Our town, by Wilder Thornton, has many evident themes, but the one that is most significant and well illustrated, in all the three acts, is the inherent goodness and beauty of existence and humankind’s failure to appreciate them. …
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The organizing of acts around the stages of life and reality brings out this theme. This paper primarily focuses on describing how the theme of how humankind does not appreciate the present is brought out in the play. The first act, of the play, depicts the everyday life of people living in a fictional small town, in New Hampshire. Normal people, their daily routines, family relationships and times of growing up, characterize the act. It depicts Gibbs and Webb’s childhood experiences, and how they grown in the same town and became neighbours. The narrator gives a vivid description of the town, houses and people living there, by saying, “We all know that something is eternal. And it is not houses and it is not names, and it is not earth, and it is not even the stars” (Wilder 15). He further says, “Everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you would be surprised how people are always losing hold of it” (Wilder 15). This excerpt describes how the narrator of the play gives a clear picture of the theme that even the many years, Mother Nature is still eternal, but human perception of it will never change. Wilder, in another quote, says “do any human beings ever realise life while they live it?”(Wilder 23), which also describes the main theme of the play.
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