Explain The Significance Of The Title ‘A View From The Bridge’

1825 words - 8 pages

A View from the Bridge is written by Arthur Miller. Miller became interested in the work and lives of the communities of dock workers and Longshoremen of New York’s Brooklyn Harbour, and where he had himself previously worked. In 1947, he was told an interesting story about another longshoreman in the area who had snitched to the Immigration Bureau on his own relatives. The Longshoreman was attempting to prevent the marriage between one of the brothers and his niece. Eight years later, in 1955, A View from the Bridge, based on the story of that same Longshoreman, was produced. Miller intended for the play to be a Greek tragedy.
The play tells the story of Eddie Carbone, a Brooklyn longshoreman working in the New York docks. His wife, Beatrice’s cousins seek refuge as illegal immigrants from Italy. Trouble begins when his niece, Catherine becomes attracted to the younger of the two immigrants, Rodolpho and Eddie’s desires for his niece drives him to his own destruction. The play is set in New York in the 1950s in an Italian immigrant community. This essay will explore the different meanings of the title and how it is significant.

The bridge is a metaphor. A bridge connects two places together but keeps them separate. It shows you ‘a’ view from where you are, you can see in front of you and behind you. It is the bridge in New York which connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, two different communities which are connected but are kept apart.

The characters: Eddie, Catherine, Beatrice, Marco, Rodolpho and Alfieri make bridges or connections between other characters. Catherine is trying to build bridges; her growing up is a bridge as well. For example, the audience sees Catherine crossing the bridge from a girl to a woman. This is shown by the new makeover Catherine had given herself at the start of the play. Eddie is faced with the fact that Catherine is becoming a woman, ‘I think it’s too short…,’ he is afraid of Catherine growing up and leaving him so he criticises Catherine’s new look. For a young woman in the 1950s wearing a skirt is thought to be immoral because it shows immodesty.
Eddie also says, 'Now don't aggravate me, Katie, you are walkin' wavy! […] with them new high heels on the sidewalk – clack, clack, clack. The heads are turnin' like windmills’. In Eddie’s world, high heels mean a mature and attractive woman and he obviously disapproves this because he is terrified of facing his secret feelings for Catherine and is afraid of other men falling in love with her.

Another way that Miller shows that Catherine is growing up is when she says, ‘I’m not a baby…Beatrice says to be a woman’, this shows that Beatrice encourages Catherine to be mature and independent, so she is now prepared to act like a mature woman.
In this scene she also asks Rodolpho to teach her and they move towards the bedroom. When Catherine enters from the bedroom, she emerges to speak to Eddie adjusting her dress. This indicates that an innocence of virginity is seen and...

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