Clarify any significant ideas in the passage that begins “It was your mother chopping wood” and ends “and you run off and play baseball” from Our Town by Thornton Wilder.

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This passage from Our Town speaks to the coming of age process of George.

Here, in the first act, we see Doc Gibbs having a frank conversation with his son, George. Mrs. Gibbs has recently complained to her husband that George has become useless when it comes to doing the household chores. She fears that he is growing lazy and selfish. She wants her husband to set their son straight.

George is on the cusp of manhood. Like other teenagers, he is searching for his own identity. Part of this for him is shirking the responsibilities around the house that he had previously fulfilled. George is eager to make his own way in the world, and that means shaking off his parents’ expectations of him.

Throughout the story, we see this happening. At the start of the second act, George is preoccupied with his upcoming marriage to Emily. In fact, he now takes Emily’s advice more to heart than he does the advice of his parents. At the same time, he is concerned about the implications of being an adult. George also decides not to go to agricultural school, although that’s what his parents would most likely prefer.

So, we can see that although Mrs. Gibbs is concerned that her son is becoming lazy and useless to the family, George is simply growing up and wishing to find his own way in the world.

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