Comparing The Stage Manager In Middletown And Thornton Wilder's Our Town

1076 Words 5 Pages
Throughout both Will Eno’s, Middletown, and Thornton Wilder’s, Our Town, many parallels are formed due to Harold Bloom’s idea of strongly misreading text. Bloom argues that authors distort and alter prewritten texts to make a creative space for their own. Eno strongly misreads the Stage Manager in order to develop interesting yet intriguing characters of his own. First, Eno strongly misreads the Stage Manager’s desire to cover up the faults in Grover’s Corners in order to create the Cop in Middletown. Next Eno uses the Stage Manager’s willingness to reminisce about the past to create the Mechanic. Through both parallels between the Stage Manager and the similar, yet more sinister characters that Eno creates; the idea that Eno is strongly misreading …show more content…
Eno begins the play with the Cop and the Mechanic arguing over a wrapper that has fallen on the floor when suddenly the Cop turns to the audience and begins to explain Middletown as an “ordinary place, ordinary time”(Eno 8). After explaining the logistics of Middletown, He proceeds to choke the Mechanic yelling, “‘Say, “Im not doing anything.” Say “I was just walking around.” Say, “this is my hometown.” Say, “my life’s a mystery to me.” Say it! Be a good human. Be filled with Humility”. The cop is trying to cover up the faults in Middletown by punishing the Mechanic for his bad deed and publicly humiliating him”(Eno 9). The Cop does this to let the audience know that the small percentage of “misfits” in Middletown are punished until they are empathetic towards their mistakes. This encounter with the Mechanic intrigues the audience with conflict, suspense, and violence. Furthermore, the encounter provides clear evidence of Enos strong misreading of the Stage Manager in Our Town. For example, The Stage manager facilitates a similar encounter with the citizens of Grover’s Corners. As the stage manager invites Mr. Webb to answer questions from the audience about the “social issues in Grover’s corners, one lady asks about the drinking. Mr. Webb answers by saying “We’ve got one or two town drunks, but they’re always having remorses every time an …show more content…
After The Mechanic is choked he proceeds to get up and give a story about his past. He talks about his childhood and how he thought he found a meteorite but it turned out to be just a rock. He then says that perhaps he could get on the news if he threw the rock off a bridge and murdered somebody. After explaining the story of his past, he says “I was somebody’s golden child, somebody’s little hope. Now, I’m more just, you know, a local resident”(Eno 15). Although the Mechanic’s story is a bit sinister; he is allowing the audience to reminisce on the dark yet better, more exciting times. This instance gives further reason to believe that Eno has strongly misread The Stage Manager. For instance, the Stage Manager allows the audience to witness an entire life of someone in just three acts by telling stories and filling in holes of time with necessary information. For example, the Stage manager says “three years have gone by…It’s July 7th just after High School Commencement. That's the time most of our young people jump up and get married …It’s early morning. Only this time it’s been raining. It’s been pouring and thundering”(Wilder 48). Like The Mechanic, The Stage Manager does such a great job of guiding the audience through time and allowing them not to miss background information. Therefore Eno distorts this characteristic of the Stage manager in order

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