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Our Town Act 3 Questions

By gougeru Jun 05, 2012 713 Words
Our Town Act 3

How does the Stage Manager, in his opening speech, again remind us that earthly life is made up of recurring cycles and of eternal change?

It reinstates to the readers the notion of repeated culture of the town, and the small changes that come within time. The stage manger talks about the scenery, and the repititive nature of it within the town. And how when a member of the town dies, they are traditionally placed on the hilltop, mourned, then left to rest.

2. In the Stage Manager’s opening monologue, he states, “And genealogists come up from Boston—get paid by city people for looking up their ancestors. They want to make sure they’re Daughters of the American Revolution and of the Mayflower…Well, I guess that don’t do any harm, either. Wherever you come near the human race, there’s layers and layers of nonsense…” (547). What does the Stage Manager seem to be saying about people’s reverence for family heritage? How does this connect to Wilder’s many themes?).

According to the Stage Manager, what happens to the dead, and how do they feel about earthly life?

The Stage Manager talks about the dead, telling us that the dead lose interest in the living and in earthly matters. He says that “everybody in their bones knows that something is eternal,” and that the dead spend their time waiting for this eternal part of their selves to emerge.

What does the dialogue between Sam Craig and Joe Stoddard reveal about what has happened in Grover’s Corners in the past nine years?

We learn that Sam Craig left Grover's Corners twelve years ago and only came back to the town for Emily's funeral. We also learn the Aunt Julia had died and so has Mr. Stimson who had hanged himself. We learn the cause of death for Emily, being childbirth.

Emily at first is still very involved in the daily affairs of the living—the earthly part of her is still not burned out. Explain how she shows this when she first enters the stage.

Emily starts reminiscing about the things she has done with George to Julia Gibbs.

Emily wants to go back and live in Grover’s Corners again. According to Mrs. Gibbs, why wouldn’t this be wise? Explain what Emily discovers when she relives her twelfth birthday and sees daily life from the perspective of eternity.

Mrs. Gibbs says that their life now is to forget the time they were alive and to think of whats ahead. When Emily was reliving her twelfth birthday, against the dead souls wishes, she sees that the living go through life without savoring their time on earth, that they take their life for granted.

We’ve heard the hymn “Blessed Be the Tie That Binds” earlier in the play. When? What is the tie that binds, and what do you think the song has to do with the playwright’s themes?

It symbolizes that death is a unchanging part of human life and will come eventually to everybody.

When Emily realizes (550) that it is the living who are shut up in little boxes, we feel some irony—a sense that this is just the opposite of what we would have thought was true. Why is this statement ironic? How is it also true?

It is ironic because she is in a box herself, she was placed inside a coffin. The statement is also true because the living doesn't savor their life when they still have it, and confine themselves to a certain place.

Simon Stimson has another opinion about earthly life (553). How does he view life on earth, and why would he feel this way? Why do you think Mrs. Gibbs immediately calls Emily’s attention to the stars?

Simon tells everyone that life is naturally ignorant, and people are only looking for the luxuries and what they are interested in life. He explains that the living waste their time on earth. Mrs. Gibbs, by pointing out to the stars, explains that there is still much good that exists in the world.

10. The play ends when George Gibbs falls onto Emily’s new grave. How does George’s action refute Simon Stimson’s view of life? What is it, however, that George doesn’t yet understand?

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