Eddie says to Marco about how he thought they painted the oranges orange, and that they actually grow green. Marco very bluntly replies, “No, in Italy the oranges are orange.” Marco doesn’t soften his disagreement with Eddie like he would have done when he first came to America, which shows the tension Marco feels towards Eddie is growing and he isn’t hiding it very well anymore. Rodolfo tries to help Eddie and mentions that the lemons are green, but Eddie snaps at Rodolfo and says, “(resenting his instruction) I know lemons are green, for Christ’s sake… I didn’t say nothin’ about lemons.” After Eddie has done this it shows the audience how he isn’t just rude about Rodolfo behind his back and that he’ll do it in front of anyone including Marco, Rodolfo’s brother. This will annoy Marco, Catherine and Rodolfo, and create tension between them and Eddie.
When Beatrice tries to change the subject by asking Marco if his wife is getting the money alright, Eddie is looking for a fight and so further annoys Marco by insulting his wife and saying, “I mean you know – they count the kids and there’s a couple extra than when they left?” this will annoy Marco a lot, because Eddie has just insulted his brother, and then goes on the insult his wife, Rodolfo tries to stand up for Marco and his wife and says, “It’s more strict in our town… it’s not so free.” This annoys Eddie because he thinks Rodolfo is implying it’s free to go around with any ones wife, or niece in America, Eddie says, “but in your town you wouldn’t drag off some girl without permission… it ain’t that much different here.” He is saying this about Rodolfo and Catherine, again showing his jealousy and annoying Catherine and embarrassing Rodolfo. It will also get to Beatrice because it shows how worked up Eddie is getting about Catherine and Rodolfo, and paying no attention to her.
Now there is tension with everyone in the room, Marco is annoyed at Eddie for being so rude about his family, but also Marco may be annoyed with Rodolfo for getting Eddie to dislike him this much. Catherine is annoyed at Eddie for embarrassing Rodolfo and being rude with no good reason in her eyes. Beatrice is annoyed at Eddie for not caring about her and also for being so mean to Rodolfo, Rodolfo is annoyed at Eddie for him being so mean to him no matter how hard he tries for him to like him.
Eddie is annoyed with everyone, he’s annoyed with Rodolfo for stealing away Catherine from him, because now he’s finally realised that Catherine only has family feelings for him, he’s annoyed at Catherine for ignoring him and preferring Rodolfo, he’s annoyed at Marco for bringing Rodolfo with him, and for proving him wrong about the oranges, Eddie will be annoyed at Beatrice for inviting Rodolfo and Marco into his house and he is also annoyed with himself, for agreeing to letting them stay with him.
Catherine has a strong, almost masculine character, she earns more money than any of the men in her house and she takes control in her relationship. She tries to stick up for Rodolfo and help him get back at Eddie, when Eddie is mean to Rodolfo about him not asking Eddie’s permission with Catherine, Catherine puts on a song and asks Rodolfo to dance, she asks him to dance because she knows it will annoy Eddie and she wants to get back at him.
It says that she is “flushed with revolt” when she asks him to dance, and Rodolfo picks up on this and doesn’t want to annoy or hurt Eddie any more. Beatrice encourages Rodolfo to dance, because she also wants to get back at Eddie and rub it in his face after Eddie was so rude to him, Beatrice is also doing it for herself because she feels that this way Eddie might finally catch on that there is no way he can ever have Catherine as anything more than his niece.
Catherine succeeds in annoying Eddie, as soon as she asks Rodolfo to dance Eddie freezes, then he starts with testing her on when she bought the new record showing he has definitely acknowledged what is happening in the middle of his room. Then Eddie again starts criticizing Rodolfo, but in a friendly tone, he is saying how Rodolfo is no good on the ship because he can sing, cook, and make dresses, he says, “That’s why the waterfront is no place for him” after Rodolfo hears that he stops dancing and turns off the phonograph, Eddie saying this has shown how he feels Rodolfo is really not welcome on the boats anymore because he thinks he is too feminine, and then to make his point clearer, he invites Marco and Rodolfo to a fight. This gives him a reason to teach Rodolfo boxing, Rodolfo and Beatrice both see it as a sign of bonding.
Rodolfo is laughing and Eddie is complimenting his boxing. Then Eddie asks Rodolfo to hit at Eddie, but Rodolfo doesn’t want to because he thinks Eddie could get angry or ht him back, but he does and Eddie blocks it. Then Eddie asks Rodolfo to block his punch, but he tricks him and punches him straight on. It knocks Rodolfo back but he says, “No, no, he didn’t hurt me.” Then he takes Catherine in his arms and takes the lead in the dancing, the opposite way round that it was before. There is now strong tension between Catherine and Eddie, because he has hurt Rodolfo, and even stronger between Marco and Eddie because now Eddie has actually hit Rodolfo, Rodolfo is Marco’s younger brother and so he is very annoyed.
Eddie is now feeling smug, because he feels he has won, he has shown he is stronger than Rodolfo to Catherine and the others and now he feels that he is back in control. But Marco has finally, silently had enough, and he takes a chair over to Eddie. He asks Eddie to lift the chair in a certain way, Eddie thinks its just a joke, and tries. He fails to lift the chair. Marco takes the chair and lifts to above his head. His smile changes as he holds the chair “like a weapon” above Eddie. Marco does this as a warning that if Eddie continues the way he is towards Rodolfo that he is a lot stronger than Eddie, and will hurt him. Marco has created strong tension between himself and Eddie, and now by showing he is stronger than Eddie, Marco has gained all the control in the house.