1. Who delivers exposition about the town in the opening scene of the play? What is revealed?
The townspeople note with sadness how few trains stop at their town. The decrease in train traffic is indicative of Guellen's overall financial troubles, and the men note all of the businesses and industries which have shut down. The city used to be an artistic center, and they note with pride that Goethe once stayed in Guellen for a night.
2. What are the townspeople awaiting in the beginning of the play? Why?
The people of the town look forward with great expectation to the visit of a millionaire woman. Guellen is her hometown, and she is known for her charitable donations to many other cities. The townspeople have gone to great pains planning her reception: the fire-bell will ring, a banner has been made, and the school choir will sing.
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