Study Guide

A View from the Bridge Contrasting Regions

By Arthur Miller

Contrasting Regions

Alfieri: "I was born in Italy…I only came here when I was twenty-five." (1.1)

Alfieri is the only speaking character who is an immigrant himself but has spent a substantial amount of his life in America.

Alfieri: "But this is Red Hook, not Sicily. […] now we are quite civilized, quite American." (1.1)

Is America really as civilized as Alfieri sees it?"

Eddie: "Listen, they'll think it's a millionaire's house compared to the way they live." (1.51)

Eddie is totally right about this, based on how Rodolfo reacts to the house later on.

Eddie: "suppose my father didn't come to this country and I was starvin' like them over there." (1.75)

The entire Italian community in Red Hook seems to welcome immigrants for this very same reason.

Rodolpho: "This will be the first house I ever walked into in America! Imagine! She said they were poor!" (1.203)

People must be pretty darn poor in Sicily. Red Hook tenements really aren't so nice by American standards.

Catherine: "They got oranges on the trees where he comes from, and lemons. Imagine – on the trees?" (2.419)

Here's Miller highlighting how rural life is in Sicily compared to Brooklyn. Things actually still grow over there. Imagine that.

Eddie: "it might be a little more free here but it's just as strict." (1.620)

Does Eddie realize he's contradicting himself here?

Rodolpho: "You think we have no tall buildings in Italy? No wide streets? No flags? No automobiles?" (2.45)

Is Rodolfo sick of people acting like his country is so inferior?

Rodolpho: "I want to be an American so I can work." (2.45)

To Rodolfo, that's what America is: work.

Marco: "In my country [Eddie] would be dead now." (2.241)

Here we see the stark differences between old school Italian justice and American.

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