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Our Town

Critique • Quotes • At the movies

Our Town first coverFirst edition
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First performance
1938, Princeton, New Jersey

Literature form

Tragedy, meta-theatre

Writing language

Author's country
United States

Three acts, approx. 18,500 words

Notable lines

This play is called "Our Town." It was written by Thornton Wilder; produced and directed by.... (or: produced by A....; directed by B....;). In it you will see Miss C....; Miss D....; Miss E....

— First lines

That's what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those.. of those about you. To spend and waste time as though you had a million years. To be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion, or another. Now you know—that's the happy existence you wanted to go back to. Ignorance and blindness.


Good-by, Good-by, world. Good-by Grover's Corners...Mama and Papa. Good-by to clocks ticking...and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths...and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you.


There are the stars—doing their old, old crisscross journeys in the sky. Scholars haven't settled the matter yet, but they seem to think there are no living beings out there. Just chalk...or fire. Only this one is straining away, straining away all the time to make something of itself. The strain's so bad that every sixteen hours everybody lies down and gets a rest. 


Hm.... Eleven o'clock in Grover's Corners.—You get a good rest, too. Good night. 

— Last lines


Critique • Quotes • At the movies