I remember reading this play in 11th grade, and there was a single quote that spoke to me. In fact, when I went to college, this quote was placed above my dorm wall:
Emily: Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? every, every minute?
STAGE MANAGER: No.
I think this question shows the purpose of this play, to reflect upon what happens in front of us. This play is quite ordinary in that it’s about simply town people. The play begins with a long description of the set up of the town and it’s history. While this seems like rather long and unnecessary exposition, it shows how the play values small details. As the story continues, we learn about Emily’s wedding and death. While these are monumental moments of life, the pacing of the play makes it appear how fast life goes by. This quote shows Emily’s lament as she stares at her younger self, but also gives a warning to the reading to be aware of their life while they live it. This is a message I hope to keep remembering as I go through my days of college.
Source: Our Town