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What does Emily want at the end of the play?

Did she get what she want it? Because every act was during a different time, how can you know the purpose of Emily , the main point of what she wants.

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Last updated by jill d #170087
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No. Based on Act Three, I don't think Emily ever really got what she wanted out of life. If we look at the end of the play, we see a woman (Emily), who never learned to appreciate or cherish the time she had on earth. Her look back at the past solidifies this, and we understand that going through life despairing of its ends runs interference with true living. She didn't appreciate or embrace the little things, and in her death and revisitation to her happiest moment (her 12th birthday), both Emily and the audience realize the futility and waste of all the years after. Everyday should be a blessing....... who wants to look back and see they've never attained a fuller happiness at age fifty, than they had at twelve? How sad.

I think the following quote speaks volumes;

"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?" ~ Emily

The above quote can be found in Act III. In conversation with the stage manager, Emily realizes that people place too much emphasis on ceremonies and celebration, neglecting the true value of events that occur day to day.

Reliving her birthday allows Emily to see that at age twelve, she wanted nothing more than her mother's attention, something that she herself neglected to give to those around her in later years. Emily concedes that humanity should learn to appreciate the things around them during life, not wait until they're dead to see the value of what they have lost.

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