Thornton Wilder Writing Styles in The Skin of Our Teeth

This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Skin of Our Teeth.
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Allegory

An allegory is a narrative in which the characters and events can be read both literally and figuratively. In the case of The Skin of Our Teeth, the Antrobuses can be read as ordinary people (a middle-class American couple) and as allegorical figures (Adam and Eve, the progenitors of humankind). The action of the play can be viewed literally, as the experiences of a particular family, and allegorically, as the story of human history. Wilder, with both character names (such as Henry a.k.a. Cam and Sabina) and explicit comments, emphasizes the allegorical nature of his play.

Characterization

Wilder does not try to present complex multi-faceted characters in The Skin of Our Teeth but instead presents each person on stage as a generalized type. Every character is easily identified with an archetypal role—the mother/nurturer (Mrs. Antrobus), the temptress (Sabina), the provider (Mr. Antrobus)&mdash...

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This section contains 782 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Skin of Our Teeth Study Guide
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The Skin of Our Teeth from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.