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Our Town

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Joseph O'Connor Biography to Cynthia Ozick Biography

a play by Thornton Wilder, produced and published in 1938 when it won the Pulitzer Prize. It portrays the everyday lives of the Gibbs and Webb families in Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, a typical American small town, during 190113. Act One, ‘Daily Life’, presents the activities of an ordinary day: milk delivery, cooking, gossip, school and family problems. The second act, ‘Love and Marriage’, charts the courtship between George Gibbs and Emily Webb. In the final act, ‘Death’, Emily dies in childbirth. The central character of the play is the stage manager, who in a manner reminiscent of Brecht's dramatic techniques, speaks to the audience, introduces characters, comments upon the action, and plays various minor roles. The absence of scenery seeks to suggest that human experience is eternal and universal, transcending time and place. It was produced as a film in 1940.

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