Skin of Our Teeth

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Comedy by Thornton Wilder, produced and published in 1942, winning a Pulitzer Prize. The unconventional use of theatrical devices, such as asides and interruptions, increases the audience's feeling of participation.

George Antrobus, his wife, and his son and daughter represent humanity—the parents are Adam and Eve, and their son Henry is Cain—engaged in the struggle to survive. Their home in Excelsior, N.J., is threatened first by a creeping wall of ice, and later by a long war. Each time they barely escape annihilation, but George, inventor of the alphabet and the wheel, maintains the continuity of learning and culture. Lily Sabina, their maid, the eternal Lilith, nearly succeeds in winning George away from his wife on the Atlantic City boardwalk during a convention of which George is elected president. Constructive attitudes prevail after the war, in which Henry is the enemy. Having reassembled his family, George feels the “most important thing of all: The desire to begin again to start building,” and seeks his books to guide him in his struggle.

Subjects: Literature — Theatre.

Reference entries

Thornton Wilder (1897—1975) American novelist and dramatist

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.