Study Guide

Our Town Gender

By Thornton Wilder


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 quits teaching once she gets married.

Questions About Gender

  1. Are there any characters who defy traditional notions of womanhood? How would it affect the play if there were?
  2. Who wears the pants in the Gibbs and Webb households? The women? The men? Or are they equal partners?

Chew on This

The traditional gender roles in Our Town reinforce the idea of Our Town as an outdated play with no resonance for our time.

Despite the traditional gender roles in Our Town, the play still has enormous relevance for our time.