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The Bridge Of San Luis Rey Essay

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On a July afternoon in 1714, the Bridge of San Luis Rey snapped, throwing five travelers into the gulf below. A priest named Brother Juniper, who witnesses the disaster, seeks to understand why it happened to those five. He looks to understand the divine plan and connection behind the people who died on the bridge. Often we seek, as humans, to answer the deepest and most emotional questions that we are provided with or think of. Sometimes, these questions can’t be answered, because the principles in question are too deep, complex, emotional, or sacred to be explained. In The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder made me pose certain unanswerable questions, such as what, really, is love? Is it, charity, a reflection of of the nature of the divine? Pure empathy? Is there something selfish about it? Is love motivated by self-interest? Furthermore, it made me wonder, what are the limits of our knowledge? After…show more content…
Camila associates love with attraction to physical appearance. As the narrator explains, “Like all beautiful women who have been brought up amid continual tributes to her beauty she assumed without cynicism that it must necessarily be the basis of anyone’s attachment to herself” (Wilder 90). For her, love is passion. In the story, Camila often flirts with Manuel, unaware of the damage she is doing to Manuel’s relationship with his brother, Esteban. She sends many letters to Manuel, professing her love for him. When her lover refuses to see her or speak to her again, she sends him a letter telling him she will never see him again. Although all her life she had been loved, she had never understood it truly, because the love was shallow, only having to do with her appearance. As Wilder philosophizes, “Many who have spent a lifetime in [this type of love] can tell us less of love than the child that lost a dog yesterday”
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