Study Guide

Our Town Choices

By Thornton Wilder


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, the sacrifice love requires, etc. Regardless, it is an important choice in the play. The second pivotal choice is Emily’s decision to relive her past despite the warnings of other dead people. Her decision calls attention to the play’s biggest theme: that of life’s transience.

Questions About Choices

  1. Of the decisions that will significantly change these characters’ lives, which seem the most difficult for the characters to make? Why? How do these decisions relate to other themes in the play?
  2. What choices are presented to the characters in Our Town?

Chew on This

The range of choices for the characters in Our Town is tightly circumscribed and therefore limits the play’s world.