Increasing Depths of Knowledge in Literary Analysis
Subject of analysis: the play, “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder
In this unit, you are, of course, you are expected to read each act of the three-act play, “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. It is also recommended that you watch the play in some form, as that is how plays are meant to be enjoyed!
- By this point in the play you have likely noticed that each act begins with a monologue from the Stage Manager. You have also noticed that he is more than a narrator—he is also a character. Why do you think the author created such a role for this play? How does having such a character effect the audience? Do you feel closer to the characters? Does he taint your view of them? Does he represent God? If so, what kind of God/god might he be? If he is not “God,” what is he? Explain your answer in at least one paragraph. Include an image (hand-drawn, or ‘borrowed’ from the internet) of what the Stage Manager looks like in your mind.
2. Choose either Emily or George and create a timeline of the events that occurred in this character’s life throughout the play. You can create it here in this document, or in another format.
- Requirements for the timeline:
- Include at least five events.
- List what age the character was at the time of the event (if the character’s age at the time is stated in the play—if not, take your best guess).
- Mention which other characters were involved in the life event.
This timeline can take whatever form you would like—make it a basic, line-based timeline, or turn it into a spider chart, or a video timeline—use your imagination! So long as you meet the above requirements and it is clear that you are explaining life events of either Emily or George, you have artistic license to make this whatever you want it to be.