Critique of the Novel Our Town Essay

Critique of the Novel Our Town Essay

Length: 4625 words (13.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Thornton Wilder was born on April 17, 1897, and died on December 7, 1975. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin to Amos Wilder, an American diplomat, and Isabella Wilder. Thornton Wilder started writing plays in The Thacher School in Ojai, California, and graduated from Berkeley High School in 1915. He served in the Coast Guard in World War II. After the war he attended Oberlin College, then Yale University where he earned his B.A. in 1920. His writing was honed at Yale where he was a part of the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity which is a literary society. In 1926, he earned his M.A. in French from Princeton University. Wilder won Pulitzer Prizes for The Bridge of San Luis Rey in 1928, Our Town in 1938, and The Skin of Our Teeth in 1942. He also won the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 1957, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, and the National Book Award in 1967 for his novel The Eighth Day.
Form, Structure, and Plot
The novel is organized into three acts, each one representing a different period of time. There are only two flashbacks in the book. The first takes place in act two, after George and Mr. Webb have a conversation. They both leave the stage and the Stage Manager introduces the flashback of when Emily and George had their first date at Mr. Morgan’s drugstore. The second flashback is not so much a flashback as it is time travel. It occurs in act three after Emily Webb joins the rest of the dead. She, as well as the Stage Manager, goes back in time to revisit her twelfth birthday. The first act is of George Gibbs and Emily Webb as teens, the second act is of their marriage, and the third act is of Emily Webb’s funeral. In the play a total of twelve years is covered. Throughout the play, the tone becomes more and m...


... middle of paper ...


...out that Emily is dead.
Additional Comments
I was not thrilled with this book, but I did not hate it. The book’s strengths are that it has good, applicable themes that are easy to understand. Another strength that the book has is that it is not written in formal diction, so it is easy to read and understand. One of its weaknesses is that it is sometimes hard to follow the plot because of the lack of narration. The reader can get confused because of sudden scene or time changes. The book does leave one lingering question: What happens to George Gibbs? Although this is not my favorite book, it will have lasting effects on me. The transience of human life is a universal theme that can be observed by anyone.

Bibliography

Thornton (Niven) Wilder (1897-1975). .
Our Town. Wikipedia. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Notebook critique Essay

- The Notebook By Nicholas Sparks “I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life... but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough. -Noah Calhoun When we were assinged to do a book critique, I knew right away I was going to do a Nicholas Sparks novel. I have read all of his books, cried many tears and felt many emotions as I pictured the people falling in love, people doing heroic events and people living their normal life....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
847 words (2.4 pages)

Satire and Critique in Dead Soul by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol Essay

- A Satire for the Ages Satirical fiction, although unique and one of a kind in its nature, has continued to be an enthralling and captivating subject out of the plethora of themes that exist throughout literature history and thrive to this day. While the many forms of humor that appear throughout a novel, from comical, ironic characters to witty, exaggerated plots, are often considered tame and childish themes, authors, skillful and clever alike, are able to utilize such forms of humor and transform them into a means of stirring emotion within their audiences, in order to deliver logical, yet powerful messages....   [tags: literature history, dead souls]

Powerful Essays
1074 words (3.1 pages)

Characters of Pedro Paramo Used to Critique Mexico Essay

- The Mexican Revolution was intended to drag the common man from the poverty of lower class society in Mexico, and bestow upon them an equal portion of land and wealth in order to equilibrate the economic and social status in the nation. The ecomienda system allowed a few patrons to hold all of the wealth in a certain area and exert complete control over a city and the people that lived within it. The Revolution was intended to redistribute the land and power to the lower and middle classes, but this was not the case once the fighting ceased....   [tags: juan rolfo,mexican revolution,ecomienda system]

Powerful Essays
1206 words (3.4 pages)

The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton Essay

- Period-4 English Honors Literary Critique: The Outsider Greasers will be greasers and Socs will still be socs. Sometimes I think it’s the ones in the middle that are really lucky stiffs. Throughout history and even today, there has been and there is a gap between the rich and poor. When there are two different types of people who live life totally different, there are bound to be problems within the society. The people who are right in the middle and belong to no social class they are the one who live life in the best manner because they don’t have to deal with any problems....   [tags: Literary Critique, Summary]

Powerful Essays
1261 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

- A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines Vancil initiates the criticism of A lesson Before Dying in an old-fashioned, excessive religious genre of attitudes. He claims that Grant Wiggins is reluctant to atonement for guilt to uphold the Christian faith belief system within the Quarters, the small community of Wiggins’ residence. Wiggins has just evolved into the Diaspora of African-American people whose adapted a new way of thought and forever changing lifestyle alterations ranging from the southern to western regions in America....   [tags: Literature Novel Critique]

Powerful Essays
978 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Frankenstein as a Critique of Mary Shelley's Society

- Frankenstein as a Critique of Mary Shelley's Society Nature plays a large role in the novel, "Frankenstein", both as the natural world and human nature. The book is clearly not a story of fun and happiness. It is a sad but beautiful story of the need for love and acceptance in society. This reflects a lot on Mary Shelley's life, as you can tell from the language used in the text that she is writing from experience in many parts of the book. Civilization in the days of Mary Shelley is very similar to modern day society, in certain respects, such as the significant presence of justice and fear of the unknown - both of which play important and pivotal roles in "Frankenstein"....   [tags: Frankenstein Mary Shelley Society]

Powerful Essays
2418 words (6.9 pages)

The Pearl Is A Socio Economic Critique Of The Mini Society Of La Paz Essay

- John Steinbeck’s The Pearl is a socio-economic critique of the mini-society of La Paz, which is situated at the far end of the Baja Peninsula. The story is a cautionary tale about a fisherman, Kino, who lives a peaceful, rustic life with his wife, Juana, and baby son, Coyotito, on the outskirts of a Mexican town called La Paz-until one dark day, a stray scorpion stings little Coyotito and the family discover the flaws in the system. To try scrounge up the dollars for the doctor, Kino takes to the sea to find a pearl, and-lucky day!!-find one he does....   [tags: Marxism, Socialism, Karl Marx, Communism]

Powerful Essays
1130 words (3.2 pages)

Perfume Novel Grenouille by Patrick Süskind, Questions and Answers Essay

- Perfume Discussion Questions 1. What motivates Grenouille to commit his first murder. What does he discover about himself and his destiny after he has killed the red haired girl. The Motivation behind Grenouille's first murder is his obsession with the perfume his victim is wearing he feels that “without the scent his life would have no meaning” , and that he should do anything to obtain it without any remorse for his actions, what he discovers about himself and his own destiny after he kills the red haired girl for the scent is that he is destined to “revolutionize the odoriferous world” by becoming the “greatest perfumer of all time” 2....   [tags: motivation, murder, odors, powers]

Powerful Essays
683 words (2 pages)

To Kill a Mocking Bird Critique Essay example

- To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel that has received great acclaim, largely due to setting, themes, and accuracy. The setting, themes, and accuracy of the novel seem to fall into place in a great order, which makes this novel receive great acclaim. To Kill a Mockingbird is set in a small town in “fictional” Maycomb County, Alabama 1933-35. “It was more of collection of short stories than a true novel…yet, there was also life” (Commire, 18). The Characters of To Kill a Mockingbird we also created from people in Lee’s life....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Free Essays
851 words (2.4 pages)

Scarlet Letter Critique Essay example

- Hester Pyrnne is a Puritan woman that thinks that her husband is dead or lost at sea. She has a love affair with Dimmesdale that no one knows about but themselves. Hester is ridiculed for it because she has a baby resulting from it, however nothing is done to Dimmesdale by his fellow Puritans because no one knows that he took part in the affair and is the baby’s father. The Puritans show their disapproval of Hester by doing a variety of things like spreading rumors, outcasting her, and even sewing a scarlet letter “A'; to her bosom....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
733 words (2.1 pages)