A View From the Bridge

A View From the Bridge Metaphors and Similes

Simile: men looking at Catherine

"The heads are turnin' like windmills" (Eddie, p. 4). Eddie's comment here, using a fast-turning windmill to indicate how men's heads turn to look at Catherine when she walks by, conveys his discomfort with how his niece's beauty is attracting potential suitors and taking her further from him.

Simile: coffee smell

"You go down in the hold, y'know? It's like flowers, that smell" (Eddie, p. 11). Eddie's comparison of coffee beans to flowers is an indication of how much he is a part of his profession of a longshoremen. He can find delight in the goods he unloads because he knows that they in turn will result in job security and money in his pocket.

Simile: Eddie's eyes

"His eyes were like tunnels; my first thought was that he had committed a crime" (Alfieri, p. 33). This is one of the most memorable similes of the text because it reinforces how hollow, how lonely, and how dark Eddie is at this point in his life. One can peer into his eyes and see nothing but emptiness and pain.

Metaphor: the law as nature

Alfieri compares the law to nature by explaining to Eddie, "I'm not only telling you now, I'm warning you—the law is nature. 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" (p. 54). This metaphor is Alfieri's attempt to impress upon Eddie how he can do nothing to prevent Catherine from growing up and marrying Rodolpho. The law is right and immovable as nature is right and immovable, and Eddie must relinquish his attempts at rebelling against it.

Metaphor: submarine

The metaphor of a submarine is used frequently to suggest secrets and movements in the depths below; the brothers are out of sight, out of the mainstream, living in murky waters. They have traveled from abroad but not in a way that is visible to the authorities.