In every novel, there is one character that seems to appeal to almost every reader. That one character seems to be the one who although they perished, they should have made it to the end of the novel. They are the lights in a dark novel, and the energy in a boring one. In the Bridge of San Luis Rey, we meet many characters, all of whom have their own value and place in the story line. Yet the one character that did not deserve the same fate as the others was Pepita. Pepita was an orphan girl who was seen in the eyes of the Abbess as having leadership skills.
Such a skill would be necessary for her successor. She needed someone who was able to perform all the task that she must now perform, when she could no longer perform them. As a result Pepita was subjected to a kind of molding process. In this process she was assigned to worst task in the orphanage, which taught her administration. She also became a kind of companion for the Abbess, accompaning her on her trips, on which she was educated in the management of women, wards, and how to beg for money.
Yet the strangest part of her education was the Abbess’s decision to send her to live with the Marquesa. The Marquesa was a crazy woman who made Pepita’s life even worse then it already was. As her companion Pepita was ignored constantly and lived a life of solitude. Pepita is that life in the novel, she is the only good love that exist in a world of those who either love too much or those who love too little. The Marquesa drove her daughter away, because she loved too much. Although she was able to realize this before she died, it was too late.
She was not able to show this newfound love to anyone. In the case of Esteban, he was not able to love anyone else except for Manuel. While Manuel was able to love another, this caused strife between them. When Manuel died he was not able to move on, simply because he only had love for Manuel. Then we have Uncle Pio, another character who loved too much. Uncle Pio had a mindset of his three aims that he simply has to fulfill no matter what happens. This causes him to have a constant longing for the Perichole who satisfies his goals in one shot.
He loved her so much, that he wanted to live his life through hers. He did this by becoming a sort of parasite on the Perichole. When he could not longer live off of her because she could not take it anymore, he tried to do it to her son. The Perichole’s son Jaime like Pepita had the true love, but would not be chosen by me, because he was a frail boy who was always sick and had not seen the hardships of life that Pepita had seen. Although he had been through a hard life, it was still not comparable to what Pepita had to go through.
Jaime was also very sickly, which probably made him more humble and loved the world around him more. Most people, who have to go through what Pepita went through, end up hating the world and having no more love in their hearts. Yet Pepita was able to still have love in her heart. She was able to even change the heart of the Marquesa, who loved her daughter so much that she drove her away. Her courage is also worth admiring, she did not want to mail the letter to the Abbess, simply because she felt it was not courageous enough.
Pepita has a sort of innocence that can only be found in children. All of the other characters have lost their innocence. Pepita also the most potential for becoming the type of person who will want to help others when she gets older. All of the training that the Abbess has given her has not completely failed. She has learned things that will enable her to grow up to become the type of person who others will look up too as a leader and a sort of mother figure. Out of all those that died on the bridge, I would have to say that, Pepita is the most probable one that I would save.