Eddie hints that he has doubts about rodolphos

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affection for Catherine may edge into a kind of incestuous desire. Eddie hints that he has doubts about Rodolpho’s masculinity and sexuality, but he himself seems particularly fixated on Rodolpho’s appearance. Eddiesays that Marco“goes around like a man,” in contrast to Rodolpho. He says he didn’t bring Catherineup for someone like Rodolpho. Beatricechanges the subject and asks, “When am I gonna be a wife again, Eddie?” She says it’s been months since they’ve slept together, and Eddie says he doesn’t want to talk about it. He goes back to the subject of Catherine, and Beatrice says that Catherine is eighteen and old enough to make her own decisions. Eddie is uncomfortable with Rodolpho, but perhaps more generally with the idea of Catherine leaving him for another man. He doesn’t accept, as Beatrice does, that Catherine is an independent, mature person. Beatrice’s question to Eddie potentially raises questions about his sexual desires. Eddiegoes outside and talks with two neighbors, Mikeand Louis, about Marcoand Rodolpho. They compliment Marco’s strength and work ethic, but then say that Rodolpho “has a sense of humor,” and seem to suggest that something is strange about him. They say that Rodolpho is “just humorous,” though they seem to be implying something more, as they laugh about Rodolpho. Mike and Louis leave, just as Rodolpho and Catherineenter. Mike and Louis represent the backdrop of the neighborhood against which the play’sfamily drama takes place. Eddie worries about his and Rodolpho’s reputation amonghis neighbors. Given Eddie’s earlier concerns about Rodolpho’s appearance, one canguess that Mike and Louis are hinting at Rodolpho’s questionable sexuality. Eddieasks where Catherineand Rodolphohave been, wanting to make sure they haven’t gone to Times Square. Catherine says that Rodolpho has been telling her about Italy, where there are fountains in every town and orange and lemon trees. Eddie tells Rodolpho that he wants to talk to Catherine alone. Rodolpho leaves, and Eddie says that he never sees Catherine anymore. He says she used to always be there when he got home, but now she is “a big girl,” and he doesn’t know how to talk to her. While Rodolpho has abandoned Italy for the opportunities of America, Catherine is fascinated and intrigued by Italy, partially because she is oppressed and stifled by her own home. Eddie is upset that Catherine is growing more independent, and is also confused by his own complicated feelings toward her now that she is “a big girl.”
Eddieasks Catherineif she likes Rodolpho. She says she does, and he warns her that Rodolpho doesn’t respect her, and hasn’t asked his permission to “run around” with her. Catherine insists that Rodolpho respects both her and Eddie. Eddie says that Rodolpho is trying to use Catherine to become an American citizen through marriage. He says that he is suspicious because Rodolpho hasn’t sent his money back to Italy, but has used it to buy “snappy new” clothes.

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