding to Catherine, Marco seeks revenge. Rodolpho warns Eddie that his brother is coming to look for him and although everyone else tries to protect him, Eddie wants to face Marco, for he believes that he has taken his name and thus wants to get it back.
Inevitably they defy one another and unavoidably massacre occurs. Maybe it doesn’t sound like something one would be excited to witness. Now thinking back, I was really thrilled with this scene. The way it was carried along fascinated me. Imagine an intense angelical sound used to describe the death of someone or rather make you feel that moment, and then along with that imagine blood pouring down from the stage. I understood that the two characters were engaging in intense savagery and I knew one of their lives was going to stay behind. I was living that moment - I reacted in so many ways: I covered my mouth, my eyes widened and I straightened up on my seat, it was like a slow motion scene. I had lived the tragedy that resulted in taking Eddie’s life away, and at the same time I was amazed.