The Bridge of San Luis Ray is an American author Thornton Wilder’s second novel first published in 1927. It tells the story of several interrelated people who die in the collapse of an Inca rope-fiber suspension bridge in Peru. A frior named Brother Juniper witnessed the tragic accident.
He has taken on a mission to find out why the five people had to die with the collapse of the bridge. Juniper decided to research the lives of the five victims and figure out the reason of their deaths, why God chose the lives of these five people.
He wanted theology to take the place among exact science. Before now, he had lacked a laboratory. He had studied other specimens, People who had died if spider bites or their houses burning down. But these accidents hadn’t been fit for examination, because they lacked proper control. The accidents had been dependant upon human error or they had the elements of probability. The bridge collapse was an Act of God, so it made a perfect laboratory. Juniper could figure out God;s intentions is a pure state.
Juniper know the answer to his experiment but wanted to prove it historically and mathematically to his coverts. He thought his stubborn converts were slow to believe that God insertd pains into their lives for their own good. Juniper had tried to experiment before to “justify the ways of God and man,” for example he kept a record of Prayers for Rain and their results. Juniper worked on the bridge experiment for six years. He asked the people in Lima thousands of questions. His goal was “establishing the fact that each of the five lives was a perfect whole. Juniper finished a huge book but it was publicly burned in the great square. A secret copy of thr book remained. It is in the Library of University of San Marco. Juniper’s book contains thousands of facts about the victims and why God had chosen each victim. Juniper never new the central passion of Dona Maria’s life; not Uncle Pio’s life; not even Estaban’s. ” And I, who claim to know so much more, am not it possible that even I have missed the very spring within the spring? ”