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As Alfieri is telling us the story,
many say that he is "on the
bridge" and that he is "viewing"
what is going on.
Others say that Alfieri is the
bridge he has one foot in Italy
and the other in America.
Alfieri is a lawyer and, like most
honest lawyers, he respects the
law. In his first monologue, he
tells the audience, "Now we are
quite civilized, quite American.
Now we settle for half, and I like
it better"
In the play Alfieri acts like the
Greek Chorus, he is the only
narrator of this play and tells us
what happened in a levelled and
unbiased tone.…read more

Slide 3

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Eddie is the man who is destined to die
from the beginning.
Eddie is the master of the house- both
Beatrice and Catherine are obviously
used to him laying down the rules. He
sees this as a 'manly' thing to do and he
expects all men to do the same - which is
why he cannot accept Rodolpho's more
gentle talents.
Eddie is very protective of Catherine,
whom he has brought up as if she were
his own daughter. He paid for her typing
lessons and had ambitions for her to rise
to a different class. He is proud of her
looks, yet concerned that she will attract
the attention of men and is concerned
about her new job.
Over the course of the book we realise
that Eddie is in love with Catherine...…read more

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Beatrice is Eddie's wife. She has never had
children of her own and cares for Catherine
as if she were her own daughter.
Beatrice is loving and caring towards most
and is excited by the imminent arrival of
her cousins and worried that everything is
not just so for them, yet also "nervous".
There are hints right from the start that
she is aware of Eddie's feelings for
Catherine, such as when she avoids Eddie's
gaze when Catherine fetches his cigar. This
becomes more obvious when she confronts
Eddie about the state of their marriage:
"When am I gonna be a wife again, Eddie?"
Partly because of this, she supports
Catherine and encourages her to be
Although she is aware of Eddies feelings
towards Catherine, Beatrice remains loyal
to Eddie right until his dying breath. She is
rewarded for this with Eddie's dying words
- "My B!"…read more

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Catherine is 17 years old, the orphaned daughter
of Beatrice's sister Nancy.
She is attractive, energetic and cheerful. Yet she
is also naive - she has never known anything of
life outside the Carbone household.
She loves Eddie like a father and wants his
approval for everything that she does: right at
the start, she is desperate for him to admire her
new skirt.
She is excited at Marco and Rodolpho's arrival -
they represent the world outside her own
sheltered life. She is attracted to Rodolpho
straight away - so she is reluctant to take off her
high heels when Eddie tells her to!
She is initially torn because her love of Rodolpho
is at odds with her love for Eddie but stands by
During the play, she turns from a child into a
woman, capable of making her own decisions.
Despite her new independence and maturity,
she blames herself on Eddie's death: "Eddie, I
never meant to do nothing bad to you."…read more

Slide 6

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Rodolpho is the younger brother of Marco.
He has striking good looks - Beatrice and
Catherine are obviously attracted to him. His
unusual looks may be a signal to us that he is
'different' from the average Italian
immigrant. (We later find that he has a
different, more sensitive way of trying to
solve disputes from Eddie and Marco.) His
different way of acting and looking later
prompts Eddie to call him "queer"
He has a good sense of humour, so he is
popular. He is unvaryingly polite, even when
Eddie is rude.
Unlike Marco, he wants to stay in America
and own a motorbike. He loves America and
wants to find out as much about New York as
possible - he is keen to see Broadway. Eddie
is concerned because he buys 'American'
items like a new jacket and records, rather
than send money to Marco's family.
Some say that the only reason that he is
marrying Catherine is to get his "papers"
and stay in America.…read more

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