He feels she has a chance to get out of the docks and relate with a higher class of people, shown on Page 52 when he says, I broke my back payin her stenography lessons so she could go out and meet a better class on people. In this quote it also becomes evident that Eddie feels as though Catherine owes him something. It is almost as though he regards her as more of a possession than a person. It may also be considered that Eddie could have a sexual attraction to Catherine.
In kissing her so passionately it may be thought that he saw this as his last opportunity to have her for himself. Prior to the kisses, when Eddie arrives home slightly drunk he has seen Catherine emerge from the bedroom, briefly followed by Rodolfo, this makes him think the couple has been making love. When he tries to throw Rodolfo out, Catherine says she has to leave too, at this point she says the following: Catherine: I just cant stay here no more. You know I cant. (Her sobs of pity and love for him break her composure) Dont you know I cant? You know that dont you?
At this point it is almost as though she is no longer speaking about whether or not she can stay in the house anymore, and is talking about the fact she cannot be his lover, showing that she is not totally ignorant of what goes on around her. When he kisses Rodolfo there are many implications as to why he did this. Eddie constantly speaks to Alfieri, referring to Rodolfo as weird. When he says weird he is claiming that Rodolfo is homosexual. He says this because of Rodolfos exceptional abilities and different physical appearance. He has blonde hair and blue eyes, which isnt stereotypical of a man in New York.
As well as this he can sing, with an alto voice, he can sew clothing, as well as being quite impetuous. This is illustrated when he first arrives at Eddies dwelling. On speaking about the state of employment opportunities in Italy he interrupts Marco, Its terrible! We stand around all day in the piazza listening to the fountain like birds. This is hardly a good impression to make on the people that you have to live with, especially when Eddie is considered to be quite strong, working on the docks. Making a comparison between yourself and a bird isnt sensible.
Throughout the play, Eddie remains ignorant of the culture from which Marco and Rodolfo has come from. In Italy is customary for males to kiss other males as a greeting and as a sign of friendship. As well as this, many Italian men are tailors, because the industrial business is not that good there. Finally many Italian men can cook, although Eddie does not think about this. Because Rodolfo is not normal in his new surroundings, this makes Eddie take a poor view of him. This further shows how tragic the play is, because Eddies death can be blamed on Eddies arrogance and stupidity.
Eddie appears to be jealous or envious whenever Catherine is fascinated and impressed by Rodolfo. The first instance is when he first comes to the house and Catherine remarks, Hes practically blonde! At this point Eddie sends Catherine out of the room to make the coffee. Another instance is when Rodolfo shows his singing ability and Eddie stops him saying, Look, kid; you dont want to be picked up, do ya? He does not want Catherine to think another male is better than him. This also attributes to finally losing her and his life.
When Eddie kisses Rodolfo is could also be seen a religious form. There is a famous picture showing the last meal between Jesus and his disciples in which Judas is shown to be kissing Jesus. To add irony to this picture it was Judas whom had told the authorities of where Jesus would be that evening. In much the same way, Eddie is the one whom told the immigration about Rodolfo and Marco. However, Eddie is also shown to be repenting in a way when the Immigration officers are knocking on his doors and he tries to get Rodolfo and Marco out of the apartment, Go, go.
Hurry up! (She [Beatrice] stands a moment staring at him in a realized horror. ) Well, whatre you lookin at! He is either trying to help them, or acting, so that Beatrice does not think it was him, although her facial expression shows that she already knows what he has done. Finally when Eddie kisses Rodolfo, there are many sexual connotations involved. He hopes that it would prove that Rodolfo was actually homosexual and therefore he would not marry Catherine and be shamed. It could also be considered that this may identify Eddies true sexuality.
Sometimes Eddie makes such an effort to show he is heterosexual and insists that Rodolfo is homosexual it almost shows that Eddie is trying to hide his own sexuality to hold respect as homosexuality was still discriminated in the time the book was written in. To further support this thought, Eddie is not making love to his wife Beatrice at the moment. He is continuously losing her respect, although in this time it was still thought that men were above women. She is not afraid to oppose him and argue with him when she thinks he has made the wrong decision. When kissing Catherine there could be multiple reasons.
I personally think the kiss is passionate and he hopes that Catherine will identify with her true feelings for Eddie upon this. However, much to Eddies dismay, this does not happen. On kissing Rodolfo I think that it is an involuntary impersonation of the biblical character, Judas. Although Eddies intentions are unsuccessful again. This is a play is a tragedy on so many levels, firstly, because of Eddies ignorance and stupidity, as well as this it is because of his prejudice, which also contributed to his arrogance throughout the play and finally because he causes so much hurt between the people that loved him the most.
Tragic plays often involve many things, caused by multiple characters, however Eddie brought all that happened upon himself, he allowed Rodolfo to stay in the house, but would not let him exercise the things which he was good at. He has followed in the steps of the character mentioned at the beginning of the book as Vinny. He is the character that told the authorities about the illegal immigrants staying with him and he suffered a tragic end. In the words of Eddie, You can quicker get back a million dollars that was a stole than a word you gave away.