Catherine is a young developing woman but is still very nave. Eddie has kept her shielded from the real world and Catherine doesn’t understand that men are looking at her in a different way and getting ideas. She doesn’t know or understand that not everybody you meet in life are like Eddie and Beatrice but there are dangerous people out in the real world. Eddie tries to get Catherine prepared for the real world without showing or telling her that it’s every man for themselves, but instead he takes the easy option and encourages her to look right on the outside with her clothes, shoes and hair although on the inside,emotionally, Catherine is socially immature. ‘Now don’t aggravate me, Katie you are walking wavy! I don’t like the looks their giving you in the candy store. And with them new high heels on the sidewalk – clack, clack, clack the heads are turning like windmills.’
In some respects Catherine is similar to teenage girls of today in the way that she is focused on her education, getting a job and she dresses how she wants not how others want her to. When Eddie hears Catherine has been offered a job he says ‘what job? She’s going to finish school’ But Catherine, with her youthful exuberance, replies ‘listen a minute, its wonderful’. When Catherine wears her new skirt and shoes Eddie tells her not to, but she thinks differently and says ‘Eddie, it’s the style now. Mean if you see me walking down the street -.’ Eddie doesn’t want Catherine to work at this company as it’s in a bad area of town but Catherine is unaware of this because she has been shielded from that part of society. He claims ‘ near the navy yard plenty can happen in a block and a half. And a plumbing company! That’s a step over the waterfront. They’re practically longshoremen.’
Beatrice can see that Eddie is a bit too involved with Catherine, but she is a weak character and a weak minded person. Although she tries to talk to Eddie and try to persuade him to realise what he’s doing, she will never stand up to Eddie and say what she thinks. Beatrice says : “go, baby, bring in the supper think about it a little bit, Eddie. Please she’s crazy to start work. It’s not a little shop, it’s a big company someday she could be a secretary. They picked her out of her whole class. What are you worried about? She could take care of herself. She’ll get out of the sub-way and be in the office in two minutes.”
Beatrice is also a caring, loving wife but at the moment is worried that her marriage with Eddie is collapsing. ‘When am I going to be a wife again’ She is also worried about their sex life ‘it is almost three months you don’t feel good; there only here a couple of weeks. Its three months, Eddie’ This would worry Beatrice as her only financial support comes from her marriage to Eddie and if it was to fall apart she would have nothing to live on and would be on the streets.
My personal view of the two texts are that they both show a comparison between freedom of choice, of women of today, and the women of the past. Women today generally have a lot of freedom of choice. However, there are the occasional situations of male dominance over the female in modern society, for example in the royal marines there are no women. There always has been an influence of class on a woman’s ability to decide for themselves although this has become less prominent in modern times. Women are independent and don t need the same male financial support to live. They are experiencing the same educational and job opportunities and in a lot of cases are exceeding the males’ capability to compete and be successful in a job. In a view from the bridge there is conflict between Eddie and Beatrice over the situation between Catherine and Rudolpho and also over Catherine going into work in a large company.
Beatrice shows that, in the time in which the play is set, the male has dominance over her as she backs down from arguments even though she believes she is right and knows that she is correct. In the play the writer focuses on the family situations and shows that Beatrice needs Eddie to survive and this means Eddie has control over Beatrice. He is her only visible means of support. This is the complete opposite of today where there are a lot of women raising families easily by themselves and they have the choice of whether to have a man or not. They can live quite comfortably without a man. Society is also more accepting of this situation.
There is also a slight incline towards incest in the play between Eddie and Catherine which suggests to me that women were seen as sex objects by men of that time and not as women or people in their own right. The difference today is that women don’t have to use their body or femininity to get what they want but instead use their intellect. In both of the books there is a message of women being under the control of the males.
This has changed for the better today as there is less gender discrimination and women have a much larger freedom of expression. This type of gender discrimination is out dated and unacceptable. I believe that the authors of these texts have a clear message for women of today. Women can be independent and successful today without the need for male control or patronage, I quote a Cambridge entrance exam “women need men like fish need bicycles”.