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Reading GuideThe leg of mountain Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder ISBN: 9780060088873 Plot Summary set in colonial Peru in the at an early stage 18th century, The leg of san Luis Rey interweaves the stories of five world who dice when an ancient rope bridge breaks and sends lock plunging right into a gulf. The book opens with an account of exactly how a Franciscan monk called Brother Juniper observed the accident and also spent his subsequent years amassing evidence to explain why God singled the end these five for premature death. Wilder climate narrates your life stories leading as much as the minute they overcome the bridge. The Marquesa de Montemayor is a rich, ugly, yonsi aristocratic woman that lives only for the well-being of her child, a haughty beauty called Clara who has actually recently married and also moved come Spain. The Marquesa devotes herself to composing long, beautifully meditated letters to Clara and performing sophisticated superstitious rituals on her behalf. She finally finds peace from her unrequited maternal love 2 days before she and also her servant girl Pepita cross the bridge. Esteban is an the same twin orphan that loves his brothers Manuel with an all-consuming, single-minded, wordless ferocity and also is deep wounded when Manuel drops in love through the beautiful, vain actress Camila Perichole, and then is ravaged when Manuel dies soon after. ~ above the brink of suicide, Esteban agrees to embark ~ above a lengthy voyage with a sea captain the respects, yet on the way to Lima he happens to overcome the bridge at the an exact wrong moment. The last narrative speak of the adventures that Uncle Pio, a wise and wily old male who has specialized the much better part that his life to guiding the stupendous acting career that Camila Perichole. Uncle Pio look at on v amusement and dismay as Perichole i do not care the toast the Lima, enters right into a rewarding love affair through the Viceroy of Peru, and finally renounces her phase career for the life the a an excellent lady. Once Camila contracts little pox and also loses her looks, she shuts herself away in the country with her sickly young child Don Jaime. Pio convinces she to allow him take Don Jaime come Lima so that he can educate the boy as a gentleman. Pio and also Don Jaime die through the others on the doomed bridge. In the critical chapter the novel returns to brothers Juniper, who lastly completes his large tome around the five victims that the leg collapse: because that his initiatives he is condemned as a heretic and burned, together with his book, top top Lima"s central square. Topics for discussion 1. Wilder is regularly labeled an optimist, and some feel the this quality makes his work seem shallow and a touch sentimental. Together one critic put it, "People speak of outgrowing Wilder." do you consider Wilder basically an optimist or a pessimist? In framing her discussion, take into consideration the accidental deaths in The bridge of mountain Luis Rey. 2. Several critics have mentioned that the personalities in Wilder"s plays are types -- the mother, the young girl, the embodiment of angry - quite than realistic person figures. What around the personalities in The bridge of san Luis Rey -- the Marquesa, the Perichole, Manuel and Esteban, Uncle Pio: space they species too? 3. For his efforts to seek an interpretation in the accident, brothers Juniper is melted as a heretic. Talk about the function of religion in the book and also Wilder"s attitude toward religion. Think about not just Brother Juniper"s fate but additionally the thoughts and also deeds the the Abbess Madre Maria del Pilar and also the apparent spiritual conversion the Camila Perichole. 4. In a sense, The bridge of san Luis Rey can be check out as a novel about an interpretation -- just how we assign and also perceive meaning, how mishaps and coincidences take on an interpretation in our daily lives. What conclusions does Wilder want united state to draw around the human venture to find meaning in the world? 5. Wilder once declared "I am not an innovator yet a rediscoverer of forget goods." discuss The leg of san Luis Rey in the irradiate of this remark. What particular "forgotten goods" has he rediscovered? 6. The doubter Edmund Wilson created that "Wilder rectal a distinct position, between the great Books and also Parisian sophistication one way, and the entertainment industry the other way, and in our culture this region, though central, is a dark and nearly uninhabited no man"s land." carry out you agree? Which facets of his works do you uncover most sophisticated? Which many purely entertaining? together the entertain industry pertains to dominate our culture more and more, how has actually Wilder"s place shifted? Does he seem more marginal this particular day -- or an ext relevant and obtainable and pleasurable? around the Author: Thornton Wilder to be born in 1897. His plays encompass Our Town, The Skin of our Teeth, and also The Matchmaker, and his novels encompass The Eighth Day and also Theophilus North. He was awarded the an initial of three Pulitzer Prizes for The Bridges of san Luis Rey. He passed away in 1975.
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