How is Wilder's use of flashbacks in Our Town a dramatic technique? I have to analyze his use of flashbacks and I really don't know where to start.

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The most poignant use of flashback in Thornton Wilder's Our Town occurs in act 3, after Emily's untimely death. Emily joins the other deceased townspeople on stage, and she witnesses her own funeral. She begs the Stage Manager to let her go back in time, lamenting how people never appreciate the little things in their everyday lives until it's too late. The other dead try to persuade her to just accept her state and not try to go back to the past; it will be too painful. Emily insists, though.

She returns to her younger life, and there she is able to interact with her family on a fairly average day during her childhood. This act of "reliving" the past brings Emily great pain and makes her realize how "blind" people are as they sleepwalk through their lives, when they should appreciate and cherish every small moment. Wilder's choice to have a main character die and then also to relive a part of her life after death is very unconventional. Flashbacks are not frequently used in dramas because...

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