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Study Guide: The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

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The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF, RTF, or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; detailed analysis of the use of irony; and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.

THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY: BOOK REPORT / BOOKNOTES ANALYSIS


PART FOUR: Uncle Pio and Don Jamie

Summary

This fourth section of the novel is dedicated to a detailed description of Uncle Pio, the man responsible for making Camila into a great stage actress. Dona Maria has earlier introduced him in one of the letters written to her daughter. She had questioned whether Pio was more father, teacher, or lover to Camila. Ironically, she compared him to an ant, saying he was stealthy and sticky by nature. Later Uncle Pio became one of the “ants” that Juniper spies falling off the bridge.

Uncle Pio was a charming old man. He knew how to flatter people to earn their approval. He was also a wise and intelligent man who was very interested in the arts. He had worked in the theater for a number of years; therefore, when he saw Camila singing in a café, he recognized her talent. He took her in, serving as her guardian and teacher. Before long, he molded her into a successful actress, helping her to play her parts effortlessly.

Uncle Pio did not have an easy life. Born as an illegitimate son of a Castillian lord, he was never treated correctly as a child. At the age of ten, he ran away to Madrid and learned to make a living for himself. He worked in many different jobs, dabbling in real estate, working in a circus, and selling antiques. Because of his wit, intelligence, keen memory, friendly nature, and unscrupulous ways, he met with success and moved with influential men, including the Viceroy, Don Andres. Pio also earned the favor of the government, who employed him to spy and start trouble whenever and wherever it was necessary.

Pio’s restless nature did not allow him to continue in any job for long. By the age of twenty, he had tried various vocations, but none satisfied him. What he really enjoyed were the arts; he had studied many plays and even written some verse for the stage. As a result, he finally decided to work in the theater, feeling it would give him adequate freedom and a sense of satisfaction and importance. Spying Camila in a café, Pio felt she offered him a golden opportunity. He recognized her beauty and talent immediately and believed he could mold her into greatness on the stage.

Pio became Camila’s coach and teacher. He composed songs for her to sing, taught her proper dialogue and intonation, and gave her............

The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF, RTF, or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; detailed analysis of the use of irony; and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.

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The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder: Free BookNotes Summary


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