Evil or just a threat?

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Henry: "I'm not going to be a part of any peacetime of yours. I'm going a long way from here and make my own world that's fit for a man to live in. Where a man can be free, and have a chance, and do what he wants to do in his own way." The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder. Page 110
Throughout this book it is obvious that references are made to a corrupt society as well as a society that is confined. Henry especially seems to feel this way as he shows in the quote above. He does not want to be any part of the life his father has set up. He does not feel free in the society and would rather move on and create his own way of life. 
Though what I cannot understand why Henry is considered the Enemy. The only thing I can figure is that he threatens their way of life with the type of life he wants to live. Though is also known as Cain at the beginning of the play which makes me wonder if he is possibly just a very evil person. 


2 Comments

Georgia Speer said:

Nikita, after reading your blog, I found that Henry may be perceived as an evil person, especially with the references to his name is first known as Cain. Cain is perceived as the evil one since he murders Abel. Wilders reference to Henry saying, “Standing like a sheep at the street corner until the red light turns to green? Being a good boy and a good sheep,like all the stinking ideas you get out of your books? Oh, no. I’ll make a world, I’ll show you.” (110-111) This statement that Wilder uses through his character Henry associates that Abel being the shepherd and Cain the farmer, isn’t Wilder making the connection that Mr. Antrobus is like a shepherd corralling his flock, there in a sense Abel, and as he makes these speeches about humanity and how it has come along in civilization, trying to keep society in its place. Henry is the enemy for he wants to change that and break the mold and not conform to being the same as everyone else, that he wants to be free, his own person.

Jennifer Prex said:

It is possible that he could just be a very evil person--the Cain reference certainly leads us in that direction--but he is too human to be truly evil. If he were just evil, he would have completely turned against his everyone. It seemed he was at the very least tolerant of Sabina. He doesn't reject her like he does his family. And even when it comes to his family, the only person he has a death wish for is his father. He does have evil tendencies, however. As for wanting a change, I think that does play a role in why he's considered the enemy. I don't think that's all though. On page 112, Henry said, "I'm going to be free, even if I have to kill half the world for it." It's not just that he wants things to change, it's that he goes about it the wrong way.

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