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The Bridge of San Luis Rey Essay | Critical Essay #1

This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Bridge of San Luis Rey.
This section contains 1,598 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Bridge of San Luis Rey Study Guide

Critical Essay #1

Kelly is an instructor of creative writing and literature. In this essay, Kelly explains how looking at the novel as a religious work might produce too narrow an interpretation.

Since its initial publication in 1927, Thornton Wilder's novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey has been praised as a religious statement, examined for its theological implications, and categorized as Christian literature. To a large extent, this judgment is valid. The story takes place in Lima, Peru, in 1714, a time when the hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church was nearly absolute—when there was no real secular authority, only the religious hierarchy. It concerns a Franciscan monk, Brother Juniper, who witnesses the collapse of the bridge and sets about to understand the will of God. Brother Juniper is deeply faithful, and unable to accept the idea that a loving God would cause the deaths of five unrelated people, he becomes...

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This section contains 1,598 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Bridge of San Luis Rey Study Guide
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The Bridge of San Luis Rey from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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