Free Study Guide for Our Town by Thornton Wilder-Book Summary |
Doc Gibbs enters and sits at the breakfast table. He teases his wife about “losin’ one of her chicks.” Mrs. Gibbs is on the verge of tears and expresses her apprehension about Emily and George being too young to handle matrimony. He reminds her that the two of them had their own fears about marriage. He was afraid that they would run out of conversation after few years; but they have had plenty to talk about during their happy married life. Mrs. Gibbs admits that the natural order of things seems to be “two by two.” George enters and jokes about having only five more hours of freedom before he becomes a married man. He starts outside to go and see his bride-to-be, but Mrs. Gibbs stops him and insists that he puts on his overshoes.
When George arrives at Emily’s house, Mrs. Webb will not at first let him inside. She insists that it will bring bad luck to the marriage if he sees his fiancée on her wedding day before she walks down the aisle. George turns to Mr. Webb and asks him if believes in such superstitions. With practicality, he replies that superstitions generally clothe a lot of common sense. When Mr. Webb engages his future son-in-law in a conversation about weddings, marriage, and life, Mrs. Webb goes upstairs to make certain that Emily does not come down.
As George talks to his future father-in-law, he says he wishes that weddings were not such public affairs. Mr. Webb explains that women like for everyone to see a man tie the knot. He then tells George that when he was getting married, his own father had given him advice about controlling his future wife. He adds that he never followed that advice and, therefore, has had a happy marriage. He advises George not to blindly follow the advice of others. Mrs. Webb returns to the room and asks George to leave so that Emily can come down for breakfast. Mr. Webb makes a joke by saying, “No bridegroom should see his father-in-law on the day of the wedding.”
This section begins to reveal some of the changes that have taken place in Grover’s Corners during the last three years. Si Crowell has replaced his brother, Joe, as the paperboy, and George Gibbs has given up baseball to marry Emily Webb. Some things, however, never change. Both the paper and the milk are still delivered to the houses. Mrs. Gibbs continues to be the worried, concerned mother as she busies herself making a special breakfast for a special day. She complains that George and Emily are really too young to take on the responsibilities of marriage, and she worries about “losing” a son. When George leaves to go across to the Webbs, she insists that he puts on his overshoes, as if he were still a young child. She states that he can do what he likes once he is married, but as long he is under her roof, she will make sure he lives wisely. Dr. Gibbs is much more pragmatic. He reminds his wife that they were also unprepared for matrimony, but they have had a happily married life together.
Because it is Emily and George’s wedding day, there is a sense of preparation and anticipation, especially amongst the women. Both Mrs. Gibbs and Mrs. Webb order extra milk and cream, certain that they will have an abundance of visitors. Mrs. Webb is in a panic when George shows up at her house. Revealing her superstitious ways, she insists that he cannot see the bride before she walks down the aisle. In contrast to his wife, Mr. Webb is calm and full of practical advice. He tells George that superstitions are usually based on common sense. He also indirectly tells George he must not try to control Emily once he is married to her; neither should he act blindly on the advice of others.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on Our Town".
. 09 May 2017