Study Guide

Our Town Friendship

By Thornton Wilder


Good evening…Yes, most of the town’s settled down for the night, Simon…I guess we better do the same. Can I walk along a ways with you? (I.423)

Mr. Webb attempts to befriend Simon in the only kindly gesture towards the town drunkard throughout the entire play.

I don’t like the whole change that’s come over you in the last year. I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings, but I’ve got to – tell the truth and shame the devil. (II.200)

Emily is honest with George when he asks her a question, suggesting that true friendship requires veracity over niceness.

I’m celebrating because I’ve got a friend who tells me all the things that ought to be told me. (II.234)

George appreciates that Emily can honestly tell him what she thinks about him, even when her opinion is not easy to hear.

And, like you say, being gone all the time…in other places and meeting other people…Gosh, if anything like that can happen I don’t want to go away. I guess new people aren’t any better than old ones. I’ll bet they almost never are, Emily…I feel that you’re as good a friend as I’ve got. I don’t need to go and meet the people in other towns. (II.249)

George wants to hold onto the good things in his life without taking them for granted.

Eh, George, George! Hast-yaow! Look at him, fellas – he looks scared to death. Yaow! George, don’t look so innocent, you old geezer. We know what you’re thinking. Don’t disgrace the team, big boy. Whoo-oo-oo. (II.318)

George’s friends embarrass him in the church on his wedding day.