A View from the Bridge

Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of A View from the Bridge published in 2009.
Act 1 Quotes

But this is Red Hook, not Sicily. This is the slum that faces the bay on the seaward side of Brooklyn Bridge. This is the gullet of New York swallowing the tonnage of the world. And now we are quite civilized, quite American.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Brooklyn Bridge
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

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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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Listen, they’ll think it’s a millionaire’s house compared to the way they live. Don’t worry about the walls. They’ll be thankful.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Marco, Rodolpho
Page Number: 9
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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Me, I want to be an American. And then I want to go back to Italy when I am rich, and I will buy a motorcycle.

Related Characters: Rodolpho (speaker)
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

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I’m gonna buy a paper doll that I can call my own, A doll that other fellows cannot steal.

Related Characters: Rodolpho (speaker)
Related Symbols: “Paper Doll”
Page Number: 28
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
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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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That one! I accuse that one!

Related Characters: Marco (speaker), Eddie Carbone
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

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Alfieri:
To promise not to kill is not dishonorable.

Marco:
No?

Alfieri:
No.

Marco:
Then what is done with such a man.

Alfieri:
Nothing. If he obeys the law, he lives. That’s all.

Marco:
The law? All the law is not in a book.

Alfieri:
Yes. In a book. There is no other law.

Marco:
He degraded my brother. My blood. He robbed my children, he mocks my work. I work to come here, mister!

Alfieri:
I know, Marco—

Marco:
There is no law for that? Where is the law for that?

Alfieri:
There is none.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Marco (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Rodolpho
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

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This is not God, Marco. You hear? Only God makes justice.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Marco
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

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Eddie:
Didn’t you hear what I told you? You walk out that door to that wedding you ain’t comin’ back here, Beatrice.

Beatrice:
Why! What do you want?

Eddie:
I want my respect. Didn’t you ever hear of that? From my wife?

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Beatrice
Page Number: 80
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
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I want my name! He didn’t take my name; he’s a punk. Marco’s got my name—and you can run tell him, kid, that he’s gonna give it back to me in front of this neighborhood, or we have it out.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Marco, Rodolpho
Page Number: 83
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Maybe he come to apologize to me. Heh, Marco? For what you said about me in front of the neighborhood? . . . Wipin’ the neighborhood with my name like a dirty rag! I want my name, Marco.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Marco
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:

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I confess that something perversely pure calls to me from his memory—not purely good, but himself purely, for he allowed himself to be wholly known and for that I think I will love him more than all my sensible clients. And yet, it is better to settle for half, it must be! And so I mourn him—I admit it—with a certain . . . alarm.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone
Page Number: 86
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