Study Guide

A View from the Bridge Women and Femininity

By Arthur Miller

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Women and Femininity

Eddie: "You're getting to be a big girl now, you gotta keep yourself more, you can't be so friendly, kid." (7.36)

Later on Beatrice gives Catherine the same advice, but in regards to Eddie.

Eddie: "I guess I just never figure on one thing."
Catherine, smiling: "What?"
Eddie: "That you would ever grow up." (1.189-191)

Here's the key conflict in the play rearing its head again. Eddie doesn't know how to let Catherine be a woman.

Beatrice: "When am I going to be a wife again, Eddie?" (1.361)

Does Beatrice feel like Catherine has taken her role as wife?

Catherine: "He still thinks I'm a baby."
Beatrice: "Because you think you're a baby." (1.483-484)

Beatrice is basically telling her niece that no one else will see her as a woman until she sees herself that way.

Beatrice: "Like when he comes home sometimes you throw yourself at him like when you was twelve years old." (1.490)

Why is it so bad that Catherine greets Eddie affectionately? How is that girlish?

Beatrice: "You're a woman […] and now the time came when you said goodbye." (1.504)

Does this mean that a girl becomes a woman only after leaving her father figure?

Rodolpho: "You think I would carry on my back the rest of my life a woman I didn't love just to be an American?" (2.45)

What, so all women are burdens?

Catherine: "If I was a wife I would make a man happy instead of goin' at him all the time." (2.57)

Is Catherine seeing being a wife through rose tinted glasses? Is it sometimes a wife's role is to set her husband straight?

Rodolpho, clasping her to him: "Oh, my little girl."
Catherine: Teach me. […] I don't know anything, teach me, Rodolfo, hold me. (2.60-61)

Even in the bedroom with her new man, Catherine still assumes a submissive role.

Eddie: "A wife is supposed to believe the husband." (2.144)

We know a few feminists who might have something to say about this statement.

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