The Bridge of San Luis Rey paper
In the novel, the main theme is love where the narrator of the story, who is a religious man, Juniper, witnesses the collapse of the bridge and five people dying in it. He feels that it is God’s providence that the five characters die on the bridge, and decides to investigate about their lives, where more characters are revealed, all revolving around the theme of love (Faanes, 2005). Among the characters in the in the novel, those who died had been seeking to be loved as much as they loved others, though some lived a lonely life that is not admirable, while those who denied others love that they deserved lived an admirable life.
In the play, the character that I admire most is Don Clara, the daughter of Don Maria or Marquesa. Everybody in life deserves to be happy, be loved and more still, have everything they dream to have in life. Since I am no exemption, I would admire anybody who has achieved this in life, especially without much effort. In the play, the person with these characters is Don Clara, who was born to a wealthy family or a family that could give her everything a child wanted. Her mother pampered her with gifts ensuring that her happiness was her priority, which was her motivator in life since she wanted love that she never got from her parents and husband. The kind of love that Don Clara received from her mother was exceptional and any child growing in that kind of love will always have good self-esteem and feel happy to share life with others.
Another reason that makes me admire Don Clara is her embracing of life, where she did not hesitate to get married to a lord from pain, though she does this to stay away from her loving mother who she felt was obsessive with her; she manages to take to life unlike her mother who never received love. In sprain, she lives an admirable life, and is generous to her servants and treats them well with care and kindness. “She also proved to be very generous, bestowing favors on servants, friends, artists, and scientists,” (TheBestNotes.com Staff, 2008) Giving is quite noble and it makes one feel good about them, since it feels good to know that you have made somebody happy.
In the play, “Dona Clara flourished in Spain, where she led an extravagant life filled with luxury. She became popular with the people because of her intelligence, wit, wisdom, and beauty,” (TheBestNotes.com Staff, 2008). All this are the admirable characters that a person can ever wish for, especially a woman. From these deeds, it is easy to know that she was living a happy life and felt loved by the people that she treated well. What is most admirable for me is wisdom, which many lack and it is portrayed by how she treats life and in turn, life treats her the same way. Many people do not realize that to live well, one needs to interact and be good to others and love does not just come, one has to seek it. It is also important to note that when one is happy about life, nothing is too hard to handle, even though it may look hard for others. When her mother is ridiculed, she is not angry, which looks rude, but on the brighter side, she is less disturbed, which makes her remain happy, and forgive easily (Wilder, 106). I liked this character in her since I realized that taking simple issues of what people say about you too serious could end up hurting people’s emotions, which can be avoided. On to the contrary, however, I do dislike her lack of reciprocation towards her mother’s love, despite that she is possessive with her. Any mother in the world could be possessive of their children, especially if they did not receive much love as kids, and are always afraid of losing their loved ones.
In the play, the character I disliked the most among them is Camila. Some characters may have admirable traits and talents, but no matter how good they are, their attitude towards others may create dislike from the people despite winning favor from many people through their talent, and may never realize that they owe their success to others whom they despise. In life, all people deserve to love and be loved back as much as they love others. However, some people may not realize that not returning the love or showing regard may hurt others. These characters make me dislike Camila, who has little respect and esteem for others.
Camila, who was a theater actor, “was showered with love by Uncle Pio and her fans, including the Marquesa and her husband,” (TheBestNotes.com Staff, 2008). Despite this love from all her fans and people around him, she does not have much regard for them and to a bigger extent, she is not afraid to ridicule Dona Maria on stage, in the presence of her daughter and Petita. This is little respect for other people’s feelings and she has to be asked by the Viceroy to apologize, which she did not intend to do. More so, she did not feel bad about it, until she went to apologize, expecting a different treatment from what she received. At the house of the Marquesa, she was welcomed and they praised her talent in arts and ensured that they loved her. This made her guilty and for once, she revealed her emotional side, dropping her proud nature due to her beauty. At this section, I feel happy that she learned a lesson that people’s feelings matter, which is important for an actor.
Her success can be attributed to Uncle Pio, who recognized her talent from a cafe, and decided to cultivate her, “Uncle Pio had discovered her singing in a cafe and became her guardian and teacher, preparing her for a career on the stage” (TheBestNotes.com Staff, 2008). Unlike Pepita, she had someone to mentor her to success and the least one can do is show gratitude and treat others the same. Instead, she does the opposite and becomes too proud of her beauty, that she disrespects others and does not care for their feelings. When Dona Maria wrote to her daughter about Camila and Uncle Pio, she said that, “people wondered whether uncle Pio is her father, her lover, or her son. Camila did not return Pio’s affections; instead, she fell in love with the Viceroy, who suspected that she was deceiving him with a matador, perhaps with an actor,” (TheBestNotes.com Staff, 2008). For sure, this was lack of appreciation; it hurt Uncle Pio, who did not want to disclose his feelings early. This further affirms that she had little regard for people’s feelings, since she did not care what Uncle Pio felt for her and went ahead to fall in love with the Viceroy. Uncle Pio died without having love, despite giving love to her, which can hurt any body.
Viceroy suspecting that Camila cheated on him serves to tell that her ways were not the best to admire and did not care for his feelings again. We can hold suspicions to be true due to the love we learn that existed between her and Manuel, when they worked together in the theater, which affirms that she could be suspected, even though we cannot be sure. Anywhere in the world, a partner who cannot be trusted with remaining faithful may keep the other partner in an unsecured state. No one loves a partner that cannot be trusted and Camila is not trustworthy, which worries Viceroy and makes me dislike her. However, I liked the part of her that realizes who she is, and goes ahead to use her talent, to her benefit, and win love from her fans (Abernethy, 2005).
The characters in the story seem to be on two sides of love, where some are extremely loved and to the contrary, they do not reciprocate the love. On the other hand, those without love are seeking it under all circumstances and when they have it, they cannot let go. It is sad that the five characters that died in the bridge were desperate for love and when some, such as Dona Maria and Pepita had found some love, fate takes it away just when it is right next to their reach. It is also sad that those who died were good to others, such as Uncle Pio, who was generous to others.
Abernethy, Bob. “The bridge of San Luis Rey.” pbs.org, 17 June 2005. Web. 27 May 2011.
Faanes, Adam. “The Bridge of San Luis Rey.” imdb.com, 27 august 2005. Web. 27 May 2011.
TheBestNotes.com Staff. “TheBestNotes on the Bridge of San Luis Rey.” TheBestNotes.com, 28 May 2008. Web. 27 May 2011.
Wilder, Thornton. The bridge of San Luis Rey. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. 2004. Print.