Thornton Wilder Biography

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  • Topic: Thornton Wilder, Family, Love
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  • Published : December 10, 2012
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Thornton Wilder was born in Madison, Wisconsin on April seventieth, 1897. He was born into the family of Amos Parker Wilder, his father, and Isabella Niven Wilder, his mother. Although Thornton was born alongside a twin brother, this brother sadly did not survive. He lost one brother, but he also had one older brother and three younger sisters. The family moved and lived in China for some time due to his father’s work. His father was a US consul general in Shanghai and Hong Kong. This family not only produced an amazing writer and thinker, Thornton, it also produced many other novelists in several fields such as biology, English, and the poetry field. All the siblings were exceedingly successful in these designated fields, and none as much as Thornton.

Thornton earned his Bachelor of the Arts from Oberlin University. He then proceeded to earn Master of Arts degree in French from Princeton University in 1926. 1926 was also the year that Thornton published his first novel, “The Cabala”. A year thereafter, 1927, he published “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” which won him his first of three Pultzer Prize. The two other plays that were given such an honorably high ranking and prize such as this were “Our Town”, and “The Skin of Our Teeth".

Thornton’s childhood and adolescence greatly influenced his writings in his later years. One piece of writing that is heavily influenced by his surroundings and past would be “Our Town”. During Thornton’s time period, World War One was in its process. Thornton talks about this war in the storyline, and one of the main characters—who is also the brightest and contained the most potential of all of the other characters—dies fighting in this war. “Our Town” was also influenced by Thornton’s life. Thornton’s father never showed much affection or pride to his son, and never encouraged the path of a dramatist. This man was not one to show love, nor did he show tolerance to anything other than what he expected his sons to be. Amos,...
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