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Thornton Wilder PowerPoint Presentation
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Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder

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Thornton Wilder

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  1. Thornton Wilder

  2. Born in Madison, Wisc in 1897 Spent much time in China (far East) during his childhood 1915—finished HS and attended Oberlin College to study Greek and Roman classics 1917—enrolled at Yale In the beginning

  3. 1920--First full-length play--The Trumpet Shall Sound Coast Artillery Corps in World War I 1920 studied archeology in Rome Received a Master’s in French literature from Princeton in 1926 Taught French and literature at several universities. Impressive Resume

  4. Close friends with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein 1927—Breakthrough novel The Bridge Of San Luis Rey –1st Pulitzer Prize! 1938--Our Town—2nd Pulitzer Prize! ONLY American Author to win the PP in both fiction and drama And the list goes on…

  5. During World War II, Wilder enlisted in the army, rising to lieutenant colonel in the Air Force and earning the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Hello, Dolly! Was a widely successful musical made from one of Wilder’s works. December 7, 1975, Wilder died at the age of 78 in Hamden, Connecticut. Fin

  6. Why was it so popular? • Universality • Anyone and everyone can relate---Grover’s Corner could be ANY town. • Themes can be applied anywhere • Simplicity Mise-en-scene—(next slide) Our Town

  7. No scenery or props except for tables, chairs, ladders, and a few other objects. When actors dine, they hold imaginary utensils and eat imaginary food. When looking out an upper-story window, they stand on ladders. When the milkman makes deliveries from his horse-drawn cart, there is no horse or cart, although the audience may hear clip-clops or whinnies. And so goes the entire play. Author Thornton Wilder presented the play in this way to force the audience to concentrate on the characters and the themes.  Our Town

  8. Narrator ---“the stage manager,” • Supervises the placement of the chairs and tables at the beginning of the play. • Introduces the play and its setting, looking back from his 1930s vantage point to the year when the drama begins, 1901. • From time to time, he interrupts the play to comment on the action or to inform the audience about a character’s background. Early on, he even speaks with members of the audience. Our Town

  9. Greek Chorus –(Stage Manager, a modernized version of a Greek Chorus) • a company of actors who comment (by speaking or singing in unison) on the action A Side note…

  10. THEMES • People should appreciate life while they are living it. • Carpe diem • Little things in life are really big things • No town can isolate itself from the rest of the world • No community is perfect, not even idyllic Grover's Corners Our Town