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Creator / Thornton Wilder

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Thornton Wilder (1897–1975) was an American playwright and novelist. He won three Pulitzer Prizes, for The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Our Town, and The Skin of Our Teeth. His play The Matchmaker was the basis of the musical Hello, Dolly!.

No relation to Billy Wilder or to Gene Wilder (although the latter did choose his stage name in Thornton Wilder's honor).

Works by Thornton Wilder with their own pages include:


Other works by Thornton Wilder provide examples of:

  • Audience Monologue: In The Matchmaker, they are used quite frequently, with most of the main characters receiving at least one.
  • Going to See the Elephant: In The Matchmaker, Barnaby Tucker has the fixed desire of seeing the stuffed whale in Barnum's museum when he goes to New York. The Barnum Museum really was a tremendously popular place in the mid- to late-1800s, and the whale was a notable exhibit.
  • The Matchmaker: The title character of The Matchmaker.
  • Refusing Paradise: In "Pullman Car Hiawatha", a one-act existential comedy, a woman named Harriet dies on the titular train and is visited by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, but initially refuses to go to heaven, saying that she would rather remain on Earth and watch over her husband.

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