Penny Brewer English 6 Our Town The play Our Town was written by Thornton Wilder in 1938. This play was a huge part of Wilders success. I believe his purpose for this play is to show us the simple things in life we often overlook. The play is to show you how important it is to have love in your life, plus the meaning and beauty of it all. The story takes place in Grovers Corners, New Hampshire, over a twelve-year span.
The characters in the play go about as if it truly were a scripted play. There is no excitement or adventure. I think that Wilders purpose for that was to show the importance of finding value in even the smallest events in our lives. Act I is called “The Daily Life.” This act begins by showing you what is taking place in the homes of the Gibbs family and the Webb family. It gives you a general idea of the characters and where they stand in the play.
This act, however, is dedicated to the love of daily family life. Like all the acts, its based around love. Act II, “Love and Marriage,” takes place three years after the end of the first act. This act is based on the romantic type of love between George Gibbs and Emily Webb, mostly focusing on the hard times and heartaches that are associated with being in love. After all the talk of calling the wedding off, George and Emily wed at the end of act two. Act III takes place nine years later and is called “Life After Death”.
In this act, we come to find out how many people have died since the last act, including the following: Emily Webb, Wally Webb, Mrs. Gibbs, Simon Stimson, and Mrs. Soames. In this act, the love shown is in an unusual way, an unselfish way. It shows you that the most important love is the love for everything around you no matter how unimportant it really is.
I believe that Our Town had a good message because people take advantage of the ordinary by always hoping for the extraordinary. Our hope, and our despair are what we make of them, and only we have the power to change them. The scenery around us is not important; you should live life to the fullest as much as possible. You should always appreciate life, for most people do not. Others do, but not enough to really to understand that they shouldnt let life pass them by because who knows; this might be your only shot at it.
I see Our Town as a celebration of daily life not as a sad sentimental play. I think Wilder means that the cause of peoples unhappiness is not the failure to acheive good things but the failure to appreciate the beauty of daily life, no matter how plain or ordinary. I believe this is the understanding that he wanted to have after reading his play. The characters of this play interesting but not much. I believe the hardest part was trying to follow the stage manager. Especially when not actually seeing the play, it was hard to know where he was or what he was doing.
As for the other characters, they were a little easier to understand, such as the Gibbs family and the Webb family. I also believe that some of the family members from each family werent even needed. In closing, I would like to say that this was a great play once you get through some of the problems. The impression it left on me was, that when searching for love, make sure its a total love-love for yourself, love for others and love for life in general.