Gender Roles In Our Town

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“Our Town” by Thornton Wilder is a play written in 1938 depicting the everyday lives of characters in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire during the time period between 1901 and 1913. The play is performed in three acts without the use of any set or props. The first act describes daily life in “Our Town”, the second act describes love and marriage, and the third act describes death and eternity. A stage manager narrates the play and describes the history and life of people in the town. There are many consistent themes in “Our Town.” One of these themes is gender roles. In “Our Town” gender roles are very defined and traditional. Women take care of the household; they cook, clean and raise the children. Men work and make the household decisions.…show more content…
There are two main families in the play; the Webbs and The Gibbs’. Mr. Gibbs is the town doctor; he and his wife have two children. One of their children is George Gibbs, one of the main characters in the play. Their neighbors are The Webb family. Mr. Webb is a politician and editor of the town newspaper. He and his wife also have two children and their daughter, Emily Webb is one of the main characters as well. There are a few scenes in the first act of the play that depict the old fashioned gender roles. Mrs. Gibbs and Mrs. Webb are good friends. Mrs. Gibbs confides in Mrs. Webb that she will be obtaining $350 dollars from selling an antique piece of furniture and that she would love to spend the money to either send Dr. Gibbs on a vacation or use it for she and her husband to travel to Paris. She has always dreamed of going to Paris but knows that if Dr. Gibbs had his way he would only want to go and see the civil war sites, as they always spend their vacations. It is made clear in this scene that men make call the decisions when it comes to money, even if it is the woman’s money. Mrs. Gibbs never gets to see Paris; she leaves the money to her son in her will. Another scene that shows how men make all the financial decisions is when George Gibbs asks for a raise in his allowance and his father is the one who must permit this, even though he originally asked his mother. There is a brief scene in Act I where the paper boy is talking with one of the townspeople about how his school teacher is leaving the school to get married to a man in Concord. This shows that women in Grover’s Corners must drop their careers and life to follow their husband. Also in the first act, Mr. Webb is describing the political aspects of Grover’s Corners and he mentions that their board of selectmen is made up of all males, and that women are not allowed to vote. This shows

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