American drama examines moral dilemma's that are real, but the dramatic styles used are not realistic. Discuss how Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town" achieves this.

Essay by CEP_123High School, 12th gradeA+, April 2006

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Downloaded 24 times

Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town" explores the ordinary lives of a community of people living in Grover's Corner, New Hampshire. The play has three main acts, each of which focus upon a different aspect of life. Wilder portrays the importance of the small, often unnoticed things in life throughout the cycle of life, starting in the morning with birth and ending in the evening with death. Throughout the first and second acts of the play, Wilder builds a scenario that allows the third act to show that we as humans often run through life oblivious to what is really happening. Life seems to be something we take for granted and do not realize the value of till we are dead and gone. The play expresses, moral dilemma's that the audience can identify with, yet the dramatic styles used to present them are not realistic.

Wilder firstly presents the moral dilemma of not appreciating life as a dilemma that not only affects the characters but everybody around the world, through the generic title "Our Town." The title, directs the audience to think about the play and how similar their lives are. Wilder does not want the audience to feel they are watching the life in a town, but to feel that they are watching their lives, and that the issues brought up onstage, are the same issues the audience have to deal with at some point in their life.

Wilder uses unrealistic dramatic styles to direct the audience's attention away from the characters themselves, to the actual dilemma presented. Some of these unrealistic drama styles include: the Stage Manager's continual onstage presence, a lack of props and setting, a lack of unity in time, and the mixing of fantasy and realism. These devices destroy the illusion...