A View from the Bridge is set in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in the 1950s. At the time, it was a majority Italian American community. All of the characters are of Italian origin, and some are newly arrived. As you might expect, lots of comparisons are drawn between the two places. The play explores differing ideas of justice, rural vs. urban lifestyles, and the economic differences between the two countries.
The climax of the play represents the failure of American law to adequately resolve the conflicts of the people.
Italian ideas of revenge and honor are the real culprits in this tragedy.