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Our Town Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
Life, Consciousness, and Existence
Our Town delivers a message for how we should live our lives: to the fullest. We should appreciate every moment because we never get a second chance. The play jumps from Emily’s wedding day t...
From the very beginning of the play, death is present in the Stage Manager’s narration. He makes it clear that the events we’re about to witness are told in retrospect, and this underst...
Marriage in Our Town is shown as a big step, the penultimate moment of a young person’s life. Love and companionship are prized as giving meaning to life. Yet marriage in Our Town is not ente...
In Our Town, love is centered on the family: marital love, fatherly love, etc. Love is an integral part of the characters’ lives, although sometimes they may take it for granted. The love tha...
Visions of America
Despite the universal themes of Our Town, its setting in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire does anchor it in a very particular slice of America. More specifically, as Our Town takes place in sm...
Friendship in Our Town plays second fiddle to family and romance. While this is evident when George and Emily’s friendship blossoms into romance, friendship also serves an important role in i...
In Our Town, gender roles are very traditional. None of the women or men breaks from the mold: mothers take care of the house and children, fathers work and dispense allowances. The schoolteacher q...
Our Town contains two pivotal choices. The first is when George forgoes vocational school in favor of marriage to Emily. This decision can be viewed in various ways: the triumph of love over career...
We are given the religious demographics of Grover’s Corners: ninety-seven percent of the citizens are Christian. Religiosity plays a minor role in Our Town as the ethical and moral backdrop u...
Drugs and Alcohol
In Our Town, the abuse of alcohol is used to illuminate the dark side of small town life. Other than a brief attempt by Mr. Webb, no one reaches out to Simon Stimson (the town drunk). Instead, Simo...
Technology and Modernization
Because the play spans thirteen years during the turn-of-the-century and centers on a small town, we "see" modernizing influences: people are locking their doors at night, buying automobiles, etc....
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