Our Town. Finished 9-17-18, 4.5/5 stars, classic play, 181 pages, pub. 1938
Our Town was first produced and published in 1938 to wide acclaim. This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of life in the small village of Grover’s Corners, an allegorical representation of all life, has become a classic. It is Thornton Wilder’s most renowned and most frequently performed play. from Goodreads
It’s Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire (population 2,642), early 20th century, and the Stage Manager leads us (the audience) through the years. We follow two families, the Gibbs and the Webbs as the doctor and the newspaperman and their families lead their lives in the small New England town. The three acts, years apart, see Emily as a child, a teen and a young bride.
I had forgotten how much fun it can be to read a play. First performed in 1938 on a stage devoid of props this play is simplicity at its deepest. The lives of the townspeople weren’t particularly interesting which made the ending such a punch in the gut (of the gentle and not hurtful variety) for me. That third act was brilliant. I loved it.
“That’s what it was like to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those…of those about you. To spend and waste time as though you had a million years. To be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion, or another. Now you know- that’s the happy existence you wanted to go back to. Ignorance and blindness.”
This won the Pulitzer Prize and my 23rd selection for the Classics Club and I have until January 1, 2020 to get to 50.