Analysis Of The Effect Of The Play Our Town On The Audience

The play “Our Town”, written and directed by Thornton Wilder, is a three-act (Daily Life, Love and Marriage, and death) play that was published in the late 1930s. The setting of the play is in the 1900s in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. “Our Town” explores the lives of people living an ordinary life in a small American town. The author journeys through the cycle of life, all the way from the birth of a new life, all the way up to the inevitable. When the author explores the lives of the people, he creates their situations and expresses them to the audience in a more dramatic way. This is how he uses his techniques. The author has made a massive impact on the effect it leaves on the audience. The dramatic and literary techniques the author has used that explores ideas in the play, influences the audience by touching their emotions and their perspective of how it was in the 1900s.

The author has made the play “Our Town” with a strong message that will effect on the audience because of the dramatic and literary techniques that have been used. “Our Town” shares the idea that we live life without really appreciating what it has to offer. When we pass away, we see what we had, but it’s just too late. Major stages of the play include mortality, appreciating life and companionship. In this play the author displays that perfectly in the people that are living in the small American town. The characters undergo problems that leave unsolved and actions that create more and more situations.

The author has shown dramatic techniques through the way the people have been brought up, how they live their lives, in the conditions they worked in and the jobs they worked for a living. The literary techniques that were used were shown in the following scene when the audience is introduced to the Congregational Church at a choir practice. Currently, there were members that discussed Simon Stimson, an organist with an alcohol problem. This means Stimson is symbolic of the dark side of the small town and how the townspeople do not address the problem directly, but rather gossip about it amongst each other. This leaves the reader to realise that things like this still occur in this time and era.

The play is also expressing how people would act and react in a such a small town. For the author to deliver the play, he needs to display a setting that’s going to engage the audience so that they can get meaning of the play. Such as props, lighting (to show if it is day or night, or which people to focus on), houses and costumes. The Costumes are all different, depending on the character. E.g. The housewives wear light coloured dresses with an apron because they are usually cleaning and cooking at home, the businessmen wear a suit with a tie and the farmers wear a tucked in checked shirt with pants on. With the costumes, this helps give the audience a clear and better understanding with the play, it also gives them the better imagery of the play. If there is somebody dressed wearing a suit and tie, this gives the audience an idea that that person is probably wealthier than some that is wearing dirty and ripped up clothes. The setting would have to look like as if it is an olden time. The houses would be made from old wood, scratched up paint and with olden day table’s chairs and cutlery. With all these components, the author sets a mood for the audience.

With characters dying after another with deaths such as Mrs Gibbs death due to pneumonia and Emily’s due to giving birth to her second child, is kind of a harsh and dramatic way for such deaths to happen. In the small town everybody knows each other and interacts with another almost every day. If that’s for reasons like, providing and selling produce or going to their work. Techniques like these engage the audience so that at the end they can see the effect it has left them. Now with the audience engaged into the play this is where it all starts for the author. Keeping the audience occupied and hooked into a play is one thing, another is how long the author can keep them on and what effect he can leave on them. This play really leaves the audience thinking about their everyday lives now even though this play was meant to be set in a small town in the 1900s. It really was just the author trying to express his perspective on the everyone’s normal lives people live today. 

16 August 2021
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