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In Act 3 of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town", the living are concerned for the dead; how do...

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juliaamyers | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:11 PM via web

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In Act 3 of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town", the living are concerned for the dead; how do the dead feel about, or respond to, this?

 

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted June 22, 2012 at 7:55 PM (Answer #1)

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Set at the Grover's Corner cemetery, Act III opens on the summer of 1913 and begins with a brief soliloquy by the Stage Manager in which he discusses the nature of death.  He says that over time, dead people lose interest in the activities of the living, and become more aware of their place in eternity.  The ghost of Emily, discussing some things she was doing in her earthly life, to another ghost, Mrs. Gibbs, appears to be making some progress toward her eternal existence when she comments that the living "don't understand".  However, she insists on returning to the day of her twelfth birthday, where she becomes upset when she realizes how little living people appreciate what they've been given each day. 

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