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The stage manager directs the flow of the play throughout, and his transient attitude towards death reflects Grover’s Corners overall outlook on a life that tries to mentally avoid death. This stance is established primarily by the stage manager in his first act narrative, which hastily describes the fatalities, masking their importance and reality. “Want to tell you something about that boy Joe Crowell there. Joe was awful bright – graduated from high school here, head of his class. So he got a scholarship to Massachusetts Tech. Graduated head of his class there, too. It was all wrote up in the Boston paper at the time. Goin’ to be a great engineer, Joe was. But the war broke out and he died in France.” This brief account demonstrates the importance placed on a man’s death.
The people of Grover’s Corners live in a world where change is frowned upon; consequently, the means of dealing with such a great adjustment as death is to prevent themselves from thinking of it. In the stagnant society of Grover’s corners, death is the ultimate obstacle, and ignorance is the remedy. Another instance where the stage manager subtly demonstrates this practice of evading notions of death is his intervention in scenes that broach the topic. “Only it seems to me that once in your life before you die you ought to see a country where they don’t talk in English and don’t even want to.” The stage manager enters briskly from the right. He tips his hat to the ladies (P.
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