Our Town Questions and Answers
by Thornton Wilder

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During the wedding in Act II of Our Town by Thornton Wilder, the choir sings “Blessed Be the Tie That Binds.” Discuss the impact of the song on the play. Blessed be the tie that bindsOur hearts in Christian love;The fellowship of kindred mindsIs like to that above.Before our Father’s throneWe pour our ardent prayers;Our fears, our hopes, our aims are oneOur comforts and our cares.We share each other’s woes,Our mutual burdens bear;And often for each other flowsThe sympathizing tear.

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 The beautiful hymn “Bless Be the Tithe That Binds” purveys Thornton Wilder’s theme iOur Town. Men are gregarious and require human relationships to flourish. The song permeates the play during important aspects of human connections.

The three verses of the song juxtapose the phases of a man and woman relationship and the acts in the play. 

  • Act I=Daily life
  • Act II=Love and Marrriage
  • Act  III=Death 

 

'The fellowship of kindred minds/ is like to that above.'

Act I

The audience is introduced to the characters in the play: the Webb family, the Gibbs, the Stage Manager,  and other minor characters.  The important word in the  first verse of the song is kindred which means people who have a common belief.

The other important phrase is Christian love.  That is the connection that Wilder asserts throughout the play. Although the song is a Christian hymn, Wilder does not stress the Christian aspect, but rather the significance of love between human beings. 

The first act shows several kinds...

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