As Life Passes Us By: Discuss The Meaning Of The Quote "Do Any Human Beings Ever Realize Life While They Live It, Every, Every Minute?" In Thornton Wilder's Play, Our Town

880 words - 4 pages

As Life Passes Us ByThere are many phrases in the English language that make reference to and/or express warning in the shortness and importance of life. But no matter how often people hear it, generally, they don't understand. We, as humans, do not control our own fate. We do all we can to put ourselves in the most optimal of positions, but when it is our time to go, our hands are tied. Our time on earth is an irreplaceable gift, one to be treasured and relished every moment. Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer prize winning play Our Town makes a strong reference to this point. When Emily Webb asks the stage manager "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it, every, every minute?" the reader cannot help but think back to the simple, trivial lives of those in Groove's Corner. Throughout the play, there are many examples of characters not realizing the preciousness and importance of life.Every person has to deal with unavoidable trivial issues in their life. But life is not made to be centered around these things. In Act One of Our Town, properly titled The Daily Life, a typical day in Grover's Corner's is played out. The characters of the play go about their daily routine, arguing about and concerning themselves with nothing but trivial information. Examples of this are shown at the family breakfast at the both the Gibbs' and Webb's houses. At the Gibbs' house, Rebecca argues with her mother over which dress she will be wearing to school. At the Webb house, Mrs. Webb wants to hear nothing of her children's intelligence and is only concerned with them eating their breakfast. "You know the rule's as well as I do-no books at the table. As for me, I'd rather have my children healthy than bright," she says to Wally as he crams for a test. (Wilder 14) And when Emily tries explaining to her mother that she is both healthy and bright, and "the brightest girl in school for her age," Mrs. Gibbs sternly replies with "Eat your breakfast."(14) From the beginning of this play it is seen that few people of the town concern themselves with much other than themselves and their personal relationships.In today's society, people tend to have more of a desire to depart from the area where they were raised. Whether the reasoning be climate or boredom, today's youth is looking to leave the place they call home in search of another. It is uncommon to see someone turn down an opportunity to explore places they've never been. But, George Gibbs passes up the...

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