rising action · Eddie is protective of his niece Catherine, Marco and Catherine fall inlove, Eddie is determined to stop the marriage.
climax · The Immigration Bureau comes to arrest Marco and Rodolpho.
falling action · Alifieri pays bail for Marco and Rodolpho, the day of Catherine and Rodolpho's marriage Marco unintentionally results in Eddie's death.
The hardworking, blue collar lead of the play. Eddie is an Italian-Americanlongshoreman (dockyard worker) who provides food on the table for his family, a roof over their heads, and an education for his orphaned niece, Catherine, whom he and his wife have raised. But underneath Eddie's average guy personality is a conflicted man, whose love for his niece may be deeper than just paternal, implying a possible incestuous desire. He calls the Immigration Bureau to inform on Rodolphoand Marco, which produces dire consequences. Killed by his own knife at Marco's hands when trying to attack him, he dies in Beatrice's arms at the end of the play.
The sweet, naive young girl and female lead of the play. Catherine is a stenographer fresh out of high school and relatively new to the world. She develops an attraction to her aunt's cousin, Rodolpho, which isthe complication that sets in action the story of the play. Her late mother, Nancy, was the sister of Beatrice.
Eddie's spouse and aunt of Catherine. Beatrice's character throughout remains a strong and constant figure, loyal to her husband right to the end, despite also being a caring substitute mother to Catherine. She is subtly wise and tactful, softly guiding Catherinethrough the play and supporting her, despite being aware her husband is in love with her. She is perhaps modern for her times, bold, as she is not afraid to confront Eddie about their dysfunctional sexual relationship.
Beatrice's cousin from Italy. He appears to fall in love with Catherine. He tries unsuccessfully to prevent the fight between Eddie and Marco by making a truce.Rodolpho is seen by Eddie as having too many 'effeminate' talents, and of seeking to marry Catherine only for the purpose of gaining US citizenship. Eddie's outrage that Catherine could love and want to marry somebody like Rodolpho drives on the play from the second Act.
Rodolpho's older brother and a man of few words. Like Rodolpho, he came to America illegally, but not to be acitizen. His plan was to make money to support his family back home in Italy, which was still suffering post-war Europe's crippled economy. He is very grateful to be given a chance to prosper in America. Following his betrayal by Eddie, he kills Eddie (arguably in self defense) in a fight over the breaking of an unspoken law about always being loyal to one's family.
The narrator of theplay and a family friend of the Carbones. Alfieri is the wise attorney who dispenses legal advice to Eddie. Essentially, Alfieri is the proxy, the representative of the Red Hook neighborhood, completely familiar with its turf and its inhabitants. He tries to warn Eddie about turning on his family. His function in the play can be compared to that of the Chorus in Greek theatre.
Louis and MikeCo-workers and friends of Eddie. They can't resist mocking Eddie for taking in his cousins, "He's a.. always making remarks ya' know!?" who seem to overshadow Eddie. During the final moments of the play, they try to prevent Eddie from attacking Marco with a knife.
Immigration Officer 1
A stern Manhattan immigration officer who takes Rodolpho and Marco away, after Eddie's anonymous...