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A reaction by one of this semester’s junior year students is typical: “I don’t usually like to read plays, but this one really hit home for me. The language of View is certainly “conventional” in a sense that it’s the way a Brooklyn dock worker in that neighborhood would talk.
The intolerance shown by Eddie in his macho stance against Rodolpho is seen more as a lack of acceptance of anyone who is “different” than a sincere concern of a father-figure for the welfare of his ward.What Eddie seems to represent more than anything else at this point is what critic Steven Centola recognizes as “the ideal father myth” (57).Similar to ‘s Biff Loman’s recognition of this phenomenon, Catherine now understands Eddie’s “absurd conception of himself as above the law and his society” (Centola 57).And with them new high heels on the sidewalk–clack, clack, clack. Eddie’s tone, combined with the stage note that Catherine is “almost in tears because he disapproves” (7) foreshadows the depth of the emotional attachment we will discover between these two characters, an attachment that will, indeed, eventually bring on the “larger world beyond.” as that ” . Voight extends the language into the poetic by not only sounding like a young Sicilian immigrant, but also by capturing the deep-rooted nature of Rudolpho’s entrepreneurial skills, as well as his admirable work ethic. It is at this point in the play that for many young readers becomes as much Catherine and Rodolpho’s story as Eddie’s.If I’ve noticed one thing over the years about young readers, it is that they seem to verify the theory that a story is not complete until the reader brings his or her own experience to it. and reflect a deeply felt culture”(“About Theater Language” 95), we find that , director Howard Davies suggests that “one possible approach to the play is to see it as a rebellion of youth against age”(93).And while it is well documented that typically many teenagers can communicate more freely with grandparents than with parents, younger readers at this point in the play look for a voice of truth.Enter the grandfatherly Greek chorus provided by Alfieri: “I’m warning you [Eddie]–the law is nature.Catherine’s world is, indeed, obliterated in Act Two with Eddie’s kiss of betrayal.By rejecting her choice of a life mate and turning his back on his entire extended family, Eddie has betrayed not only Catherine’s sense of unconditional familial love, he has also distorted her wider understanding of communal love.Stockmann from Miller’s adaptation of : “It’s a necessity for me to see young, lively, happy people, free people burning with a desire to do something”(25).And while Eddie wrestles with the “trouble that would not go away” (29), young readers tend to gloat in his insecurities and his false sense of self-importance.