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Our Town | Study Guide

Thornton Wilder

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Our Town | Motifs



All three acts of Our Town open in the morning and end at night, just as the play opens with a birth and closes with a death. Guided by these natural cycles, life in Grover's Corners has a consistency that never changes. Through this motif Thornton Wilder shows that the very ordinariness of life makes it beautiful and also allows people to overlook its beauty.

"Blessed Be the Tie That Binds"

This traditional Protestant hymn is sung in each act of the play. The first verse reads:

Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

For Wilder, the connections formed between people are a sacred part of life on earth. This hymn underscores the importance of unity and oneness in a community. "The fellowship of kindred minds" reflects the fellowship of souls in heaven.

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