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The common-man theme in the plays of Miller and Wilder

Description: This study emphasizes the private and public struggles of the common man as portrayed in two representative plays by Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman and The Price, and two by Thornton Wilder, Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth. These plays demonstrate man's struggle because of failures in responsibility toward self and family and because of his inability to fully appreciate life. Miller concentrates on the pathetic part of Man's nature, caused by a breakdown in human communication. Wilder, however, focuses on the resilient part which allows man to overcome natural disasters and moral transgressions. The timelessness of man's conflict explains the motivations of symbolic character types in these plays and reveals a marked applicability to all average citizens in American society.
Date: May 1977
Creator: Hastings, Robert M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Techniques and Content in Thornton Wilder: a Critical Re-Evaluation

Description: The aim of this paper is not to disprove previous interpretations of Wilder's work, but to enlarge on them. The problem is not that the opinions of the early critics and many of the later ones were incorrect; the were merely incomplete. This paper shall attempt to show that Wilder's major thematic material falls into two interlocking and overlapping groups. Repeatedly Wilder deals with the relationship of man to something beyond himself, and the relationship of man to individual man and to mankind.
Date: August 1959
Creator: Smith, Carolyn June
Partner: UNT Libraries