The Importance of Life - Our Town.

Essay by tsbaxterUniversity, Master'sA+, December 2005

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There are many phrases that are used today to reference the shortage of time or the importance of life. Carpe diem (seize the day), which is a Latin phrase that has become part of the English language urges people to live for the moment. But no matter how often individuals hear these phrases, they seldom listen. Mankind likes to believe that we control our fate. We position ourselves in what we believe are the most optimal places in our lives. Time on Earth is a gift and an irreplaceable resource that is ours to use as we see fit. The hustle and bustle of everyday life makes us blind of its true value. The play Our Town by Thornton Wilder makes reference to these points as the main theme of the play. When Emily Webb asks the Stage manager, "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it, every, every minute (Wilder)?" The play forces you to reference all of the times that things were too busy, and you did not stop to enjoy the little things in life.

Throughout the play there are many examples of characters not realizing the importance of life. Our Town is a prime example of how American playwrights used expressionism and symbolism to try to change people's perceptions of life (Haberman 2-3). The main theme of Our Town is that people should appreciate life while they are living it. The author allows the audience to see that ordinary uneventful activities are important.

Our Town is presented in three acts. Each act sends a different message. Act one, "Daily Life," shows what the town looks like. This act gives information from the past, lays out the town's structure, and sets up significant events in the town. As this act is played out, the...