Our Town Comparative Essay

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Every author and play writer has some kind of reason for writing their piece. As readers and viewers, we use our knowledge to decipher the underlying message that comes across throughout works of art. Our Town by Thornton Wilder has many people with several diverse opinions sharing their ideas about the play. Thornton Wilder’s purpose for writing Our Town was to show the amount of control human beings have over their life, but fail to recognize until death. You can see this through daily events in Grover’s Corners, Compton, and Ridgewood High School.

In Our Town, Thornton Wilder uses the character Emily Webb as an example of how the average person can live, marry, and die before comprehending the potential of life. In Act I, Emily is entering womanhood. She is the brightest student in her school, and is very much aware of her excellent qualities. In Act II, Emily discovers love when she meets George Gibbs. She is seen as an idealist to the audience because wants George to be the best that he can be. She expresses annoyance at him for neglecting his friends and devoting all of his time to baseball. She is specific in her criticism of George, leaving us, readers having a negative reaction about their relationship. They decide to get married and Emily seems to have some regrets about her decision. Right before the wedding, she starts to experience doubts about starting a new life with George. She seems to fulfill her mother’s fears that she is too naive to become a wife. In the end, Emily gets over her fears and ends up marrying George. In Act III, Emily dies in childbirth and hesitantly joins the spirits in the cemetery. She is tentative in accepting her position at first, and being new, she is able to comment on the differences between the living and the dead. Emily states, “They’re sort of shut up in little boxes, aren’t they?” (Pg. 96). She is showing that she knows more about freedom then the living. As the audience, we find this ironic considering she has...
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