The relationships in ‘A View from the Bridge’ are very complex as because of people’s attitudes back then. There is secrecy, suspicion, love and concern. Eddie is weirdly attracted to Catherine and his relationship with his wife Beatrice deteriorates. The relationship between Eddie and Catherine is very close, although they are not immediate family Eddie has become a surrogate father and thinks of himself as her real father.
He is very protective of his daughter and would probably die for her, but this first innocent love perverts into a weird incest like love for his niece. Eddie still treats her like she is five although she is going out into the big wide world, this shocks Eddie and it makes him closer to her and more possessive which turns ugly when Rodolfo is introduced. At the start of the play Eddie has a go at his daughter about what she is wearing, ‘Catherine I don’t want to be a pest……. Walkin’ wavy’.
This shows he has genuine concern for his daughter similar to how modern fathers would react today; this is more of an example to show how much he loves her like a father rather than a lover. He also doesn’t want to let go for his ‘daughter’ and tries to shoot down any discussion of a job, ‘near the navy yard…….. Longshoremen’ he is unreasonably disagreeing with any suggestions of a real job for Catherine which just amplifies his blatant love for her.
Catherine and Beatrice’s relationship is very different to the relationship between Eddie & Catherine, Beatrice wants the best for Catherine and wants her to go get the job and wants her to leave, and she is more positive than Eddie and less caring for her. This could be that she was not as committed to the adoption of Catherine compared to Eddie, but also as she has had less to lose because Eddie has paid for her to go through school and to live, whereas Bea is probably getting a little sick of her hanging about.
She is very supportive of Catherine’s independence ‘Well I don’t understand when it’s going ……….. It’s an honour for her’. Catherine is also less fond of her and cares more for her uncle as he is the man of the family and provides for her and doesn’t feel for Bea as much because she had less of a role in bringing her up over the years. The relationship between Bea and Eddie starts of normal as the play starts innocent and all happy families but hen as the play progresses Bea starts to notice changes about how Eddie is acting towards her.
As Eddie is spending more time chasing Catherine around he is spending less time with his wife and she becomes distraught and upset and also starts to understand why this is happening. Because of Bea realising his it explains why she is so keen for her to become independent and leave because it would be better for everyone if she did leave. ‘When am I going to be a wife again Eddie? ’ shows how upset she is becoming and Eddie doesn’t seem to care about her and tries to ignore the conversation and not provide her with a straight answer.
The play basically steers the whole relationship systems so that Eddie and Bea come off worse while Eddie and Catherine gets better. It is obvious that Eddie starts to stop caring about Bea and more about Catherine; Catherine doesn’t seem to notice the weird attraction that Eddie has towards her and carries on like normal. And the more she is around the worse Eddie will get and the more attracted the will become. So Arthur miller presents the family as a normal generic happy family that during the course of the play deteriorates into a weird perverted relationship.
Courtney from Study Moose
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