What in Act One has prepared us for the unusual treatment of time in Act Two of Our Town?

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In a review of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, one critic writes,

This is less the portrait of a town than the sublimation of the commonplace; and in contrast with the universe that silently swims around it, it is brimming over with compassion.

The microcosm of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, is depicted in its quotidian struggles and routines in Act One as the Stage Manager describes the town and illuminates the events in a day with the Gibbs family and others.  At one point, the Stage Manager tells the audience,

There...

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