Our Town Questions and Answers
by Thornton Wilder

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When Emily returns to the living in Our Town, what does she experience that makes her wish to return to the dead?

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Emily discovers that people who are living take the state of being alive for granted. They don't fully appreciate the wonder of life, the beauty of the sights and sounds and smells and actions that go by without being noticed and savored.

all that was going on and we never noticed...Good-bye to clocks ticking....and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths

Emily is saddened as she realizes how much people miss by not being aware of their surroundings while they are alive, and as she further comes to understand that she is powerless to do anything to help those who are still living to change and to understand the treasures of life. She is left to wistfully remark on how little the living understand the blessed condition of being alive. "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every,every minute?"

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