Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Thornton Wilder's Our Town. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Our Town: Introduction
Our Town: Plot Summary
Our Town: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Our Town: Themes
Our Town: Quotes
Our Town: Characters
Our Town: Symbols
Our Town: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Thornton Wilder
Historical Context of Our Town
Other Books Related to Our Town
- Full Title: Our Town: A Play in Three Acts
- When Written: 1930s
- Where Written: United States
- When Published: 1938
- Literary Period: The play blends realism with modernism.
- Genre: Drama (the play does not fit any specific theater genre like comedy or tragedy)
- Setting: Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, between 1899 and 1913
- Climax: In act three, the deceased Emily relives her twelfth birthday but finds it too painful and realizes that it is foolish to try to relive the past.
- Antagonist: There is no real antagonist in the play. All the characters live ordinary lives, struggling only against the normal passage of time that affects everyone.
- Point of View: Dramatic play
Extra Credit for Our Town
Not in Our Town. In 1946, the USSR banned a production of Our Town in East Berlin, because the play was deemed too depressing.
Stage Manager. Thornton Wilder himself played the stage manager in some productions of the play on Broadway.