Book Review- Our Town (by Thornton Wilder)


I chose to do this book review because I am participating in this play for our school production. I will be playing the role of Emily.

This play has three acts: daily life, love and marriage, and death. This story mostly follows the love life of two teenagers, George and Emily. In the beginning, they’re just friends, but their love for each other ultimately grows into something more. By the end of the second act, they’re married. In between act two and three, Emily dies offstage giving birth to their second child. In the third act, Emily is among the dead. This is the most important act for her character. She pretends she is still alive and constantly talks about her farm…until she realizes she can go back and live over memories. She begs to go back into her memories and becomes so caught up and sad in a memory of her 12th birthday, that she decides to leave the memory sooner. During the memory, she sees how young her parents are and how time moves so fast that you never have enough time to “look at one another.”

Emily is basically the main character in this play. She is very bright, and she knows it. She’s a bit shy sometimes and very social. Sometimes she is oblivious to the situation at hand, e.g., when she enters the graveyard and is still talking about her past while the others (the dead,) have already let go. I don’t think I would care to meet Emily in the first two acts, but I would definitely want to meet her when she is dead (in the third act). I would want to meet her then, because by that time, she had reflected on all her feelings and gone through her past in her mind, and  “…realized how troubled and how…in the dark live persons are.”

I really like this play. I feel that getting to act out this story has really shown me the depth of the characters. I would definitely recommend this book because it shows one’s life and one’s death.

I don’t know what to compare this play to; it has a surprisingly unique storyline!

I think that the main theme of this story is to live life to its fullest. We do not enjoy every moment of our lives, like we should try to. I believe that in the end, Emily realizes how much she missed life and how important interactions are. She also says that she “can’t look at everything hard enough.” Emily is saying that everything is important, even little objects. She also says that they “don’t have enough time to look at one another.” If we just ignore everyone else, what is life?

Questions Answered:

  • 1. Why did you choose this book?
  • 2. Explain the plot of the book, or if it is a non-fiction book, what topics are covered.
  • 3. Describe one of the characters in the book. Would you want to meet this character? Why or why not?
  • 4. What is your opinion of the book? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?
  • 5. Explain how this book is similar to another book, film, story, or article that you have read or seen. What connections or comparisons can you make?
  • 6. What do you think the main idea or theme of this story is? What is the author trying to tell you about life or our world with this book?

Thanks for reading!:)Please check out some of my other posts to get good reading suggestions. Feel free to comment below!


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