A View From The Bridge: Forms Of Love In A Novel

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Love, a complex set of emotions related to strong feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth, and respect for another person. As Lord Byron once said, “Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey.” Though love is the main theme of many stories throughout the ages, in A View from the Bridge many forms of love are presented and it stands out from many others as it not only presents the typical romantic love, parental love and brotherly love common in many plays, books and poems it also presents a sort of forbidden kind of love between a parent and their child. Like how Robert Miller as shown the audience there are many different kinds of laws and justice he as also shown us a great variety of love with some acceptable and others completely unacceptable.

A View from the Bridge is a play by Arthur Miller first staged on September 29, 1955. This play is about the Carbone family. Eddie, his wife Beatrice and their niece Catherine. The family is about to welcome Beatrice’s cousins Marco and Rodolpho from Sicily as they have come to America for better work. Marco and Rodolpho stay with the Carbone family. During their stay, Catherine and Rodolpho fall in love which Eddie finds irritating. He eventually finds more things about Rodolpho that he dislikes. As the two young lovers decide to get married Eddie does the unthinkable reporting the cousins as illegal immigrants. This makes all his friends, family and neighbours treat him with suspicion and hatred. Marco comes to take revenge but Eddie pulls a knife out during the fight which Marco uses to stab him. Eddie dies in his wife’s arms.

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Arthur Miller shows the audience many forms of love throughout the play setting love can be seen by the audience as responsible for conflict, jealousy, bitterness and betrayal in the play. Cathrine’s love for Rodolpho and Eddie’s forbidden love for Cathrine lead to the central conflict of the play. But even before that point, it is Marco’s love for his family that motivates him to come to America and it is Beatrice’s love for her family that leads to her letting Marco and Rodolpho stay in her home. In addition to this, A View from the Bridge explores how many times people are driven by desires that don’t fit the mould of normal romantic and familial love.

One of the first things we see in the play is familial love. Beatrice’s love of her family is evident as shown in her support of her cousins that she has never even met before and takes them into her house. She worries over the state of the house by stating her disbelief as to how she forgot to buy a new tablecloth and that she was going to wash the walls showing that she wants to clean up her house for the arrival of her cousins. Beatrice, Eddie and Catherine are portrayed as a loving family at the beginning of the play as Eddie worries about Cathrine. This kind of love can also be seen in Marco’s love for his family in Sicily and his brother. The fact that he is almost bought to tears shows the audience the strength of his feelings.

Romantic love is shown through Eddie’s relationship with Beatrice and Rodolpho’s relationship with Cathrine. Cathrine and Rodolpho fall in love. Cathrine’s love for Rodolpho is shown when Eddie interrupts Rodolpho singing and Cathrine stops Eddie by saying “Leave him to finish, it’s beautiful! He’s terrific! Its terrific Rodolpho”. Rodolpho shows his love for her in his passionate speech making it clear that he loves her for who she is and is not using her to gain US citizenship as Eddie suggests. This is shown in the line “You think I would carry on my back for the rest of my life a woman I didn’t love just to be an American?” Said by Rodolpho. Romantic love is also seen when Beatrice stays loyal to Eddie even when Eddie acts upon his jealousy and makes things hard for her cousins. She wants a proper passionate relationship with Eddie as seen when she said: “When am I going to be a wife again, Eddie?” Her loyalty extends to staying with him when she could be attending Cathrine’s wedding and in the end, Eddie returns her feelings with his final words being “My B!” As Eddie dies in the arms of Beatrice showing the audience that the long-enduring love of marriage triumphs over his obsession of Cathrine. Eddie reunites with his wife in death as he has finally seen the mistakes he has made. Beatrice also shows her love for Eddie though her support of Rodolpho’s relationship with Cathrine as she wants Eddie to get over his love for Cathrine and focus on her instead.

Brotherly love is evident in Marco and Rodolpho relationship as Marco is very protective of Rodolpho shown to the audience through his actions such as when he defends his brother after Eddie’s verbal attack when he lifts a chair “like a weapon” as if he is about to strike at Eddie.

Paternal love can be seen through Cathrine and Eddie’s relationship even though they are uncle and niece. For example, Cathrine lighting his cigar and his concern for her safety and education. Though where this behaviour crosses the line is up for interpretation as Beatrice shows how this father-daughter relationship has been twisted into something unnatural in the line “You want somethin’ else, Eddie, and you can never have her!”

The love of homeland is seen in Marco and Rodolopho’s love of Sicily. Rodolopho’s love of New York is shown through his embracing of American life and values. When Eddie asks him if he plans to stay in America and he replies “Me? Yes” and his statements about wanting to be an American throughout the play.

The forbidden love between father and daughter is shown when Eddie telling Cathrine not to wear high heels and that men were looking at her as shown in the line “you are walkin’ wavy! I don’t like the looks they’re givin’ you in the candy store.” this implies that Eddie is possessive of Cathrine that he doesn’t want her being looked at by other men but then he also shows that he cares very much for Cathrine as he said, “You ain’t ‘all the girls’.”

In conclusion, Arthur Miller has shown love to be one of the main motivations of the characters in his play. Forbidden love such as romantic feelings between a father and a daughter is shown to result in nothing good while normal forms of love such as romantic love, parental love and brotherly love are shown to be able to withstand many trials and finally realise in a happy ending. 


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