Essay as the play unfolds” (Ebsco Host

Essay title: Our Town

Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” is where people want to live.The story is set in Grover’s Corner, a small town in New Hampshire which brings out the good in small town living.He uses friendship and love to draw the reader in deeper. “Our Town” not only has small town appeal, it brings out the importance of life.

This story makes the reader stop and think about how important it is to spend time wisely and appreciate the little things that it has to offer.Although Grover’s Corners is purely fictional it represents small town life in the early 1900’s. Grover’s Corners has all of the ordinary places of small town, such as a school, the local drugstore, grocery store, “Town Hall and post office combined; jails in the basement” (LIRW page 1636).Just as the town is common, so are the people.The audience can relate their past experiences with the ordinary people that Wilder uses as characters.He is also able to relate people and events to the realness of the situations in the play.Wilder utilizes basic themes for his three act play.The themes signify the major stages of human life.

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In the first act, “The Daily Life”, Wilder is able to set the characters’ role in the small town. There are a number of characters that Wilder introduces in the first act.One of the more influential roles is played by the Stage Manager.The Stage Manager “acts as a chorus in explaining and commenting on the action and the characters as the play unfolds” (Ebsco Host our town characters discussed).

He starts each act with a comment that sets the mood for the upcoming characters.The mood that he sets is a relaxed casual feeling.“This casualness is evident since he smokes a pipe, wears a hat, moves about the stage freely….leans informally against the proscenium pillar, and enters and leaves the dialogue at will” (e-library printable document1). Although the Stage Manager leaves at will, he makes it a point to state the closing comments of every act. Act 1 focuses on the “ordinary, day-to-day existence of two neighboring families: Editor Webb, his wife, older daughter and younger son; and Doc Gibbs, his wife, older son, and younger daughter” (ebsco, critical survey of drama).These two families are very similar.

The husbands are respected within the town, and Mrs. Gibbs and Mrs. Webb stay busy tending to their children.Most days pass with ordinary activity. Wilder utilizes basic themes for his three act play.

The themes signify the major stages of human life.The first act, “The Daily Life,” he exposes the story of everyday life, the normal act of birth, and falling in love.This act begins without any curtains or scenery.Wilder is trying to relay the message of simplicity.

“This device helps Wilder to achieve provide part of the artistic credo-that the drama could be taking place in any town at any timein early twentieth century America” (quoted on the e-library papers)Wilders simplicity is also evident in how the families get along daily.The roles of the two mothers are almost identical.Both Mrs. Webb and Mrs.

Gibb have the same daily routine.They both call for the children in the morning, and get them off to school.Wilder shows the audience that the characters in the play are “real.

”The mothers both have to remind their children to do as they are told.They both have their problems.George, Mrs. Gibbs son, has to be reminded daily to do his chores.Rebecca, Mrs. Webb’s daughter, is constantly worried about her appearance.The two women both have a garden that they take pride in, and at the end of the day they do the normal wind-down. As children, people run through life and do not think to stop and appreciate the minor events that are often over looked.“The focus is on two families, the Webbs and the Gibbeses, and particularly on the oldest child of each family” (Johns 11).The oldest in the Webb family is Emily.Emily is the all American bright-eyed, intelligent daughter of Charles and Myrtle.“She works hard in school, tries to be cheerful, and falls in love with the town’s best baseball player” (Ebsco “Our Town” Characters Discussed).George is the oldest in the Gibbs family.He is the son of Frank and Julia.George is the local high school baseball hero.He also dreams of becoming a farmer.Even though the Stage Manager sets the mood and direction for the play, George and Emily are the main characters.They “…are the same ages, attend the same schools and the same church, and live in adjacent homes” (Printable document 1, under George and Emily).After school lets out Emily and George walk home together.On the way home conversation leads to George complementing Emily on her speech she gave in class.It sparks Emily to inquire.

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