The Skin of Our Teeth Themes

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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Absurdity

Much of the humor in The Skin of Our Teeth derives from Wilder's use of bizarre juxtapositions which place the characters in absurd situations and highlight the ludicrous aspects of seemingly ordinary events. Combining elements of twentieth-century suburban America with events from the historical and mythological past creates an odd world where a middle-class family can have a dinosaur and mammoth for pets, the Antrobuses can celebrate their 5,000th wedding anniversary, and the children can recite poems even though their father has only just invented the alphabet.

American Exceptionalism

By presenting his allegorical parents of the human race as a conventional American middle-class couple, Wilder reinforces Americans' belief in the exceptional nature of their country and its citizens. Mr. Antrobus's virtues of inventiveness, resilience, and diligence are those of the ideal American entrepreneur, and the family's continued ability to start from nothing and achieve greatness is the essence...

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This section contains 633 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Skin of Our Teeth Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Skin of Our Teeth from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.