by Thornton Wilder
Our Town Choices Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.
EMILY: Mother Gibbs, George and I have made that farm into just the best place you ever saw. We thought of you all the time. We wanted to show you the new barn and a great long ce-ment drinking fountain for the stock. We bought that out of the money you left us.
MRS. GIBBS: I did? (III.111-2)
The decisions Mrs. Gibbs made while she was alive (to leave some money to her children) resulted in some dramatic changes on the Gibbs farm.
Then it can’t be since I was married; or since the baby was born. To the stage manager, eagerly. I can choose a birthday at least, can’t I? – I choose my twelfth birthday…Oh, I want the whole day. (III.157—9,161)
Despite the protests of her fellow dead, Emily decides to go back to her life.
I can’t. I can’t go on. It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another. She breaks down sobbing…I didn’t realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back – up the hill – to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-by, Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover’s Corners…Mama and Papa. Good-by to clocks ticking…and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths…and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. (III.45-9)
Emily decides against staying alive through her memories, preferring to remain at her gravesite.