The Skin of Our Teeth

by Thornton Wilder

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What does Wilder mean when he states, "the future is easy to predict, but the past is difficult to interpret" in The Skin of Our Teeth?

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Your answer is a good start at making a rational explanation of this line, yes. However, remember that the play is an absurdist comedy, so part of the meaning of the line is that there is no meaning: it is absurd, and the opposite of what is real.

Along with that, though, yes, I'd say you are on a right track. I'd add that the future is largely devoid of emotional connotation, because it hasn't happened yet. All things are possible, and not very real, so it is easy to manipulate them. However, the past is emotionally charged. People care about where we came from, who we are, etc., and that makes it tough to understand, let alone interpret.

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