Key plot details

Timeline with eight illustrations and labels, showing the key plot details of 'A View from the Bridge'.
  1. Alfieri the lawyer addresses the audience and sets the scene. Eddie Carbone comes home from work. He tells his wife Beatrice and his niece Catherine that Beatrice’s cousins are arriving that night. Eddie warns them not to discuss the immigrants. He tells them the story of Vinny Bolzano. Marco and Rodolpho arrive.
  2. Eddie and Beatrice argue about their relationship. They also argue about the way Eddie treats Catherine. Eddie is becoming desperate to prevent Catherine and Rodolpho’s growing relationship. He has used Alfieri as his lawyer in the past, so he visits him to see if there is anything that he can do legally to get rid of Rodolpho, insinuating that he is homosexual. Alfieri says he can do nothing, and warns Eddie not to do anything foolish. He advises him to let Catherine go.
  3. One evening Eddie ‘teaches’ Rodolpho how to box and hits him without warning, making him stagger. Marco watches silently, then challenges Eddie to a test of strength. Marco wins.
  4. Rodolpho and Catherine are alone for the first time in the apartment. They go to the bedroom and have sex. Eddie returns drunk, and is shocked to see them emerging from the bedroom. He tells Rodolpho to pack and leave. In the heated argument that follows, Eddie grabs Catherine and kisses her on the mouth. He then does the same to Rodolpho. The cousins move to an apartment upstairs.
  5. The blue light of the phone box begins to glow as Alfieri warns Eddie that if he is considering calling the authorities, he had better not do it. Eddie phones the Immigration Bureau and gives the address of the upstairs apartment. As he returns home Beatrice tells him that her cousins have moved upstairs. Catherine, now engaged to Rodolpho, says that there are two other illegal immigrants upstairs, which alarms Eddie.
  6. Two immigration officers arrive and start knocking doors at all the apartments. Eddie suddenly panics and urges Catherine to help the cousins escape. Catherine suddenly realises what Eddie has done. The officers question the family, and Beatrice is horrified as the truth dawns on her too.
  7. Marco and Rodolpho are taken away, along with the other illegal immigrants. Marco spits in Eddie’s face as he passes. Eddie is shunned by his neighbours as they all understand what he has done. At the jail, Alfieri tells Marco that he will be returned to Italy, but that if he promises not to go after Eddie, he can get him out on bail. Rodolpho can stay as he and Catherine are intending to marry very soon.
  8. Beatrice says she intends to go to Catherine’s wedding, and Eddie tells her not to bother coming back if she does. She obeys him. Rodolpho warns Eddie that Marco is coming to attack him; Eddie refuses to leave his apartment and becomes crazed when Beatrice blurts out that Eddie wants something else but can never have her. Marco and Eddie fight; Eddie produces a knife, which Marco turns on Eddie. Eddie dies in Beatrice’s arms.
curriculum-key-fact
A View from the Bridge is set among the Italian/Sicilian immigrant community of Brooklyn, in New York, and is concerned with the subject of primitive, natural law versus the civilised, written law, and the Mafia idea of omertà – the code of silence.