“point of view” in The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 27, 2007

·     the narrator is omnicsient, knowing things that were not known at the time, not even by Brother Juniper during his six years of investigation. “Yet for all his diligence Brother Juniper never knew … And I, who claim to know so much more, isn’t it possible that even I have missed the very spring within the spring?”  ·     this narrator, who is never introduced to us, gains our trust when he says that what the people of Lima have come to believe about Dona Maria is not true, and “all real knowledge” … also when he corrects Dona Maria’s impressions of the Perichole … “It was … untrue …”  ·     in the conversation (p 24) between Dona Maria and the Perichole, the narrator reveals the inner thoughts of both.  ·     the Abbess has “fallen in love with an idea several centuries before its appointed appearance in the history of civilization.” The idea is the modern role of women, and the way it is disclosed reveals the perspective of the narrator, and places him in the 20th century.


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