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A View From the Bridge Analysis – Everything YOU Need To Know – English GCSE

If you need help in English Literacy GCSE or want information on ‘A View From the Bridge’, you have come to the right place. This article as well as being very long will have everything you need to know about A View From the Bridge, from the story plot to Alfieri’s monologue and from an analysis of the main characters such as Eddie and Beatrice Carbone, Marco and Rodolpho and so on. Feel free to skip the the sections that are most relevant to you and thank this article by clicking the thank button at the very end of this article.

Now, here’s a sum up of the story:

Eddie Carbone is an Italian longshoreman working on the New York docks. When his wife‘s cousins, Marco and Rodolpho, seek refuge as illegal immigrants from Sicily, Eddie agrees to shelter them. Trouble begins when his wife‘s niece is attracted to Rodolpho. Eddie‘s jealously eventually makes him call immigration for the two cousins: he will do anything to get Rodolpho away from his wife’s niece Catherine. Marco hates Eddie for this and spits at him before he is escorted away by immigration. Marco then swears not to kill Eddie and is released on bail in which time Eddie tries to get his name and respect from Marco. Marco refuses so Eddie tries killing him with a knife. Marco turns the knife so it points at Eddie and stabs him in the stomach, killing Eddie: the tragic hero.

Alfieri’s Monologue
At the right beginning, a lawyer named Alfieri performs an opening monologue. He speaks about how to came to New York 25 years ago in the era of Al Capone and Frankie Yale. He speaks colloquial and brings up key issues that will be in the play of struggling to grow up in New York and running into gang warfare. He also tells the audience this is a tragedy ‘watched it run it’s bloody course’ and the tragic hero’s name is Eddie Carbone, ‘a longshoreman working the docks from Brooklyn Bridge.

We get the impression that the people of Red Hook are:

  • Poor
  • Have a lack of elegance and glamour
  • not welcoming to outsiders
  • untrustworthy
  • a immigrant hotspot
The most important thing Alfieri says speaks for the region of Red Hook and the story plot itself:

‘Justly shot by unjust men’

People that deserved to be killed are shot by people who also deserved to be shot: criminals shoot criminals. This brings up some ideas of:

  • Law – all the law is not in a book.
  • Justice.
  • Distrust.
  • Civilised.
  • Compensation.
  • Eviction.
  • People deserved to be shot that had no right to shoot.
Back to the point all the law is not in a book, this is illustrated best with the example of Vinne Borsalno (P5-15) which is a kid who snitched to immigration on his own family. Because of this, his own family dragged him head first down the stairs and through him out turning their back on his like he’s not family. People spat at him in disgust down the street. All the law is not in a book as there is a moral code too.
The early pages, pages 5-15, of the book we also find a bit about:
Eddie‘s feelings towards Catherine:
  • He’s sad she’s growing up – ‘I’m responsible for you. You’re a baby, you don’t understand these things’.
  • He’s very protective – ‘(to Catherine) I don’t like the looks the’re giving you’.
  • Proud of her beauty – ‘if your mother was alive to see you now she wouldn’t believe it’.
  • Proud of her success – ‘(to Catherine surprised) Fifty?’
How Catherine feels about Eddie:
  • Upset at his disapproval – ‘(almost in tears because he disapproves) What do you want me to do?’ – It’s like she’s given up.
  • Eager to please.
  • Repeats his opinion.
How Eddie feels about Beatrice:
  • ‘too big a heart’.
  • She fusses too much.
  • ‘You mad at me lately?’
How Beatrice feels about Eddie:
  • Annoyed – ‘you’re the one is mad’.
  • Respect his authority.
  • ‘Your’re an angel’.
Chain of Events of pages 36-42
On pages 36-42, how does Miller build the tension?
  • Eddie says they paint oranges in Italy – P36
  • Rodolpho: ‘lemons are green’ – P37
  • Eddie to Marco, ‘I mean you know – they count the kids and there’s a couple extra’ – P37
  • Eddie explains how you shouldn’t have a girl without permission like Rodolpho has – P38
  • Eddie sets his rules – P38
  • Beatrice backs Rodolpho, ‘Same chance in daytime’ – P38
  • Catherine dances with Rodolpho using a record they bought together – P38
  • Eddie, ‘He’s a cook too! He sings, he cooks’ suggesting Rodolpho is out of place at waterfront – P39
  • Eddie invites cousins to boxing fight to change subject as he can’t sing or cook. Play to his strengths – P40
  • Has a little play boxing fight with Rodolpho to show his dominance over him – P41
  • Marco challenges Eddie and uses his strength to pick up the chair. Marco proves his strength: sets authority and shows he’s going to stand up to Rodolpho – P42
Key Events
Here is the key events of A View From the Bridge in order:

Insults Rodolpho about being different:
  • Eddie keeps his head turned away – P23
  • Louis and Mike conversation laughing at Rodolpho.
  • Eddie, ‘B., the guy is no good!’
  • Eddie, ‘he sings on the ship, did ja know that’
Suggests Marco’s wife will cheat on him

Boxing/punching Rodolpho

Kissing Rodolpho and Catherine

Calling immigration

Attacking Marco and dying

Important Quotes
P16-22 – The arrival of the cousins
  • ‘Look kid’ – Eddie being disrespectful – P21
  • ‘Do me a favour’ – Eddie disrespects Catherine
  • ‘You’ll be quiet’ Marco says – Father figure
  • ‘When you say go, we will go’ – Marco respects Eddie and his house
  • ‘Older one sick in chest, my wife – she feeds from own mouth’ – P18
  • Marco will be aware of Eddie’s discomfort around Rodolpho
  • ‘You come early now’ – Marco – P39
  • ‘Count kids and there’s a few extra when you come back’ – Eddie
  • ‘No oranges in Italy’ – Marco takes control – P37
  • ‘I beg you pardon Eddie’ – Marco wants an apology – P39
  • ‘Sure, very good cook. Rice, pasta, fish, everything’ – Marco’s proud of Rodolpho, compliments him on his cooking – P39
  • Eddie disrespects Rodolpho and kisses him – P47
  • ‘You see’ – Rodolpho loses pride and family honour – P47
  • Eddie has a crazy thing going on for his niece Catherine but he goes judging others.
  • Calling immigration bureau
  • Beatrice gets angry at situation
  • Marco spits in Eddie‘s face in front of everyone – P57
  • ‘That one I accuse that one!’
  • ‘That one! He killed my children! That one stole the food from my children!’
  • ‘Animal! You go on your knees to me!’ (P63, he wants Eddie to admit it)
  • ‘All the law is not in a book’ – Marco suggesting different type of justice – P59
  • ‘I want my respect’ – Eddie wants his respect back – P60
A View From the Bridge?
The bridge mentioned in the title is indeed Brooklyn bridge, which is located just near Red Hook. It is called a A View From the Bridge because Alfieri is giving the audience the same view he was given: a powerless view like you are watching this tragedy from a bridge.


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