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Word Count: 1,461
Is it possible to show that each of the gesticulating ants had in some way reached an end to his or her life and what are the main themes of each of these lives which might account for their deaths Love is an intricate emotion expressing itself in almost every conceivable form except romantic attraction in this novel As Wilder philosophizes Many who have spent a lifetime in it can tell us less that the child that lost a dog yesterday Wilder endeavors to expose the complex underlying elements which cause the inability to love without ulterior motive which characterizes each of the relationships in the novel Bridge of the San Luis Rey Through exploring Wilders ultimate question whether or not a divine plan organizes and validates life and death we discover life does not require a plan as love is the only meaning to life It is what links the land of the living to the land of the dead and brings light to the darkness of suffering Five seemingly unconnected lives plunged to their deaths when the bridge collapsed Unconnected apart from their experience with a perverse kind of love From Pepitas almost religious idolatry of the Abbess to the Pericholes disbelief that someone could love her for whom she was as she did not love herself Prior to the tragedy a point was reached where each victim realized their way of loving those who were dear to them was impure and inevitably the cause of their heartache and mental anguish The Marquesa de Montemayors love for her daughter is the most obvious example of a perverse love addiction The Marquesa obsessively became consumed by numerous attempts to receive a fraction of the attention she frequently succumbs to her daughter Dona Clara Her love was so suffocating it resulted in her daughters departure of the country in an attempt to escape her excessive smothering The Marquesa blames her obsessive
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