Although not an explicit theme except in his essays, the affirmation of the democratic principle in modern society can be found throughout Thornton Wilder’s novels and plays. The hierarchy of class structure is undermined in his first, fifth, and last novels: The Cabala, The Ides of March, and Theophilus North. By the end of all three, the old power structure is at least temporarily suspended. In The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Our Town, and The Eighth Day, not only is it shown that death is the great equalizer, but also that the ordinary has as much value as the extraordinary. Finally, the possibility of transformation—from intolerance to tolerance—is dramatized in The Woman of Andros, Heaven’s My Destination, and The Matchmaker.

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