Perhaps the most familiar scene in Thornton Wilder’s play, “Our Town,” is when twelve-year-old Emily, who has died, is allowed to come down from heaven and spend one more day on earth. Although she had looked forward eagerly to that extra day on earth, her visit is extremely disappointing and when her time is up she is quite ready to go back. The scene which follows is less familiar, perhaps, but equally as powerful. In it, Emily returns to heaven and expresses her keen disappointment in the experience she has just had on earth. A man named Simon Stimson responds to her disappointment saying …
“Yes, now you know! That’s what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those about you. To spend and waste time as though you had a million years. To be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion or another. Now you know…
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