Living in America

Today we were all having a friendly and intelligent conversation about life back in Sicily compared to life in America. Catherine told Eddie and I how Marco and Rodolfo had once travelled to Africa on a fishing boat. I believed Catherine right away but Eddie gave her a cold look like he didn’t believe a word she was saying. Catherine told me that my cousins had even been to Yugoslavia. Marco and Rodolfo were talking about how they used to work on fishing boats back in Sicily.The only problem was that they were family boats; nobody in their family owned one so they could only fish when one of the families was sick. No wonder they found it so hard to get any work back in Sicily! I told Marco how ironic it was that an ocean full of fish surrounded Sicily and they were still starving.

Then Eddie made this silly joke about how in Sicily they paint oranges orange to make them look like real oranges because they grow green! Marco told him that the oranges in Sicily were all orange, then Rodolfo said that lemons where green; the look on Eddies face, now that was funny.Eddie almost went mad telling Rodolfo that he knew lemons were green, he was only joking. If anyone else had said that to Eddie he wouldn’t have been bothered about it, but with Rodolfo he went more than a little over the top and that got me really worried! Marco told us that his family were all fine as he’d sent some money and his wife could now afford to buy medicine for his son.

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He told us how lonesome he was and how much he missed his wife and family. Eddie joked about having to count the kid’s when going back to Sicily after being away for so long!Marco told him that women always waited for their husbands to come back in Sicily. Rodolfo then told us that the town they were from was very strict and the woman would never do that sort of thing.

All of a sudden Eddie starts giving Rodolfo a lecture on American girls and how they’re not so different from the girls in Sicily! At this point Eddies really getting on my nerves, it’s shameful! He say’s to Rodolfo that he’s not her father, that he’s only her uncle, which is so hypocritical! So I tell him to start acting like an uncle if he’s not her father!Catherine came home a little late yesterday from the cinema with Rodolfo, they said they were sorry and that it was because the film had lasted longer than they had expected, but Eddie just wouldn’t accept that. What a stupid question to ask them whether or not they came to America for work or to have fun. Then Catherine puts on the song Paper Doll and asks Rodolfo to dance with her.

He doesn’t want to because of Eddie but I tell him to go ahead anyway. I can’t understand why Eddie always gets so upset over all these minor issues!While Catherine and Rodolfo were dancing Marco told Eddie and I about how they lived on the fishing boats. He said when Rodolfo came along everyone got fat because of his wonderful cooking. Then Eddie delivers this speech trying to make the point that there’s something wrong with Rodolfo because he can sing, cook and make dresses. He was trying to do everything he could to put Catherine off of Rodolfo, it wasn’t working so he was trying harder and harder, digging deeper and deeper. Eddie said he would take Marco and Rodolfo to see some boxing if they wanted.I was so happy because he was finally being positive about something.

Then he started to teach Rodolfo a little boxing, he got a little rough and hit Rodolfo a little too hard. This was entirely my fault because I encouraged Eddie; I should have listened to Catherine and stopped it before it happened. I looked at Marco and he was beginning to get really annoyed with what was going on in front of him so he went up to Eddie asking him if he could hold a heavy wooden chair by it’s foot using only one hand. Eddie couldn’t do it but then Marco actually lifted it above his head and that was a really scary moment!Diary 5 Sicily! You must be joking? Dear diary (Rodolfo), I can’t believe what happened to today when I spoke to Catherine! When I asked her what the problem was she said she wanted to live in Italy! I thought to myself “my god she must be joking! ” I asked her when she was planning to go to Italy and why? There is nothing in Italy, there’s no work, there’s no money and the crime is spiralling out of control! Catherine doesn’t realise what life is like back in Sicily. She’s been brought up in a country where anything is possible, where most people can afford to live a life of luxury.I was brought up in Sicily where we have no work and we are all poor! I told her about the poverty and starvation in Sicily, how things had never been so bad before. I would never let her go through any of that and I asked her why she wanted to! She told me it was because she wanted to get away from it all, that she wanted to get away from Eddie. She started to cry saying that she wanted to live in Italy because it was such a beautiful place, that she didn’t care about how bad things were over there.

I told her it was beautiful but that you couldn’t cook the view.She said she wanted to go over to Italy after we’d gotten married and had kids, I told her we’d think about it later. Then she told me I could be a singer in Rome and I told her the hard truth that Rome was full of singers who were a lot better than me anyway. I told her there were practically no jobs anywhere in Italy and that they were harder to find than Gold. If you get a job in Sicily it’s like winning the lottery, it’s that rare! I told Catherine we could live elsewhere in America if she was afraid of Eddie so much. Once we got married and I became a citizen we could move because I’d be making more money.

Then she asks me if I want to marry her just to get a passport, I knew Eddie had been putting words into her mouth! I wanted to know if it was his question or hers. I told her I was marrying her because I loved her and it wasn’t because I wanted a passport. Then I told her I was not a beggar and that Eddie was wrong to treat her like a gift. In Italy we have everything that America has except for one thing, work! I asked her if she was afraid of getting a spanking from Eddie, which was kind of funny! I love that girl so much my heart dies for her!She said she was sick of being treated like a kid all the time. She thought Beatrice was being hard on Eddie, not being sexual enough with him. She didn’t know if she loved or hated him, she was all mixed up. I told her she had to let Eddie go or she would never be happy.

I held her in my arms, she asked me to teach her love so we had sex together in my room. It felt so good, it was amazing and she was amazing! Then a few minutes after we had sex Eddie came into the house. He was really early and so he easily worked out what we just done because we hadn’t had time to clean up.I don’t know what his problem is or why he hates me so much.

He told me to pack my stuff and get out of the house by myself; Catherine said she was going with me. She told him she wasn’t a baby anymore but he just laughed at her and forced her to kiss him on the lips. The sight of that piece of scum kissing her was sickening! I told him to have some respect for Catherine! I knew he couldn’t wait to fight me; he wanted to beat the hell out of me. I told him we were getting married whether he liked it or not! Then he kept on mocking me so I went nuts and flew at him but he was too strong.He grabbed me in his arms and wouldn’t let me go.

Then he forced me to kiss him it was disgusting! The man is sick in the head; they should lock him up in a Looney bin and throw away the key. There was nothing I could do to stop him; he was too strong for me. I’m not going to tell Marco about what happened today because it would make him kill Eddie and as much as I would like to see that happen I cant because we’ve got to respect the law over here and keep are noses clean! Diary 6 Take a seat Mr. Carbone! Dear diary (Alfieri)I had a visit from the past today when Eddie Carbone came to me to seek my advice, I asked him to take a seat and to tell me what the problem was. He’d come to see me about the fears he had over his niece Catherine wanting to marry an immigrant from Sicily called Rodolfo. I new he was bad news from the moment he’d stepped into my office, he looked like a man who had committed a crime.

He was seeking advice on ways in which the law would be able to help him stop Catherine marrying this young man from Sicily. I told him that there was nothing illegal about a girl falling in love with an immigrant.I asked him why he didn’t want Rodolfo to marry his niece Catherine. Eddie told me he could see it in Rodolfo’s eyes, he could see Rodolfo laughing at him and Catherine, I knew that those were the words of a jealous man! First he told me about Rodolfo’s spending, how he was buying records and clothes. I didn’t see any problem with that but Eddie suspected that it meant Rodolfo had it all planned out so that he could stab him and Catherine in the back. He told me using implicit words that it was because he suspected Rodolfo was a homosexual and that he only wanted to marry Catherine to become a citizen.Eddie told me that just because Rodolfo was blonde and that he sang a few high notes he thought we was gay.

Then he tells me about the time when Rodolfo made Catherine a new dress out of an old one, how he looked so sweet while he was doing it. He kept giving me all of these examples trying to prove some point from the fact that he believed Rodolfo was gay. Eddie then tells me how sees the guys working at the docks laughing and joking a Rodolfo, but that he believes there not laughing at him because he’s funny but because they also thing he’s gay.I could see the jealousy in his eyes it was scary, I knew that if I didn’t do something Eddie Carbone would either end up a killer or a corpse, but there was nothing I could do because he was a man possessed by his tragic jealousy. I told him that everything that he’d told me proved nothing and that the law could not help him.

There was only one thing with his problem that might concern the law; this was the manner in which the immigrants had illegally entered the country.He told me that he definitely didn’t want to follow up on that route so I told him there was nothing else that that the law could do to stop Catherine from marrying Rodolfo, he looked disgusted. I told him how he had too much love for Catherine and that he was wrong to be so overprotective. I told Eddie that he had to let Catherine go because she was not a child anymore she was an adult now.

Then he tells me that he’s a patsy because he worked twenty long years like a dog so that a punk like Rodolfo can marry Catherine. He was so jealous I couldn’t believe it.He couldn’t stand the fact that he had worked so long and hard to get where he was in life whereas Rodolfo comes to America falls in love with Catherine and immediately gets the chance to become a citizen! He was so full of jealousy because Catherine loved Rodolfo in a way that she could never love him! Eddie said Rodolfo was stealing from him by marrying Catherine, I told him that she couldn’t marry him! He looked at me totally confused but deep down I knew that he knew I was speaking the truth but the overwhelming jealousy inside him was just too strong!In a way I could understand his dilemma because he had never prepared for the time when Catherine would grow up and get married but I didn’t feel sorry for him because he was the one with the problem and nobody else! I told him to take my advice to let Catherine go and marry Rodolfo. He looked like he was about to burst into tears! He stood up in despair turned around, said goodbye and left my office a heartbroken man. Trial Notes Dialogue leading up to trial between Marco and Alfieri Alfieri gives a piercing but understanding look to Marco and says “What happened Marco?” Marco sitting in his cell says “I did it in self defence, Eddie pulled out the knife not me. I could see in his eyes that he wanted to kill me so I had no choice but to defend myself, It was going to be either him or me who would come out of it alive and end up this situation. I had to kill him to protect my brother and his own family.

Ask them, I know that deep down they realise that there was nothing I could have done to stop this from happening because it was Eddie’s jealousy of Rodolfo and his inappropriate love for Catherine that murdered him not me! “Alfieri would ask Marco “are you sure you didn’t do anything to provoke him? ” Marco would say with increasing anger “no, he threatened to kill my brother and insulted me. He insulted his own niece by forcing her to kiss him! He did that to Rodolfo too, now you tell me who is the homosexual because I know Rodolfo isn’t. Eddie was a disgrace ever since we came to live with the family. All he did was insult Rodolfo and his own family. I wanted to be his friend so much, I never wanted this to happen but he was asking for it, begging me to put him out of his misery!That’s the truth! ” Alfieri would say “Marco this is insane, what you did could never be justified by any law in America, people in America live by the law and they die by it! Sicilian law doesn’t exist here because over here the people are different! If anyone who saw the fight stands up as a witness saying that you provoked the fight then I’m going to have a tough job defending your innocence because after all you are not a US citizen. If however you are telling the truth then you will not be punished but no matter what the outcome is you will be deported back to Italy!” Marco would say “I understand what you’re saying but what about Rodolfo, will he be able to stay even if I’m to be deported? ” Alfieri would say “as soon as he’s married to Catherine he can apply for citizenship and so yes he will be able to stay” Marco relieved would say “thank God I hope he does well in America as I’m sure he will. I hope that some day I will come back to America with my family by my side. In Sicily Eddie Carbone would have been a dead man long ago, he is the reason for my suffering, the reason why my children are now going to continue to starve.

I’m sorry Alfieri, I had no other choice but to do what I did, you understand don’t you? Alfieri would say “I do understand that you had no choice and I do believe in my heart that you are a totally innocent man, that you deserve to stay in America and even become a citizen but I’m sorry to say that the jury might not agree with me because they don’t know what it was really like that day when Eddie died. I’m sorry Marco, I truly am. I can only guarantee you one thing though that I will do my best to help you. I’ll do my best to look after Rodolfo, Catherine and Beatrice when you’re gone I promise”.