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.

Illusion vs. Reality

While traditional realistic plays try to create a "real" world on the stage, encouraging viewers to forget that they are watching actors play roles in a fictional drama, Wilder constantly interrupts this sort of theatrical illusion to remind the audience that they are watching a drama. When actors step out of their roles and speak directly to the...

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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.