Period #5-6 Our Town Essay.
"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? -Every, every minute?" The theme from the story "Our Town," written by Thorton Wilder, dealt with this topic. If Mr. Wilder would be asked this question he would most likely reply with a "no." Reasons that point this out are the fact that practically the entire story is a flashback and that most last act is dedicated to looking back on all of the people that die in such a short period of time.
The story is based on flashbacks of a couple throughout their life. This proposes that the past is very important and that since people haven't paid any attention to it, we must look back on it. If the story had been written in the future or in present tense, then it would mean to look towards what will happen but since it is in the past, it shows how we should look back on the past and present life in general.
The constant mention of death and the graveyard are other reasons why Thorton Wilder would say that people don't look at life while they live it. Towards the end of the story, in the beginning of Act III, Joe Stoddard talks to Sam Craig about how much of a shame all the people dying is. They mention practically half of the characters from the beginning acts. This is probably the first time that Sam ever looked back on the old town. The point of this scene was to show how it's too late once you realize how life is and when you look back on it.
So, do people actually realize the power of life while living it? Maybe. Mr. Wilder would tell you no. His play, "Our Town," is an excellent example of how we don't look back on our life until it is too late.