Our Town

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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"Our Town" by Thornton Wilder By Will Underdown "˜When reading "Our Town," you are never allowed to think that you are following unique events that could only happen once.' "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder is a celebration of the absolutely ordinary. It illustrates the mundane routines of life that often go unnoticed and taken for granted. In "Our Town", Wilder does not offer anything that is unique, but rather deals with universal themes that are familiar to everyone, such as life, family, growing up, love, marriage, and death. Through these common ideas, it is shown that life is most meaningful only when lived in awareness of its immediate value. The play is set in the small New Hampshire town of Grover's Corners from 1901 to 1913, however this is not overly important as the events that take place happen again and again in every town, no matter what the year is.

Couples get married, mothers prepare breakfasts, and children struggle with their algebra homework in Grover's Corners just as they do in any other town, just like they have done for countless previous years and will for many years to come. The characters of Grover's Corners are the ordinary kind of common folk found in any small town and can represent everybody in real life.

The audience is led through the play by the omniscient narrator, the Stage Manager. He gives background information about the town and the characters, while explaining the occurrences in "Our Town". The play primarily focuses on the Gibbs family, including the town doctor, Dr Gibbs, his wife Mrs Gibbs, and their son, George, and the Webb family, featuring the town newspaper editor, Mr Webb, his wife Mrs Webb, and their daughter, Emily. As neighbours, George and Emily grow up together with a good friendship,