© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
by Thornton Wilder
Emily Webb Timeline and Summary
George congratulates Emily on her speech on the Louisiana Purchase. He asks her if she would help him with homework. Emily asks her mom whether she thinks she’s pretty. Emily gives George a hint about the homework, telling him that the answer is in square yards of wallpaper. Emily stays up late enjoying the moonlight and the smell of Mrs. Gibbs’s heliotropes. Emily is asleep on the morning of her wedding day. Memory of how Emily got together with George: Emily is nominated the class secretary and treasurer. It is the last day of the school year. Emily lets George carry her books. Emily tells George that he’s been acting conceited lately. She immediately feels bad for admitting it. Emily implies that she likes George. They go to Mr. Morgan’s drugstore for strawberry ice-cream sodas, George’s treat. On her wedding day, Emily balks. She claims that she wants to stay young. She gets married to George anyway. Emily has died from giving birth to her second child. She goes to the cemetery plot where her body will rest. Emily sits next to Mrs. Gibbs. Emily wishes to return to her old life. She and the Stage Manager go back to her twelfth birthday. She watches her parents interact. Emily wishes to return back to the cemetery. It is too hard to spend time among the ignorant living.