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The second section of Act I begins to reveal the simple, uneventful lives of the inhabitants of a small, ordinary town. It is appropriately called "Daily Routine." The Stage Manager begins the section by describing how all the houses look alike in Grover's Corners. The action also reveals that the people act alike. The morning routine in the Gibbs' house is very much like the routine in the Webbs' house. Joe Crowell's paper route is as routine as Howie Newsome's delivery of the milk; one delivers the paper to sustain the mind, while the other delivers milk to sustain the body. Life, however, seems very ordinary and predictable. Ironically, it is the commonness of the town and its inhabitants that makes the play uncommon and important.
Birth, marriage, and death are the key events of human life in any environment. It is appropriate that in this first act, birth is mentioned several times. Doc Gibbs explains the delivery of the twin babies to Howie Newsome and then to his wife. The act also begins at dawn, the birth of a new day. The next act will be called "Love and Marriage," and the last act is entitled "Death." Death is also discussed in this section. In a flashforward, the omniscient Stage Manager reveals that Joe Crowell will be killed in France during World War I and that Mrs. Gibbs will die of pneumonia several years before her husband passes away.
Although the inhabitants of Grover's Corners seem to accept the dull routine of their lives, Mrs. Gibbs reveals that she dreams of seeing the world. She tells Mrs. Webb about how she wants to sell an antique piece of furniture and use the money to travel to Paris. Of course her dreams, like most of those in Grover's Corners, will never materialize; her husband will only visit Civil War battlefields on his vacations. Again, the dull routine and repetitious patterns are emphasized.
It is significant to note the omnipresence of the Stage Manager during the play. He often interrupts the action to shed some important light on the characters or the action. At other times, he seems to interrupt for almost no reason. In this section, he stops the action to give an aside in which he states that the factory in Grover's Corners manufactures blankets.