A View from the Bridge

Catherine Character Analysis

Catherine is Eddie’s niece, but he has raised her like a daughter, and she looks up to him as a kind of father figure. She is poised on the threshold of adulthood as the play begins, and Eddie continually tries to hold her back from the adult world and treats her as a child. Despite this, Catherine progressively matures over the course of the play and becomes more independent, securing a job and then pursuing her romantic interest in Rodolpho. Catherine is still heavily influenced (and maybe even manipulated) by other characters like Beatrice and Rodolpho, but shows signs of real independence when she justifies her closeness with Eddie to Rodolpho and when she berates Eddie late in the play even more than Beatrice thinks is appropriate.

Catherine Quotes in A View from the Bridge

The A View from the Bridge quotes below are all either spoken by Catherine or refer to Catherine. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of A View from the Bridge published in 2009.
Act 1 Quotes

Listen, you been givin’ me the willies the way you walk down the street, I mean it.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Catherine
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

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Katie, I promised your mother on her death-bed. I’m responsible for you. You’re a baby, you don’t understand these things.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Catherine
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

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Look, you gotta get used to it, she’s no baby no more.

Related Characters: Beatrice (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

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Eddie:
There was a family lived next door to her mother, he was about sixteen—

Beatrice:
No, he was no more than fourteen, cause I was to his confirmation in Saint Agnes. but the family had an uncle that they were hidin’ in the house, and he snitched to the Immigration.

Catherine:
The kid snitched?

Eddie:
On his own uncle!

Catherine:
What, was he crazy?

Eddie:
He was crazy after, I tell you that, boy.

Beatrice:
Oh, it was terrible. He had five brothers and the old father. And they grabbed him in the kitchen and pulled him down the stairs—three flights his head was bouncin’ like a coconut. And they spit on him in the street, his own father and his brothers. The whole neighborhood was cryin’.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Catherine (speaker)
Page Number: 17-18
Explanation and Analysis:

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Beatrice:
The girl is gonna be eighteen years old, it’s time already.

Eddie:
B., he’s taking her for a ride!

Beatrice:
All right, that’s her ride. What’re you gonna stand over her till she’s forty?

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Catherine, Rodolpho
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

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It means you gotta be your own self more. You still think you’re a little girl, honey. but nobody else can make up your mind for you any more, you understand? You gotta give him to understand that he can’t give you orders no more.

Related Characters: Beatrice (speaker), Catherine
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

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Alfieri:
Is there a question of law somewhere?

Eddie:
That’s what I want to ask you.

Alfieri:
Because there’s nothing illegal about a girl falling in love with an immigrant.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Alfieri (speaker), Catherine, Rodolpho
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

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We all love somebody, the wife, the kids—every man’s got somebody that he loves, heh? But sometimes . . . there’s too much. You know? There’s too much, and it goes where it mustn’t. A man works hard, he brings up a child, sometimes it’s a niece, sometimes even a daughter, and he never realizes it, but through the years—there is too much love for the daughter, there is too much love for the niece. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2 Quotes

Do you think I am so desperate? My brother is desperate, not me. You think I would carry on my back the rest of my life a woman I didn’t love just to be an American? It’s so wonderful? You think we have no tall buildings in Italy? Electric lights? No wide streets? No flags? No automobiles? Only work we don’t have. I want to be an American so I can work, that is the only wonder here—work!

Related Characters: Rodolpho (speaker), Catherine
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

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Don’t, don’t laugh at me! I’ve been here all my life. . . . Every day I saw him when he left in the morning and when he came home at night. You think it’s so easy to turn around and say to a man he’s nothin’ to you no more?

Related Characters: Catherine (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Rodolpho
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

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Catherine. If I take in my hands a little bird. And she grows and wishes to fly. But I will not let her out of my hands because I love her so much, is that right for me to do?

Related Characters: Rodolpho (speaker), Catherine
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

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This is my last word, Eddie, take it or not, that’s your business. Morally and legally you have no rights, you cannot stop it; she is a free agent.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

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The law is only a word for what has a right to happen. When the law is wrong it’s because it’s unnatural, but in this case it is natural and a river will drown you if you buck it now. Let her go. And bless her.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

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Catherine:
How can you listen to him? This rat!

Beatrice:
Don’t you call him that!

Catherine:
What’re you scared of? He’s a rat! He belongs in the sewer!

Related Characters: Beatrice (speaker), Catherine (speaker), Eddie Carbone
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

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Catherine Character Timeline in A View from the Bridge

The timeline below shows where the character Catherine appears in A View from the Bridge. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
...who works on the docks. Eddie is returning home after work, and sees his niece Catherine. (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie notices that Catherine is well dressed and has made her hair look nice. He asks where she’s planning... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine begins to get upset, and Eddie reminds her that he promised her mother as she... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
As the three prepare to eat dinner, Catherine shares her news with Eddie. She has gotten a job as a typist at a... (full context)
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie tells Catherine her hair makes her look like “the madonna type.” He relents and tells her she... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie and Beatrice tell Catherine the story of a nearby boy who “snitched to the Immigration” about his illegal immigrant... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Catherine says she is supposed to start work the next Monday, and Eddie wishes her luck,... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
...him stay and says that as soon as Eddie wants them out, they will leave. Catherine notices and remarks on Rodolpho’s light blond hair. (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Catherine asks if Rodolpho is married. He isn’t, and he says he wants to stay in... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...new is staying in the apartment. Marco tells Rodolpho to be quiet. Eddie notices that Catherine is wearing high-heeled shoes, and tells her to go into her room and change them. (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...Eddie and his family a few weeks in the future. Eddie is waiting impatiently for Catherine and Rodolpho to return from seeing a movie. He tells Beatrice that Rodolpho is supposed... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Eddie asks Beatrice if Catherine has said anything about Rodolpho, and Beatrice says that Rodolpho is “a nice kid." Eddie... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...Marco “goes around like a man,” in contrast to Rodolpho. He says he didn’t bring Catherine up for someone like Rodolpho. Beatrice changes the subject and asks, “When am I gonna... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
...something more, as they laugh about Rodolpho. Mike and Louis leave, just as Rodolpho and Catherine enter. (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie asks where Catherine and Rodolpho have been, wanting to make sure they haven’t gone to Times Square. Catherine... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie asks Catherine if she likes Rodolpho. She says she does, and he warns her that Rodolpho doesn’t... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine is upset, and insists that Rodolpho loves her. She runs into the apartment and Eddie... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Beatrice tells Catherine, “you gotta be your own self more,” and encourages her to make her own decisions... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Beatrice tells Catherine that she needs to act differently and tell Eddie not to order her around, because... (full context)
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
...He asks Eddie what he wants him to do, since there is nothing illegal about Catherine falling in love with Rodolpho. (full context)
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie says that Rodolpho is only interested in Catherine in order to become an American citizen, but Alfieri says there is no proof of... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
...sings and hits very high notes with an almost womanly voice. He says that recently Catherine had a dress that was too small for her, and Rodolpho took it apart and... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...and Alfieri tells him that children have to grow up and advises him to let Catherine go. (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...about how hard he has worked, going anywhere he could find jobs, just to support Catherine and raise her. He angrily talks about how he has taken Rodolpho in and given... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
...knew then what would happen, but was powerless to stop it. Back at Eddie’s apartment, Catherine tells Beatrice about how Rodolpho and Marco once went to Africa on a fishing boat.... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Rodolpho assures Eddie that he has respect for Catherine and asks if he has done anything wrong. Eddie says that Rodolpho has come home... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine puts on a record, playing the song “Paper Doll,” and asks Rodolpho if he wants... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...up in protest, but Rodolpho says he’s fine. Eddie says he’ll teach Rodolpho again sometime. Catherine and Rodolpho dance again to “Paper Doll.” (full context)
Act 2
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
...says that it is now the 23rd of December. Marco and Eddie are working, and Catherine and Rodolpho are alone at the apartment. Catherine asks Rodolpho what he would think about... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine tells Rodolpho she doesn’t want to stay here because she is afraid of Eddie. Rodolpho... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...Italy, that the only thing they have that Italy doesn’t is work. Rodolpho asks why Catherine fears Eddie, and Catherine says that he was always kind to her, and she doesn’t... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine tells Rodolpho that she’s lived with Eddie her whole life, and asks, “You think its... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine starts to cry and embraces Rodolpho. She tells him, “I don’t know anything, teach me,... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine tells Eddie that she has to leave, and Eddie says that she will stay, and... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Rodolpho is shocked and tells Eddie to stop. He says that Catherine will be his wife, and then lunges at Eddie. Eddie restrains Rodolpho and then suddenly... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...give me the right kind of fight,” and tells Alfieri that he kissed Rodolpho so Catherine would see what Rodolpho really is. Eddie asks what he can do about Catherine and... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Alfieri tells Eddie that someone was going to marry Catherine eventually, and says he should let her go. Eddie leaves and goes to a public... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie says he doesn’t want Catherine to move in with Rodolpho and Beatrice gets upset. Eddie says, “this is my house... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...a wife should believe her husband, and insists that Rodolpho “ain’t right.” He says that Catherine is a baby and doesn’t know what she’s doing with Rodolpho. Beatrice replies that Eddie... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie starts to cry, and Catherine enters. Beatrice encourages Catherine to ask Eddie a question. Catherine tells him that she is... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
...other immigrants might get caught, and lead the authorities to Marco and Rodolpho. Eddie tells Catherine to move Rodolpho and Marco to a different apartment building. Two Immigration Bureau officers knock... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Catherine and Beatrice plead with the officers, but they carry the immigrants away. Marco breaks free,... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Later, at a prison, Alfieri and Catherine visit Marco and Rodolpho. Alfieri says that Marco can be bailed out until his immigration... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
The play then jumps to the day of Catherine’s wedding. At Eddie’s apartment, Beatrice is getting ready for the wedding and tries to convince... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine calls Eddie a rat and says he belongs in the sewer. Beatrice tells Catherine to... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
...says that Eddie wants something else, and then tells him, “you can never have her!” Catherine and Eddie are both shocked at this. (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...grabs his arm and turns the knife on Eddie, stabbing him. Eddie falls over, and Catherine exclaims that she never meant to hurt him. (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie calls out for Beatrice, and Beatrice and Catherine hold Eddie up. He dies in Beatrice’s arms. Alfieri comes forward and addresses the audience.... (full context)