A View from the Bridge
Women and Femininity Theme
A View from the Bridge does a great job of showing the unfortunate role of women in 1950s Red Hook, Brooklyn. For the most part, they're forced to be submissive to the men. Getting married and having babies is perceived as their basic function. There is also a good bit of discussion on the whole coming-of-age side of things. How does a girl become a woman? The play also does some interesting blurring of the lines between the role of wife and daughter.
Questions About Women and Femininity
- Have Beatrice and Catherine in some ways shared the role of wife?
- What does it mean to be a woman in this community? What freedoms does it allow? How does it trap them?
- At what points in the play do we see women challenge their submissive role?
- Are the women just as responsible for their second class citizenship as the men? Are they equally as attached to the patriarchal father-knows-best system? Or is it entirely forced upon them?
Chew on This
Catherine will never become a "woman," because her entire existence is based on making men happy.
A View from the Bridge presents an accurate if dismal picture of the roles of women in 1950s America.