GCSE English Literature Revision: A View from the Bridge Themes: Part 2

3rd April 2017

New GCSE English Literature syllabus revision – Drama/Play/Theatre

A View from the Bridge – Themes (Part 2)

Here are a few key things to understand about the text:

  • The play A View From The Bridge was written by the American playwright Arthur Miller. First staged in 1955, the play is set in the 1950s in America. The characters live in an Italian American neighbourhood near the Brooklyn Bridge.


  • Arthur Miller got caught up in the McCarthy trials, a period when the American government thought that artists of the time were hiding communists. Arthur wrote the play showing a community which did hide and protect so called ‘unlawful’ behaviour.


  • Eddie Carbone, the central character, gets ready to host his wife’s relatives from Italy called Rodolpho and Marco. When they arrive the younger cousin Rodolpho, and Eddie’s niece Catherine, fall in love immediately. Eddie starts to say that Rodolpho is gay because he is good looking and can cook and sew. Really Eddie is jealous and can’t handle his niece growing up and making her own choices.


  • Catherine is becoming a woman and is getting a lot of attention in the neighbourhood. Eddie has taken care of her for years and struggles badly with the idea of her taking work, having a relationship and eventually moving out.


  • The view from the Brooklyn bridge looks into the community of Red Hook where the story takes place. The bridge symbolises the path from poverty into the affluent neighbourhoods of the city.


  • This is a sad tale of a family and community breakdown. Eddie is driven mad by his own thoughts and tries anything to stop the inevitable future which unravels.


A View From The Bridge is a famous play which deals with themes of;



Brooklyn and Italy


To learn more about the Themes in A View From The Bridge check out our A View From The Bridge - Themes  Part 1 GCSE revision song and accompanying notes.


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