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"Our Town" By Thornton Wilder Essay

1785 words - 7 pages

Life is pretty much the same for small towns in America back in 1901. Men and women took life at ease and were gratefully appreciated by their children. While the time period is over 100 years ago, some things never change; life begins with birth and ends with death. The story rotates around two families who go through the same experiences in life at the same time. The Webb's and the Gibbs are discovering the joys of life as well as the tragedies of life. Just like the characters, we people go through major obstacles through our lives that there is no way to be avoided. We all share some common events in between the beginning of life up until the end of life. I realized how "performance is vital. [Performing a] part of human [experiences sometimes] involves playing roles in our daily lives" page 17, The Creative Spirit.Before breaking down the play into sections a brief summary would help explain that exactly both families are going through. The play Our Town is played in a span of twelve years. It takes place in Grover's Corners, New Hampshire in 1901 to 1913. Grover's town is a small, rural, and what we would call today, a fictional town. Mrs. Gibbs (Jayne Atkinson) and Dr. Gibbs (Frank Converse) have young daughter Rebecca (Kristen Hahn) and teenage son George (Ben Fox) who is going through the stages of life. At first while he was as child, life was nothing but fun and games. As he got older and was becoming a man, George needs to realize what he wants to do. Go to school, or be a farmer. Mrs. Webb (Jane Curtain) and Mr. Webb (Jeffery DeMunn) have a teenage daughter Emily who like George while young was filled with life. Both Emily and George go through "LIFE" in a sense. Both families watch how both teenagers fall in love, (one of the steps in life) which then in turn gets married. Life is wonderful for both families till tragedy hits home. While in child birth with their second child Emily dies. Both families are struck with this reality not understanding why. Emily then awakes from her grave and asked to go back and see life and experience one day all over again not realizing what she will face. Returning for one day was painful to see. Emily realized how ungrateful she was to have lived and not appreciate the time she once had.Ironically when I first started to watch the play, Greek Drama came to mind. There was an echo of classic Greek drama: the Stage Manager (Paul Newman) as Chorus and the three-act structure as trilogy. Like its Greek ancestors, Our Town concerns itself with the continuing cycle of life, humankind's nearest understanding of eternity. Greek theater also reinforced the existing social structure. "Life is full of contradictions and the future can neither predicated nor controlled. The dramas that have come down to us call the community to account for its actions and charge individuals with responsibility for their choices. [The characters in the play] "Struggle towards self-knowledge, but their views frequently distorted...

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