The Bridge of San Luis Rey Interpretive Essay 1
March 5, 2013
The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder, takes place in colonial Peru in the early eighteenth century. One of the main characters is the Marquesa de Montemayor. The Marquesa is the eccentric daughter of a wealthy cloth merchant and an aristocrat by marriage. The Marquesa has an obsessive love for her daughter, Dona Clara. She decides to abandon her selfish love for her daughter and begin a new life. After living a life of self-destructive, passionate obsession, the Marquesa discovers selfless love through her own action and the example of another and changes to selfless love.
The Marquesa obsesses over Dona Clara, loving her passionately, first by over-attentiveness to Dona Clara and, then, by a self-destructive had a selfish love because her past was full of loneliness and rejection. Her mother was unhappy with her and did not love her because she was ugly so she was sarcastic and mean to her own daughter. Suitors would always appear but she stayed single for some years. When she was twenty-six she was forced to marry to an arrogant man, who did not love her either. She, soon after, had a daughter who was exactly like her father, cold hearted and showed no love to her mother. Clara, the Marquesa's daughter teased her about her speech and depleting love. Clara got married and moved to Spain with her husband, because she wanted to move away from her mother. Since Dona Maria desperately wanted love and affection she started writing letters to her daughter. Since she did not know how to write well she went out and taught herself to write and speak like a noble. The Marquesa was determined to send well written letters to her daughter to attract her attention. This is where her selfish love is noticed. She wrote these letters just to get some type of affection from her daughter; everything she did was just so her daughter could say she...
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