Free Study Guide for Our Town by Thornton Wilder-Book Summary |
The Stage Manager begins this section by making the audience realize how quickly time passes. He remarks that a person gets married at the age of twenty-one or twenty-two, “and the next thing you know is that. . .the white-haired lady at your side has eaten over fifty thousand meals with you.” He then goes into a flashback to the time when Emily and George were young teenagers, just falling in love.
The flashback is filled subtlety and innocence. George finally gets up enough courage to walk Emily home and carry her books; Emily smugly criticizes George for being conceited and not paying his family or friends enough attention because of baseball; George awkwardly admits that he has been wrong, but confesses that baseball has not gotten in the way of his feelings for her; George insists that he buys her an ice cream soda, and then finds out he does not have the money to pay for it; over sodas he talks about wanting to be a farmer and asks Emily to write to him at college; she worries that George will forget all about her while he is away; he promises that he will always care for her. It is a tender picture of young love in the making.
In the flashback, the characters of both Emily and George are developed. They are obviously natural leaders; he has just been elected the president of his senior class, and she has been elected its secretary/treasurer. George is also the star pitcher on the baseball team. Unfortunately, his success has gone to his head. Emily says that he has changed, acting conceited and ignoring his friends.
Emily, besides being one of the brightest girls in her class, is also popular, as evidenced by her election. George also says he has often tried to walk her home, but she is always with a crowd of friends. Emily is also an idealist. She says she is looking for a perfect man and believes that George can become one. Finally, she proves that she is honest and straightforward. Even though she is attracted to George, she bluntly tells him the truth about his recent behavior. It is obvious that she has felt a bit slighted by the boy next door.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on Our Town".
. 09 May 2017