Influenced by his religious upbringing and classical education, Thornton Wilder wrote about the universal and the particular simultaneously, which contrasts with most modernist writers admired by academia and resulted in the scholarly neglect of his works. But Wilder's program of secularizing the three cardinal virtues (hope, faith, and love/charity) in both his plays and his novels asks audiences and readers to consider the fundamental questions of what it means to be human and how we should live. An examination of Wilder's four full-length plays—Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, The Matchmaker, and The Alcestiad—along with his seven novels—The Cabala, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, The Woman of Andros, Heaven's My Destination, The Ides of March, The Eighth Day, and Theophilus North—demonstrates that Wilder was above all a humanist who had hope, faith, and love for his fellow human beings.

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