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English Literature


Act 2a

It is nearly Christmas. Catherine and Rodolpho are alone in the apartment for the first time. Catherine is sombre. She asks Rodolpho if they could live in Italy when they are married, but he claims it would be ridiculous to go back to such poverty. He does reassure her that he is not going to marry her just to gain US citizenship, however. She says that she doesn't want to hurt Eddie. When he has comforted her, they go into the bedroom. Eddie returns, drunk, and is aghast to see Rodolpho follow Catherine out of the bedroom. He tells Rodolpho to leave immediately; Catherine says that she will go too, but Eddie grabs her and kisses her. When Rodolpho protests, saying Catherine is going to be his wife, Eddie kisses him too. The men fight, "like animals".

Four days later, Eddie returns to Alfieri and tells him what happened. Marco has not been told of the fight. Alfieri reiterates that there is nothing Eddie or the law can do to prevent the wedding. He advises Eddie to let the couple marry, warning him that there could be awful consequences if he didn't. Yet Eddie ignores Alfieri's words and telephones the Immigration Bureau, anonymously, to betray the cousins. When Eddie returns home, he finds that Marco and Rodolpho have moved upstairs to a neighbour's apartment. There is a tense conversation with Beatrice - she is very angry with him. Beatrice tells Eddie that Catherine and Rodolpho are going to get married next week, ironically because Catherine is afraid that the authorities will catch up with the brothers. She tries to get Eddie - who has tears in his eyes - to agree to come to the wedding and, when Catherine comes in, Beatrice encourages Catherine to ask Eddie herself. Catherine refuses to listen to Eddie's suggestion that it is not too late for her to meet other boys - his last-ditch attempt to prevent the wedding.

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