In the last two pages of his novel, Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder creates a tone unparalleled throughout the rest of the book. The tone of these last few pages, as I perceive, is that of the authors praising and adoration of the Abbesss saintliness and selflessness. This tone is indisputably found underlying these pages. This tone is explained with the use of the three major quotes, found within these pages, as presented next in the following. Madre Mara dared not say aloud how great her astonishment was¦ Now learn, she commanded herself, learn at last that anywhere you may expect grace.. This self-rebuke occurs after the Abbess has witnessed herself being judgmental. She is horrified by her sinfulness. She is shocked that she had unconsciously prejudged the Marquesa and had submissively thought her to not be smart enough to conjure such great works of writing.
The Abbess criticizes herself for having been so evil, and thus unknowingly makes herself even saintlier than before! The author is making the Abbess even more righteous by having her criticize herself when she is already so. As the Abbess is walking by the sick and blind, she has a sudden prophetic thought. I cant help thinking that something could be done for the deaf-and dumb. It seems to me that some patient person could,¦could study out a language for them. The Abbess cares so much for them to have thought of such a language for them to communicate with the healthy (later this language is made and called sign language). Her saintliness partly derives from her loving of everyone, even those not as fortunate as others. She is, as the author portrays, so saintly, that she is prophetic, prophetic like Jesus, Mohammad, and other famous prophets.
Wilder gives this prophetic attribute to show how devout he imagines her to be. He wants to present her to be so saintly to be comparable to those other religious figures. Within all was light and warmth, and without was the darkness they would not exchange even for a relief from pain and from dying The dying people near the Abbess are willing to spend one more moment with her, than die immediately and be relieved of their pains. There is no other reason for these people to feel such a way besides the Abbesss love and care for them. Her saintliness is shown through her works with the people and the all real love she pours upon them.
These people are dying and feeling the worst of pain and yet they will not let go because they want to be with her longer. The authors third exhibition of the Abbesss saintly qualities is another reiteration of his ever lifting of her towards heaven. These three quotes, as presented, have reinforced the tone of the last few pages as being that of the authors praise and adoration for the Abbesss saintliness and selflessness. Though it may seem redundant and exhaustive the use of the word saintly- it is in order to wholly stress and prioritize the importance of the Abbesss saintliness. The tone created by the author is largely based on the Abbesss saintliness and not much more, if not anything else at all! The sole, clear message found in these few pages, from the author, is primarily based on the fact that the Abbess is a saint and that Wilder absolutely admires her piousness.