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Feminism Shown In A View From The Bridge.

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Bella Gomes

on 15 December 2014

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Transcript of Feminism Shown In A View From The Bridge.

Major Themes; Gender Roles
Written in the 1950s, A View From The Bridge portrays Eddie and Marco to be the ones who provide for their families while to women must be lady like and stay at home to cook and clean.
Eddies forbidden and unconscious sexual desires for his niece reflect the general desire of men to control female sexuality.
Eddies comments on how short Catherine's skirt is or how shes "walkin wavy" clearly shows Eddies attempt to prevent other men from finding her attractive and therefore limiting her sexual opportunities.
Sexual Desires.

Catherine is said to be to 'blame' for her flirtatious nature towards Eddie "you throw yourself at him...". However this could a be seen as Catherine's behavior being innocent and naive and cannot be held responsible for the fact that a man found her attractive.
Men also have a history of blaming women for their own mistakes, Miller attempts to hold Catherine responsible for her own sexuality is related to this and similarly unfair.
"a wife is supposed to believe in their husband" Beatrice points is out where her livelihood depends on keeping her husband by her side.
Beatrice may also be viewed as a victim; a victim of the social conditions of the time in which she lies where she is forced to continue living with a man who she knows has sexual desires on his niece.
Catherine's inabilty to find her own way in the world supports the idea that women are dependent on men.
Catherine is shown to swap her father figure/love for another man when she replaces Eddies with Rodolfo and submits to Roldolfos control just as she once did for Eddie. Hence her dependance on Rodolfo; "Hold me" and Rodolfos position as the active one in the relationships "leading her to the bedroom".
At no point in the play do we see Catherine asserting herself as an independent woman and she is holding onto the idea at the time that men were superior to women.
Homosexuality or what makes a man "not right" is a constant theme of the novel. This can be seen when Eddie questions Rodolfo because he can sing, cook, make dresses and has blonde hair that makes him look more feminine, and because of this Eddie gives Rodolfo several tests of his masculinity, for example the boxing scene and when Eddie kisses Rodolfo. The stereotypes of the gay man and societal implications of being gay are obiovous, as both Louis and Mike clearly think that there is something wrong with him and Eddie speaking to Alfieri about specific things which bother him about Rodoldo.
" You're getting to be a big girl now, you gotta keep yourself now, you cant be so friendly, kid"
"When am i going to be a wife again, Eddie?"
"You're a woman...and now the time came when you said goodbye"
"If i was a wife I would make a man happy instead of goin' at him all the time"
"You think i would carry on my back the rest of my life a woman I didnt love just to be an American"
Important Quotes.
Beatrice thinks Catherine needs to grow up and become a woman and to do this she needs to decide by herself whether she wants to marry Rodolfo.
Beatrice also comments on the way Catherine acts around Eddie by walking around in her 'slip' and therefore being a woman means to be reserved and modest in front of men.
The separation from Eddie is coupled with the decision to find a husband, Catherines attempt of womanhood is deciding to marry Rodolfo and follow his rules rather than Eddies.

How does Beatrice and Catherine present the theme of femininity in this extract?
(on the handout)
Feminism Shown In A View From The Bridge.
Catherine is shown to try and escape from their domestic role from her potential employment at the plumping company, which Eddie describes as a position of inferiority within a company which usually involves commands from a male boss
In addition, it is clear that, within the Carbone household nothing is finalised without Eddie saying so, for example whether of not Catherine is able to take the job hinges on Eddies decisions. Catherine is unable to challenge Eddies right to decide but only encourage him to allow her to work. The ideas of society at the time show that he is forcing his ideas and opinions on Catherine.
Female sexuality and the ability to reproduce can be seen as a great threat to the male power as women have dominance over being able to control over the most important act of creation that the human race is capable of
As men are unable to give birth themselves, they are forced to control when, where, and with whom the woman can reproduce.
"whatever happened we all done it" Here Beatrice seems to accept partially responsible for Eddies actions.
Have Beatrice and Catherine in some ways shared the role of wife?
'When am I going to be a wife again, Eddie?'
Beatrice could be seen as sharing the role of wife not only in this quote and to do with sexual relations, but in the way that she is portrayed in the play to the audience. She and Catherine sat opposite Eddie and it could be seen as Eddie choosing between the two, as if they were sharing the role. The fact that Catherine is seen to light Eddies' cigar could be seen as a romantic gesture or that the are sharing the role of his wife.
1. Define what you think femininity is
2. Create a mind map of how you think femininity is portrayed in the play (you will add to this later in a different colour)
Add to your mind maps in a different colour with what you have learnt in this lesson.
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