Our Town By Thornton Wilder Study Help Essay Questions

1. Discuss the relationship between the type of hymns that the choir sings — "Art Thou Weary, Art Thou Languid," "Love Divine All Loves Excelling," and "Blest Be the Tie That Binds" — and other aspects of the play.

2. What descriptive information gives you a vivid portrait of Grover's Corners and surrounding areas?.

3. Why does the Stage Manager assume a role in some of the scenes and not in others? What is the nature of the various roles he plays?.

4. How might this play have evolved without the use of a Stage Manager? Would it have been as effective or memorable?.

5. Why does the playwright stop short of naming what the dead are waiting for?.

6. Why is an omniscient narrator more useful in this type of play than a narrator who is limited in knowledge of the future?.

7. How might George and Emily's relationship have differed if he had gone to college? if she had gone to college?.

8. How does Wilder depict the importance of work to the professionals — law enforcement officer, editor, doctor, teacher — as well as to the farmer, railroad worker, milkman, paper boy, and housewife?.

9. Why do Emily and George, the Gibbses, or the Webbs never use the word love when they discuss themselves and their families?.

10. What information might Mrs. Webb have given Emily about marriage? Do you think that George knows any more about married life than Emily?.

11. What minor conflicts cause familial and community friction in Grover's Corners?.

12. Why do Act II and Act III begin with rain? How do the characters respond to the weather?.

13. How would life be different if people could see how it will end for them?.

14. What achievements of civilization does Wilder highlight in the Stage Manager's description of preparations for the cornerstore of the new bank? What are the reasons for each reference?.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

In Act II, the Stage Manager reveals the focus of Act I as




Quiz