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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of dramatic structure in Harold Pinter's stage plays Parkin, Christine Patricia 1972

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A STUDY OP DRAMATIC STRUCTURE I N HAROLD P I N T E R ' S STAGE P L A Y S b y C H R I S T I N E P A T R I C I A P A R K I N b o r n C H R I S T I N E P A T R I C I A GEORGE B.A. , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i s t o l , 1955 A T H E S I S SUBMITTED I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f E n g l i s h We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e a u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1972 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of A The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date A B S T R A C T P i n t e r h a s s a i d t h a t h i s m a i n c o n c e r n w h e n w r i t i n g a p l a y i s w i t h s t r u c t u r e , y e t p u b l i s h e d c r i t i c i s m h a s s o f a r p a i d l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n t o t h i s a s p e c t o f h i s c r a f t . T h i s s t u d y , t h e r e f o r e , e x a m i n e s t h e s t r u c t u r e s o f P i n t e r ' s s t a g e p l a y s . T h e m e t h o d f o l l o w e d i s a c h r o n o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s m o v i n g f r o m T h e Room t h r o u g h T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y , T h e Dumb W a i t e r , T h e C a r e t a k e r , T h e H o m e c o m i n g , L a n d s c a p e a n d S i l e n c e t o h i s l a t e s t p l a y , O l d T i m e s , f i r s t p r o d u c e d i n L o n d o n o n J u n e 1, 1971- T h e o p e n i n g c h a p t e r d i s c u s s e s t h e t e r m s w h i c h f o r m a b a c k g r o u n d t o t h e s u b s e q u e n t d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e d r a m a t i c s t r u c t u r e s . T h e a n a l y s e s d e m o n s t r a t e t h a t t h e r e a r e a t l e a s t t h r e e m a j o r f e a t u r e s o f h i s c r a f t s m a n s h i p t o e m e r g e a t t h i s p o i n t i n h i s c a r e e r . T h e f i r s t i s t h a t w h e r e a s t h e s t a g e p l a y s up t o t h e w r i t i n g o f L a n d s c a p e s h a r e a common, a l m o s t t r a d i t i o n -a l l y s e q u e n t i a l n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e , t h e t h r e e l a t e s t p l a y s , L a n d s c a p e , S i l e n c e a n d O l d T i m e s , h a v e d i f f e r e n t l y s h a p e d s t r u c t u r e s r e l y i n g h e a v i l y o n t h e e x p l o r a t i o n o f m e m o r y a n d a b a n d o n i n g a n o r m a l s e q u e n t i a l o r d e r i n g o f i n c i d e n t . T h i s m a r k e d c h a n g e i m p l i e s a d i f f e r e n t u s e o f t i m e w h i c h i s t h e s e c o n d m a j o r f e a t u r e , a n d i s a c o n s e q u e n c e o f t h e e x p l o r a t i o n o f t h e p a s t . I t i s a c c o m p a n i e d i n L a n d s c a p e a n d S i l e n c e b y a s h i f t f r o m d i a l o g u e i n t h e p r e v i o u s p l a y s t o a n a l m o s t e x c l u -s i v e r e l i a n c e o n m o n o l o g u e . P i n t e r a l s o m o v e s f r o m h i s e a r l i e r c o m i c - g r o t e s q u e m a n n e r t o a c o o l e r , m o r e s u b d u e d mode w h i c h u s e s l y r i c a l a n d e l e g i a c l a n g u a g e . The t h i r d m a j o r f e a t u r e o f h i s craftsmanship i s a c e r t a i n rhythm of s t r u c t u r e . T h i s i s a tendency to elaborate a one-act form i n t o a l a r g e r s t r u c t u r e , and then to take some f e a t u r e or concern from previous work, p a r i n g down and compressing to make another one-act p l a y , before b u i l d i n g up and e l a b o r a t i n g once more. Thus The Room i s followed by the l a r g e r , three a c t s t r u c t u r e of The B i r t h d a y Party to accommodate a d d i t i o n a l concerns. The Dumb Waiter shows the p a r i n g down process before the s t r u c t u r a l expansion i n The Caretaker. The Homecoming, w i t h i t s t i g h t e r two-act s t r u c t u r e , i s c e n t r a l l y placed, l o o k i n g back to p r e v i o u s l y explored themes and a n t i c i p a t i n g the concern w i t h memory i n the three l a t e s t works. In the one-act Landscape P i n t e r abandons h o r i z o n t a l f o r v e r t i c a l s t r u c t u r e , explores c y c l i c r a t h e r than s e q u e n t i a l time and uses monologue r a t h e r than dialogue. S i l e n c e i l l u s t r a t e s a f u r t h e r p a r i n g down process i n i t s even more austere d e n i a l o f t h e a t r i c a l i t y before the renewed b u i l d i n g up process d i s c e r n i b l e i n the two-act p l a y , Old Times. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE CHAPTER I Dramatic S t r u c t u r e and P i n t e r ' s Plays .... l CHAPTER I I The Three E a r l y Plays 18 CHAPTER I I I The Caretaker and The Homecoming 66 CHAPTER IV The Past i s Another Countryi Landscape, S i l e n c e and Old Times 106 CONCLUSION 153 NOTES 157 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 160 CHAPTER I DRAMATIC STRUCTURE AND PINTER'S PLAYS The h i s t o r y of Harold P i n t e r ' s r i s e to fame and eminence as a playwright can he d e s c r i e d i n the numerous reviews of the v a r i o u s performances of h i s p l a y s and the r a p i d l y growing xnumber of a r t i c l e s , pamphlets, theses and hooks about them. From the o b s c u r i t y of a c t i n g small p a r t s i n p r o v i n c i a l towns P i n t e r has f a i r l y r a p i d l y emerged as a playwright o f consider-able success and s t a t u r e . His plays u s u a l l y have a s t r o n g l y communicable emotional p a t t e r n to which audiences can respond, while the o b s c u r i t i e s are not d i s t r a c t i n g enough to destroy or weaken the emotional powers i n f a c t i f anything they tend to add to the sense of growing t e n s i o n and menace which has become so much the hallmark o f the P i n t e r p l a y . Moreover, P i n t e r ' s dialogue i s o f t e n so true to the p a r t i c u l a r i t i e s o f the k i n d o f speech one can hear among working people i n England, e s p e c i a l l y the Londoners, t h a t the r e c o g n i t i o n of the p a t t e r n s and s p e c i a l tone o f such speech i s extremely pl e a s u r a b l e and o f t e n very funny. T h i s i s true o f the e a r l y plays to the extent that i t may be s a i d t h a t P i n t e r i s very much of h i s age i n having dramatized areas of l o w e r - c l a s s l i f e , that he i s p a r t of that movement away from the genteel world of the drawing-room and the c o c k t a i l p a r t y to the bleaker world of b e d - s i t t e r s , basements and a very d i f f e r e n t k i n d of party. From another point of view, i t can be seen that P i n t e r has had the merit of being i n t e l l e c t u a l l y i n f a s h i o n ; he may be l i n k e d with one of 2 t h e m o s t i n t e l l e c t u a l l y f a s h i o n a b l e p h e n o m e n a o f r e c e n t y e a r s — t h e s o - c a l l e d t h e a t r e o f t h e a b s u r d . B u t t h e b i g g e s t s i n g l e f a c t o r i n P i n t e r ' s s u c c e s s a n d t h e o n e w h i c h w i l l d e c i d e w h e t h e r h i s p l a y s w i l l e n d u r e m u s t u l t i m a t e l y b e t h e g r o w i n g m a s t e r y o f h i s c r a f t a s p l a y w r i g h t . A n d i t i s h e r e t h a t P i n t e r b e l o n g s t o a l o n g a n d r e s p e c t e d t r a d i t i o n — - t h a t o f t h e a l l - r o u n d man o f t h e t h e a t r e . He i s a c t o r , d i r e c t o r a n d p l a y w r i g h t . F u r t h e r m o r e , h e i s w i l l i n g t o e x -p e r i m e n t w i t h m a n y t y p e s o f d r a m a t i c m e d i a b e s i d e s t h a t o f t h e l i v e t h e a t r e , n a m e l y t e l e v i s i o n , c i n e m a , r a d i o a n d t h e a n i m a t e d c a r t o o n . K a t h e r i n e B u r k m a n h a s summed up v e r y c l e a r l y t h i s a s p e c t o f P i n t e r ' s i n t e r e s t a s a p l a y w r i g h t s P i n t e r ' s own e x p e r i e n c e a s a n a c t o r a n d d i r e c t o r w i t h r a d i o , t e l e v i s i o n , s t a g e , a n d s c r e e n h a v e d o u b t l e s s c o n t r i b u t e d t o h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s o f t h e e c o n o m y n e c e s s -a r y f o r e a c h m e d i u m a n d f o r h i s u n u s u a l m a s t e r y o f s u c h a v a r i e t y o f f o r m s . D e s p i t e h i s a c h i e v e m e n t s , h o w e v e r , i n t h e v a r i o u s e n t e r t a i n m e n t m e d i a o f o u r t i m e , P i n t e r f i n d s t h e t h e a t e r " u l t i m a t e l y t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t m e d i u m , " a n d he h a s s u g g e s t e d t h a t he r e s e r v e s h i s m o s t i m p o r t a n t i d e a s f o r t h e s t a g e . He f i n d s w r i t i n g f o r t h e t h e a t e r t h e m o s t d i f f i c u l t , t h e m o s t r e s t r i c -t e d , " t h e m o s t n a k e d k i n d " o f w r i t i n g b e c a u s e " y o u ' r e j u s t t h e r e , s t u c k — t h e r e a r e y o u r c h a r a c t e r s s t u c k o n t h e s t a g e , y o u ' v e g o t t o l i v e w i t h t h e m a n d d e a l w i t h t h e m . " A l l o f P i n t e r ' s d r a m a t i c w o r l d e x h i b i t s s o m e t h i n g o f t h i s q u a l i t y o f d e a l i n g w i t h l i f e a c c u r a t e l y a n d r e v e a l i n g i t i n i t s n a k e d t r u t h . 1 P i n t e r t h i n k s o f h i s s t a g e p l a y s a s t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t a r e a o f h i s w o r k . I t i s a l s o t r u e t h a t h i s m a i n c o n c e r n a s a w r i t e r o f p l a y s i s w i t h d r a m a t i c s t r u c t u r e . T h i s s t u d y w i l l t h e r e f o r e e x a m i n e t h e s t r u c t u r e s o f P i n t e r ' s s t a g e p l a y s J T h e Room, 3 T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y , T h e D u m b w a i t e r , T h e C a r e t a k e r , T h e Home-c o m i n g , L a n d s c a p e , S i l e n c e a n d O l d T i m e s . P l a y s w r i t t e n s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r r a d i o a n d t e l e v i s i o n , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e s e v e r a l f i l m s c r i p t s , t h u s f a l l o u t s i d e t h e s c o p e o f t h i s e n q u i r y . I n o m i t t i n g A S l i g h t A c h e , A N i g h t O u t , N i g h t S c h o o l , T h e D w a r f s , T h e C o l l e c t i o n , T h e L o v e r , T e a P a r t y a n d T h e B a s e -' ment» I do n o t w i s h t o i m p l y t h a t t h o s e p l a y s a r e n o t i n t e r e s t -i n g i n t h e m s e l v e s , o r a r e l a c k i n g i n s t r u c t u r a l c h a r m o r f a s c i n a t i o n , f o r t h i s i s b y n o m e a n s t h e c a s e . M o s t o f t h e m , t h o u g h w r i t t e n e i t h e r f o r r a d i o o r t e l e v i s i o n , h a v e b e e n s t a g e d w i t h v a r y i n g s u c c e s s a t l a t e r d a t e s . T h e C o l l e c t i o n a n d T h e L o v e r , w h i l e b e i n g e s s e n t i a l l y t e l e v i s i o n p l a y s w i t h b r i e f , r a p i d l y c h a n g i n g s c e n e s , v i s u a l e f f e c t s , a n d c l o s e - u p s h o t s , c a n b e a d a p t e d f o r t h e s t a g e b e c a u s e t h e w o r d s a r e s t i l l a v e r y i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t o f t h e i r p o w e r . I n T e a P a r t y a n d T h e B a s e m e n t , h o w e v e r , e v e r y t h i n g i m p o r t a n t h a p p e n s i n p i c t u r e s r a t h e r t h a n i n w o r d s . T h e t e l e v i s i o n m e d i u m i s u s e d t o maximum v i s u a l e f f e c t . I t i s v i t a l t o h a v e c a m e r a - w o r k i n T e a P a r t y , f o r i n s t a n c e , w h e n D i s s o n s e e s t wo p i n g p o n g b a l l s c o m i n g t o w a r d s h i m w h i l e p l a y i n g t a b l e t e n n i s . E q u a l l y , T h e B a s e m e n t d e m a n d s c a m e r a - w o r k t o g i v e i n s t a n t s h i f t s f r o m o n e mode o f f u r n i s h i n g i n t h e r o o m t o t h e o t h e r mode. When T e a P a r t y a n d T h e B a s e m e n t w e r e a d a p t e d f o r t h e s t a g e a n d r u n a s a d o u b l e b i l l a t t h e D u c h e s s T h e a t r e f r o m 17 S e p t e m b e r , 1970 f o r a s h o r t w h i l e , t h e r e v i e w s , a l t h o u g h P i n t e r w a s a l r e a d y f a m o u s a n d r e s p e c t e d , w e r e p o s s i b l y t h e m o s t u n f a v o u r a b l e o f h i s c a r e e r . One r e v i e w e r c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h e p l a y s " . . . w o n ' t 4 t r a n s f e r t o t h e s t a g e d e s p i t e g r e a t p e r f o r m a n c e s i n b o t h b y D o n a l d P l e a s e n c e . T h e r e v u e s k e t c h e s a r e v e r y s h o r t , a n d s i n c e t h e y a r e a l l d e s i g n e d a s l i t t l e i t e m s i n t h e l a r g e r a n d m o r e c a s u a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e v a r i e t y b i l l , t h e y w i l l n o t b e c o n s i d e r e d f o r t h e p u r p o s e s o f t h i s e n q u i r y . S i n c e P i n t e r c r i t i c i s m h a s s o f a r b e e n m a i n l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h l i n g u i s t i c e f f e c t , i m a g e r y , t h e m e a n d m e a n i n g , i n t h i s s t u d y I p r e f e r t o c o n f i n e my a t t e n t i o n , a s f a r a s p o s s i b l e , t o t h e a l m o s t u n e x p l o r e d t e r r i t o r y o f h i s d r a m a t i c s t r u c t u r e s . I t i s my c o n t e n t i o n i n t h i s t h e s i s t h a t c l o s e e x a m i n a -t i o n o f t h e s t r u c t u r e s o f P i n t e r ' s s t a g e p l a y s d e m o n s t r a t e s a t l e a s t t h r e e m a j o r f e a t u r e s o f h i s c r a f t s m a n s h i p . T h e f i r s t i s t h a t w h e r e a s t h e s t a g e p l a y s u p t o t h e w r i t i n g o f L a n d s c a p e s h a r e a common, a l m o s t t r a d i t i o n a l l y s e q u e n t i a l n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e , t h e t h r e e l a t e s t p l a y s , L a n d s c a p e , S i l e n c e a n d O l d T i m e s u s e d i f f e r e n t l y s h a p e d s t r u c t u r e s r e l y i n g h e a v i l y o n t h e e x p l o r a t i o n o f m e m o r y a n d a b a n d o n i n g a n o r m a l s e q u e n t i a l o r d e r i n g o f i n c i d e n t . T h i s m a r k e d c h a n g e i m p l i e s a d i f f e r e n t u s e o f t i m e . A n d t h i s i s t h e s e c o n d m a j o r f e a t u r e . T h i s s h i f t i n t h e u s e o f t i m e i s a c o n s e q u e n c e o f t h e e x p l o r a t i o n o f t h e p a s t , a n d i s a c c o m p a n i e d i n L a n d s c a p e a n d S i l e n c e b y r e l i a n c e o n m o n o l o g u e r a t h e r t h a n d i a l o g u e . T h e c h a n g e s i n t e c h n i q u e i n t h e l a t e s t t h r e e s t a g e p l a y s a r e a c c o m p a n i e d b y a c h a n g e t o a l y r i c a l a n d e l e g i a c u s e o f l a n g u a g e i n w h i c h P i n t e r s h i f t s f r o m h i s e a r l i e r c o m i c - g r o t e s q u e m a n n e r t o a c o o l e r , m o r e s u b d u e d mode. T h e t h i r d m a j o r f e a t u r e o f h i s c r a f t s m a n -5 s h i p i s a tendency d i s c e r n i b l e from The Room through the vario u s stage plays to Old Times which may be c a l l e d a rhythm of s t r u c t u r e by which P i n t e r moves from a b a s i c s i t u a -t i o n and i t s concerns i n one-act form to an e l a b o r a t i o n o f i t i n t o a l a r g e r s t r u c t u r e , e i t h e r two or three a c t s : subsequent development then seems to depend upon t a k i n g some f e a t u r e or concern from previous work, p a r i n g down and shearing away m a t e r i a l and l e a v i n g some core of d r a m a t i c a l l y promising sub-stance f o r one-act treatment, to be followed i n t u r n by e l a b o r a t i o n once more i n t o a l a r g e r s t r u c t u r e . But what i s dramatic s t r u c t u r e ? At l e a s t s i n c e A r i s t o t l e i t has been f e l t that beneath the va r i o u s e m b e l l i s h -ments and t r i c k s of the trade drama i s b a s i c a l l y the i m i t a t i o n of an a c t i o n — perhaps a s e r i e s o f a c t i o n s — which w i l l be ordered i n some way. What A r i s t o t l e meant by " a c t i o n " i s problematic, but f o r our purposes here i t may be de f i n e d as a s i t u a t i o n which contains some human event, perhaps p h y s i c a l , emotional or i n t e l l e c t u a l or a combination o f these. In r e a l l i f e such events e x i s t i n a continuum which i s a seemingly i n f i n i t e tangle of causes, e f f e c t s , a c c i d e n t s , r e l a t i o n s h i p s and a s s o c i a t i o n s , without a c l e a r beginning or end. They are, as i t were, a l l middle. But the a c t i o n or a c t i o n s i n a p l a y have been s e l e c t e d by the w r i t e r and they are oft e n s t r u c t u r e d i n an obvious way. As A r i s t o t l e pointed out, the a c t i o n can have a beginning, a middle and an end. This simple formula, o f course, which may be seen to correspond to e x p o s i t i o n , complica-t i o n and denouement, i s by no means simple-minded, f o r i t r a i s e s 6 s o p h i s t i c a t e d a r t i s t i c a n d p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n s a b o u t w h a t e x a c t l y c o n s t i t u t e s a b e g i n n i n g o r , f o r t h a t m a t t e r , a n e n d . A r i s t o t l e h a s g o n e r i g h t t o t h e h e a r t o f t h e p r o b l e m o f t h e d r a m a t i s t . When t h e d r a m a t i s t t e l l s a s t o r y i t i s t h r o u g h t h e m e d i u m o f p e r f o r m e d a c t i o n , a n d i f h e i s t o a c h i e v e d r a m a r a t h e r t h a n c h a o s , t h e a c t i o n m u s t b e s t r u c t u r e d . T h i s i s t h e a b i d i n g p r o b l e m o f t h e d r a m a t i s t , s o t h a t i t i s n o s u r p r i s e t o f i n d P i n t e r a s s e r t i n g W h a t c o n c e r n s me m o s t i s s h a p e a n d s t r u c t u r e . ^ I t i s , t h o u g h , a s u r p r i s i n g f a c t t h a t , i n s p i t e o f t h e v i t a l i m p o r t a n c e o f s t r u c t u r e t o t h e d r a m a t i s t a n d t o P i n t e r h i m s e l f , t h e c r i t i c s o f P i n t e r ' s p l a y s h a v e l i t t l e t o s a y e x c e p t i n p a s s i n g a b o u t t h e i r d r a m a t i c s t r u c t u r e . P l a y w r i g h t s who w o r k i n c l o s e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e a t r e s a n d t h e a t r e p e o p l e s o o n a c q u i r e a f e e l i n g f o r t h e k i n d o f s t r u c t u r a l e l e m e n t s w h i c h s e e m t o w o r k i n t h e t h e a t r e a n d t o w h i c h a c t o r s a n d a u d i e n c e c a n r e a d i l y r e s p o n d . B e r n a r d Shaw w a s f u l l y a w a r e o f t h e s e m a t t e r s , a n d S t r i n d b e r g w e n t s o f a r a s t o d r a w u p a l i s t o f t h i n g s n e c e s s a r y f o r a g o o d p l a y j A n e f f e c t i v e p l a y s h o u l d c o n t a i n o r make u s e o f s h i n t s a n d i n t i m a t i o n s a s e c r e t made k n o w n t o t h e a u d i e n c e e i t h e r a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o r t o w a r d t h e e n d . I f t h e s p e c -t a t o r b u t n o t t h e a c t o r s k n o w t h e s e c r e t , t h e s p e c t a t o r e n j o y s t h e i r game o f b l i n d m a n ' s b u f f . I f t h e s p e c t a t o r i s n o t i n o n t h e s e c r e t , h i s c u r i o s i t y i s a r o u s e d a n d h i s . a t t e n t i o n h e l d . a n o u t b u r s t o f e m o t i o n , r a g e , i n d i g n a t i o n a d i s c o v e r y a p u n i s h m e n t ( n e m e s i s ) , a h u m i l i a t i o n a c a r e f u l r e s o l u t i o n , e i t h e r w i t h o r w i t h o u t a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n a q u i d p r o q u o a p a r a l l e l i s m a r e v e r s a l ( r e v i r e m e n t ) , a n u p s e t , a w e l l -p r e p a r e d s u r p r i s e . 5 7 We c a n r e c o g n i z e h e r e s t r u c t u r a l d e v i c e s w h i c h h a v e c o n t i n u e d t o w o r k o n a u d i e n c e s s i n c e t h e t i m e o f A e s c h y l u s . F o r t u n a t e l y t h e v a r i o u s e l e m e n t s o f t h e p l a y w r i g h t ' s c r a f t c a n h e u s e d i n a c o n s i d e r a b l e n u m b e r o f w a y s w i t h m a n y d i f f e r e n t e m p h a s e s a n d i n a n i n f i n i t e s e t o f c o m b i n a t i o n s . I f we d e s c r i b e s t r u c t u r e a s t h e w a y t h e a c t i o n o f a p l a y i s s h a p e d f r o m t h e s t a r t t o t h e e n d , we c a n s e e t h a t p l a y w r i g h t s h a v e made a v a r i e t y o f s t r u c -t u r e s . I n d e e d , o n e o f t h e f a s c i n a t i o n s o f m o d e r n d r a m a i s t h e a b u n d a n c e o f d i f f e r e n t s t r u c t u r e s t h a t h a v e b e e n u s e d s i n c e t h e p l a y s o f I b s e n , S t r i n d b e r g a n d C h e k h o v . D e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t g o o d p l a y w r i g h t s f i n d t h e m e a n s t o s h a p e t h e i r m a t e r i a l i n s u c h a w a y a s t o p r o d u c e a n e f f e c t -i v e l y a p p r o p r i a t e a n d i n d i v i d u a l s t r u c t u r e , u n i q u e a n d p a r t i c -u l a r , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o make c e r t a i n g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s a b o u t d r a m a t i c s t r u c t u r e . I t i s a s w e l l t o h a v e t h e s e g e n e r a l n o t i o n s i n m i n d b e f o r e g o i n g o n t o e x p l o r e t h e i n d i v i d u a l s t r u c t u r e s o f P i n t e r ' s s t a g e p l a y s i n s u b s e q u e n t c h a p t e r s . I n g e n e r a l , t h e a c t i o n o f a p l a y w i l l c o n s i s t o f a s t o r y ( s e q u e n c e o f e v e n t s ) o r s i t u a t i o n w h i c h i s s h a p e d t o p r o d u c e a p l o t . I n s o f a r a s t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s a r e s h a p e d a l l p l a y s h a v e p l o t s , t h o u g h n o t a l l h a v e s t o r i e s . T h e s i t u a t i o n o r s t o r y o f a p l a y i s u s u a l l y o n l y p a r t o f a w i d e r s i t u a t i o n o r n a r r a t i v e . T h i s n a r r a t i v e i s t h e t o t a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s , e v e n t s o r s i t u a t i o n s i m p l i e d b y , o r r e c a l l e d d u r i n g , t h e p l a y ' s a c t i o n ; t h u s some p a r t o f t h e n a r r a t i v e may h a v e h a p p e n e d b e f o r e t h e p o i n t a t w h i c h t h e p l a y s t a r t s , o r a f t e r t h e p o i n t a t w h i c h a p l a y e n d s . I n c h o o s i n g a p o i n t o f a t t a c k w i t h w h i c h t o s t a r t h i s a c t i o n a 8 p l a y w r i g h t a l r e a d y s e t s h i m s e l f o n t h e p a t h t o f i n d i n g a s t r u c t u r e . When h e f e e l s t h a t h e h a s w r i t t e n o u t t h e s i t u a t i o n w h i c h c a n e n d t h e p l a y h e h a s made a f u r t h e r d e c i s i o n w h i c h w i l l c o m p l e t e h i s s t r u c t u r e . A n d t h e p r o c e s s e s o f w r i t i n g i n b e t w e e n t h e s e t w o p o i n t s i n v o l v e m a n y c h o i c e s a b o u t w h a t t o p u t i n a n d w h a t t o l e a v e o u t , w h a t t o e n a c t a n d w h a t t o r e p o r t , w h a t t o u n d e r p l a y a n d w h a t t o s t r e s s . A l l t h e s e d e c i s i o n s may i n v o l v e l a n g u a g e , c h a r a c t e r , s p e c t a c l e , s o u n d , s i l e n c e , p l o t t i n g o f e v e n t s : t h e y a r e a l s o d e c i s i o n s a b o u t s t r u c t u r e . A r e c e n t t h e o r i s t o n d r a m a t i c s t r u c t u r e sums i t u p i n t h i s w a y : F o r s k i l l e d p l a y w r i g h t s , f o r m i s s t r u c t u r e d a c t i o n . A n d s t r u c t u r e d a c t i o n — i n a l l i t s c l a r i t y , e m o t i v e p o w e r , a n d d r a m a t i c b e a u t y — i s a n a c t i v e t h i n g . I t a c h i e v e s a c t u a l i t y d u r i n g t h e w r i t i n g a n d r e m a i n s a c t u a l , f o r e v e r , i n t h e p l a y i t s e l f . A s p l o t , a s t r u c t u r e d a c t i o n s t a n d s a s o r g a n i z a t i o n t o a l l t h e o t h e r p a r t s — c h a r a c t e r , t h o u g h t , d i c t i o n , s o u n d s , a n d s p e c t a c l e — a n d i s b o t h d e p e n d e n t u p o n t h e m a n d i n s e p a r a b l e f r o m t h e m . I t i s , how-e v e r , t h e m o s t n e c e s s a r y p a r t o f a p l a y . D r a m a d e p e n d s o n l a n g u a g e , f o r e x a m p l e , o n l y a s o n e m e a n s f o r e x p r e s s i n g t h e a c t i o n . A , s t r u c t u r e d a c t i o n i s t h e h e a r t o f a n y d r a m a . A l t h o u g h i n a f i n i s h e d p l a y s t r u c t u r e i s i n s e p a r a b l e f r o m i t s v a r i o u s e l e m e n t s , i t i s p o s s i b l e i n t h e d i s c u s s i o n a n d c r i t i c i s m o f p l a y s t o n o t i c e t h i n g s a b o u t s t r u c t u r e , t o name t h e m a n d d i s c u s s t h e i r e f f e c t s . O f c o u r s e , i n a g i v e n p l a y i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t m a n y b u t n o t a l l t h e w e l l - k n o w n s t r u c t u r a l d e v i c e s w i l l o c c u r . I n m o s t p l a y s t h e b e g i n n i n g w i l l b e a p o i n t i n t h e n a r r a t i v e o r s i t u a t i o n w h e r e a b a l a n c e o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s e x i s t s h a v i n g p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r f u r t h e r d e v e l o p m e n t o r c o m p l i c a t i o n . A d i s t u r b a n c e o f t h e b a l a n c e w i l l t h e n o c c u r e i t h e r i n t h e f o r m o f a p e r s o n o r a n e v e n t . S e v e r a l o f P i n t e r ' s p l a y s b e g i n i n t h i s w a y . I n T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y , f o r e x a m p l e , t h e r o u t i n e 9 o f t h e s k i m p y b r e a k f a s t i n M eg's g u e s t h o u s e i s b r o k e n w h e n S t a n l e y f i n a l l y a p p e a r s , a n d f u r t h e r c o m p l i c a t e d b y t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f h i s p e r s o n a l i t y , h i s t e n s i o n s a n d h i s f e a r s . I n m a n y t r a d i t i o n a l , f a i r l y o r t h o d o x p l a y s , a c h a i n o f c a u s a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h e n b e c o m e s e s t a b l i s h e d i n w h i c h t h e p r o t a g o n i s t may b e t h e m a i n a g e n t o f t h e a c t i o n , a s i n S o p h o c l e s ' O e d i p u s R e x , o r may b e l a r g e l y p a s s i v e , a s 4 s A e s c h y l u s ' s P r o m e t h e u s o r Agamemnon. W h e t h e r t h e p r o t a g o n i s t i s a n i n d i v i d -u a l o r a g r o u p o f i n d i v i d u a l s , t h e p l a y ' s c h a i n o f c a u s e s a n d c o n s e q u e n c e s u s u a l l y l e a d s t o some r e s o l u t i o n o r d e n o u e m e n t w h e r e a n o t h e r s t a t e o f b a l a n c e h a s b e e n a c h i e v e d b y m e a n s o f a n a c t i o n w h i c h h a s l e d t h r o u g h o b s t a c l e s w h i c h h e l p t o i n c r e a s e t e n s i o n a n d f o r c e d e c i s i o n s , a n d t h r o u g h c o m p l i c a t i o n s , t h e f a c t o r s w h i c h s u c c e e d i n a l t e r i n g t h e c o u r s e o f e v e n t s u n -e x p e c t e d l y b u t c r e d i b l y s o a s t o m a i n t a i n t e n s i o n , s u s p e n s e a n d o f t e n s u r p r i s e . C o m p l i c a t i o n s a l s o a m p l i f y t h e s t o r y o r s i t u a -t i o n . I n a n e f f e c t i v e p l a y t h e r e w i l l a l s o b e p o i n t s i n t h e a c t i o n w h e r e t h e r e i s a c o n f l i c t o f f o r c e s w i t h a n u n c e r t a i n o u t c o m e s t h e s e a r e t h e c r i s e s , a n d t h e y , t o o , b u i l d t e n s i o n , a r o u s e s u s p e n s e a n d o f t e n n e c e s s i t a t e d e c i s i o n s b y t h e c h a r a c t e r s . A c r i s i s w i l l b u i l d t o i t s p e a k a n d moment o f r e s o l u t i o n , t h a t i n s t a n t w h e n t h e c o n f l i c t i s s e t t l e d , w h i c h we c a l l a c l i m a x , a n d w h i c h may b e i m m e d i a t e o r p o s t p o n e d . A p l a y w i l l u s u a l l y h a v e a n u m b e r o f c r i s e s a n d c l i m a x e s w h i c h c u l m i n a t e i n a m a j o r c l i m a x . T h e s e e l e m e n t s i n t h e p l o t t i n g o f t h e s t o r y w i l l w o r k i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h c h a r a c t e r , t h e m e , l a n g u a g e , r h y t h m , t i m e a n d 1 0 s p e c t a c l e t o make u p t h e t o t a l s t r u c t u r e . C h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n c a n w o r k a s a s t r u c t u r a l d e v i c e h y m e a n s o f t h e e x t e n d e d m e a n i n g o r a l l e g o r i c a l i m p o r t o f t h e c h a r a c t e r . I n T h e B i r t h -d a y P a r t y , S t a n l e y i s p r e s e n t e d a s a c e r t a i n p e r s o n , a s l o v e n l y , n e u r o t i c , m y o p i c f a i l e d m u s i c i a n . B u t t h e e x t e n d e d m e a n i n g o f h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t h a t he i s a l s o a v i c t i m w h e n he f i n d s h i m -s e l f i n o p p o s i t i o n t o G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n . F r o m t h i s p o i n t o f v i e w , o n e f u n c t i o n o f S t a n l e y ' s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i s t o c o n t r i b u t e t o a s t r u c t u r e i n w h i c h a n u n p l e a s a n t d o m e s t i c t y r a n t s u f f e r s a r e v e r s a l , b e c o m e s a v i c t i m a n d i s r e m o v e d f r o m t h e s e c u r i t y he h a d k n o w n . A n o t h e r w a y o f u s i n g c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s t r u c t u r a l l y i s t o c r e a t e g r o u p i n g s o f c h a r a c t e r s , u s u a l l y i n o p p o s i t i o n t o e a c h o t h e r . T h u s i n T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y we c a n s e e a s t r u c t u r e i n w h i c h t h e c e n t r a l f i g u r e o f S t a n l e y i s s e t a m i d t w o g r o u p s — G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n , t h e p o w e r f u l a n d m y s t e r i o u s g u e s t s , a n d P e t e y , M e g a n d L u l u who p r o v i d e t h e e n v i r o n m e n t o f t h e g u e s t h o u s e , a n d a r e l a t i v e d e g r e e o f s a f e t y f o r S t a n l e y . A l l a r e w e l l d i f f e r e n t i a t e d a s p e r s o n a l i t i e s , b e s i d e s s e r v i n g t h i s s t r u c t u r a l p u r p o s e ; i n d e e d t h e d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e s a f e g r o u p o f c h a r a c t e r s h a v e i m p o r t a n t s t r u c t u r a l c o n s e q u e n c e s . L u l u c l a i m s t o k n o w w h a t S t a n l e y ' s t o r m e n t o r s a r e d o i n g t o h i m , b u t i s a n g r y w i t h G o l d b e r g a n d e v i d e n t l y f e e l s t h a t S t a n l e y h a s f o r f e i t e d h e r s y m p a t h y a n d h e l p b y h i s a t t a c k o n h e r d u r i n g t h e p a r t y s c e n e ; P e t e y i s s u s p i c i o u s a n d a c t s a s a n o b s t a c l e , p r o v i d i n g s u s p e n s e u n t i l G o l d b e r g s i l e n c e s h i m w i t h a t h r e a t ; M e g i s o b l i v i o u s o f w h a t h a s b e e n h a p p e n i n g t o S t a n l e y a n d d o e s n o t r e a l i z e t h a t he h a s g o n e , t h u s p r o v i d i n g a m a j o r i r o n y i n 11 t h e q u i e t r e s o l u t i o n s c e n e a t t h e e n d . T h e u s e o f t i m e i n t h e s t r u c t u r e o f d r a m a h o l d s a s p e c i a l f a s c i n a t i o n . T h e l a s t s c e n e o f D o c t o r F a u s t u s d e m o n -s t r a t e s M a r l o w e ' s m a s t e r l y e x p l o i t a t i o n o f o u r s e n s e t h a t a g i v e n s t r e t c h o f t i m e c a n a p p e a r b r i e f o r e n d l e s s . F a u s t u s ' l a s t h o u r , t h e e l e v e n t h , t a k e s o n l y a f e w m i n u t e s o f p l a y i n g t i m e . T h e c o m p r e s s i o n s e r v e s t o i n t e n s i f y t h e a g o n y o f h i s l a s t m o m e n t s , e n f o r c e s t h e i d e a s t h a t h e h a s w a s t e d h i s l i f e a n d t h a t a l l men w a s t e t h e i r p r e c i o u s t i m e , a n d e n f o r c e s t h e c o n t r a s t b e t w e e n a moment o f t i m e a n d t h e i n f i n i t e s t r e t c h o f e t e r n i t y w h i c h i s G o d ' s t i m e . T h e p e r f o r m a n c e t i m e o f s o many h o u r s o r m i n u t e s i s a b a s i c s t r u c t u r a l e l e m e n t w h i c h c a n a l s o b e l i n k e d w i t h a s p e c i f i c l o c a t i o n i n t i m e f o r t h e a c t i o n o f t h e p l a y — i t may b e s e t i n p a s t , p r e s e n t o r f u t u r e . B u t t h e r e i s a l s o a f i c t i o n a l p e r i o d o f t i m e o r t i m e s e c t o r i n t h e p l a y . I n M a r l o w e ' s p l a y i t i s a p o r t i o n o f F a u s t u s ' a d u l t y e a r s f r o m t h e t i m e o f h i s p a c t w i t h t h e d e v i l u n t i l t h e moment o f h i s d e a t h . T h i s i s p r e s e n t e d a s e p i s o d i c t i m e , i n a s e r i e s o f s h o r t , u n f i x e d e p i s o d e s w h i c h j u m p a b o u t i n t i m e p a s t — t h e t i m e l o c a t i o n we h a v e b e e n g i v e n b y t h e C h o r u s . T h e f i c t i o n a l t i m e i n a p l a y c a n b e h a n d l e d i n a n u m b e r o f o t h e r w a y s a s w e l l . T h e m o s t s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d i s t h e d i r e c t c a u s a l p r o g r e s s i o n o f s e q u e n -t i a l t i m e . T h e r e c a n a l s o b e t h e d i f f u s e s e q u e n c e o f t i m e w h e r e t h e p r o g r e s s i s i n t e r r u p t e d b y f l a s h b a c k s , a n d t h i s i s c o m m o n l y u s e d i n f i l m s . B e c k e t t ' s p l a y s W a i t i n g f o r G o d o t a n d P I a y b o t h u s e w h a t may b e c a l l e d c i r c u l a r t i m e , w h e r e t i m e p a s s e s , e v e n t s o c c u r b u t t h e r e i s n o s t r e s s o n c a u s a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , a n d 12 the sequence can be repeated. Act II of Godot i s b a s i c a l l y a repeat of Act I, while the whole of Play's text i s spoken twice i n performance. In his l a t e s t play, Old Times, Pinter, as I hope to demonstrate l a t e r , uses a combination of c i r c u l a r and diffuse time. But a l l such uses of time are, as i t were, contained within the time present and passing of the performance i t s e l f . In the plays of Chekhov and Beckett the dramatic struc-ture contains l i t t l e that can pass as action i n the t r a d i t i o n a l kind of drama. This i s also true of Pinter's plays Landscape and Silence. Like Waiting for Godot, they seem to present the experience of passing time i n the absence of action of the old kind. If the time taken by the performance contains the previously mentioned f i c t i o n a l time sector organized i n a par t i c u l a r way, i t also has a further implication which i s st r u c t u r a l l y important: performance time i t s e l f unfolds i n a rhythm of slower and faster scenes, developing a timing or pacing ef f e c t . This can be called tempo. It is a variable factor which depends upon the r e l a t i o n of one scene to another, and careful work by the performers themselves. The juxtaposition of longer and shorter scenes and variety of pace helps to enliven and intensify, to reinforce rather than establish emotional impact and meaning. Actors are p a r t i c u l a r l y aware of tempo i f they are good at their job. It i s interesting that Pinter, who started his theatre career as an actor, is a playwright very much con-cerned to control tempoby means of directing many pauses and silences i n his texts to an unusual degree. 1 3 Some m o d e r n p l a y w r i g h t s h a v e s t r e s s e d s p a t i a l r a t h e r t h a n t e m p o r a l f o r m i n t h e p l a y s . S h a k e s p e a r e a n d I b s e n b o t h r e -p e a t e d s c e n e s w i t h s i m i l a r p a t t e r n s a n d g r o u p s o f c h a r a c t e r s i n o r d e r t o e m p h a s i z e c h a n g e d u r i n g t h e p a s s a g e o f t i m e . T h e p r o c e s s i o n o f t h e c o u r t a s s e m b l y n e a r t h e b e g i n n i n g o f H a m l e t i s c a l m a n d j o y f u l ; t h e n e x t t i m e t h e c o u r t a s s e m b l e s i t i s f o r t h e " m o u s e t r a p " a n d C l a u d i u s w i l l c r y f o r l i g h t s ; t h e f i n a l a s s e m b l y o f t h e c o u r t s e e s t h e u n m a s k i n g a n d k i l l i n g o f C l a u d i u s a n d t h e r e s t o f t h e f a t a l d e n o u e m e n t . We a r e made a c u t e l y a w a r e o f c h a n g e . I n P i n t e r ' s p l a y s o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e m a t i c m a t e r i a l , t h e r e p e t i t i o n o f m o t i f s o f l a n g u a g e o r r o u t i n e b u s i n e s s , i s s t r e s s e d r a t h e r t h a n t h e d r i v e o f a p l o t t h r o u g h a c h a i n o f c a u s e a n d e f f e c t . E v e n t s a n d c h a r a c t e r s c a n o b t r u d e w i t h o u t e x p l a n a t i o n . T h u s t h e d e s c e n t o f t h e d u m b - w a i t e r o r t h e a r r i v a l o f G us a s a v i c t i m a r e n o t e x p l a i n e d i n n o r m a l p l o t t e r m s . A t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f a l l p l a y s , a n y t h i n g c a n h a p p e n . B u t i n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l k i n d o f d r a m a , e v e r y a c t , o b s t a c l e , o r c o m p l i c a t i o n a s t h e p l o t p r o g r e s s e s n a r r o w s t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s a n d c o n f i n e s u s t o w h a t i s p r o b a b l e a n d n e c e s s a r y . A r e c o g n i z a b l e l o g i c o f p r o b a b i l i t y i s a t w o r k . We c a n b e g i n t o a s s u m e t h i n g s a n d make d e d u c t i o n s . P i n t e r ' s p l a y s , t h o u g h , o f t e n s e e m t o b e c h a r a c t e r -i s t i c a l l y p r o c e e d i n g b y o f f e r i n g i n f o r m a t i o n a n d t h e n d e n y i n g a n y p a t t e r n o f p r o b a b i l i t y b y o f f e r i n g d i f f e r e n t a n d c o n t r a -d i c t o r y i n f o r m a t i o n . I n s t e a d o f r e a c h i n g n e c e s s i t y a n d c e r t a i n -t y a t t h e e n d , P i n t e r ' s s t r u c t u r e s t e n d t o k e e p t h e u n e x p e c t e d a n d t h e p o s s i b l e o p e n . A t t h e e n d o f T h e Dumb W a i t e r , e v e n , B e n d o e s n o t s h o o t G u s . 14 T h e t e m p o r a l f o r m o f s t r u c t u r e w i t h i t s b e g i n n i n g , m i d d l e a n d e n d i n a c a u s a l c h a i n i s o f t e n d e s c r i b e d a s h o r i z o n t a l , h a v i n g a p r o g r e s s t h r o u g h c o n f l i c t t o a c l i m a x . T h e s p a t i a l k i n d o f s t r u c t u r e i n w h i c h s t o r y i s o f l i t t l e i m p o r t a n c e a n d t e n s i o n o f t e n c o m e s f r o m s t r e s s , a n x i e t y o r d r e a d w i t h i n t h e c h a r a c t e r s t h e m s e l v e s , i s o f t e n c a l l e d v e r t i c a l . I t s t a r t s , g o e s o n a n d s t o p s i n a s e e m i n g l y r a n d o m o r a b r o k e n " s e q u e n c e . " I t i s o f t e n t h e g a p s r a t h e r t h a n t h e c o n n e c t i o n s b e t w e e n s c e n e s w h i c h a r e i m p o r t a n t . I n g r a p h i c t e r m s t h i s k i n d o f s t r u c t u r e o f t e n s e e m s t o b e l i k e a c u r v e o r a c i r c l e r a t h e r t h a n a s t r a i g h t l i n e . P i n t e r h a s b e e n s u c c e s s f u l a t c r e a t i n g s t r u c t u r e s w h i c h u s e r e s e m b l a n c e t o r e a l l i f e s i t u a t i o n s , c h a r a c t e r s a n d d i a l o g u e o n l y t o u n d e r c u t t h e s e n s e o f t h e r e a l i n o r d e r t o p r o v o k e u n e a s y t e n s i o n s b e t w e e n t h e r e a l i s t i c a n d t h e i n e x -p l i c a b l e . B e c a u s e t h e t o t a l s t r u c t u r e a n d c o n v e n t i o n s o f E v e r y m a n a r e a l l e g o r i c a l , we do n o t f i n d i t i n e x p l i c a b l e t h a t E v e r y m a n s h o u l d b e a c c o s t e d b y D e a t h o n a n e r r a n d f r o m G o d . B u t i n P i n t e r ' s p l a y s b e f o r e L a n d s c a p e , we a r e o f t e n u n n e r v e d a n d p u z z l e d b y t h e i n t r u s i o n o f t h e u n e x p l a i n e d i n t o a n e n v i r o n -m e n t we c a n r e c o g n i z e a s a n o r d i n a r y l o w e r o r m i d d l e - c l a s s E n g l i s h s i t t i n g r o o m . P i n t e r ' s u n d e r c u t t i n g o f p r o b a b i l i t y a n d r e a l i s m w i t h s u c h f i g u r e s a s t h e b l i n d M a t c h s e l l e r i n A S l i g h t A c h e , o r G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n , i s i n f a c t a p h i l o s o p h i c a l p r o c e s s , i m p l y i n g a v i e w o f l i f e a s i n s e c u r e a n d u n c e r t a i n , s u b j e c t t o t h r e a t a n d m e n a c e f r o m u n i d e n t i f i e d f o r c e s , j u s t a s t h e e p i s o d e s o f E v e r y m a n , i n s t i g a t e d b y God a n d c o n t r o l l e d b y D e a t h , i m p l y a v i e w o f l i f e a s a q u e s t l e a d i n g t o j u d g e m e n t , a j o u r n e y t h r o u g h 15 s i n a n d i g n o r a n c e t o w a r d s k n o w l e d g e a n d t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f s a l v a t i o n t h r o u g h g o o d d e e d s a n d G o d ' s g r a c e . T h e d r a m a t i s t ' s p r a c t i c e s i n t h e s e l e c t i o n o f h i s m a t e r i a l s , t h e s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e s he u s e s t o a r r a n g e t h e m , a n d t h e t o t a l a r r a n g e m e n t i t s e l f r e v e a l h i s p a r t i c u l a r p h i l o s o p h y o r v i s i o n — i n s h o r t , h i s m o r a l u n i v e r s e . When c r i t i c i z i n g d r a m a i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o l o o k a t t h e t o t a l s t r u c t u r e a s w e l l a s p a r t i c u l a r p a s s a g e s * No s p e c t a t o r c a n f u l l y p e r c e i v e t h e w h o l e s t r u c t u r e o f a g i v e n p l a y u n t i l t h e p e r -f o r m a n c e h a s e n d e d , b u t i t d o e s n o t t h e r e -f o r e s u d d e n l y e m e r g e . F o r m , e s p e c i a l l y i n a m e d i u m l i k e d r a m a , i s i n p a r t a p r o c e s s o f a c c u m u l a t i o n . T h e s p e c t a t o r i n t h e t h e a t e r i s a w a r e o f a c o n s t a n t g r o w t h , a c o n t i n u a l b u r g e o n i n g i n t o m a n y p a r t s . B u t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t t h e s e p a r t s h o l d t o o n e a n o t h e r i m p l i e s a n u l t i m a t e u n i t y w h o s e n a t u r e s t a n d s f u l l y r e v e a l e d w h e n t h e p l a y h a s r e a c h e d i t s c o n c l u s i o n . T h u s a p l a y ' s w h o l e s t r u c t u r e , t h o u g h o n l y a n a b s t r a c t i o n a n d n o t e v e n a c o m p l e t e d a b s t r a c t i o n u n t i l t h e e n d , o p e r a t e s f r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g t o o r d e r t h e i n d i v i d u a l i m p r e s s i o n s a n d t o c o n t r o l t h e s p e c t a t o r ' s m a n n e r o f p e r c e i v i n g t h e m . 7 I t i s t h e f i n a l v i e w o f t h e s t r u c t u r e i n i t s c o m p l e t e n e s s w h i c h a l l o w s u s i n d r a m a t o h a v e a p o i n t o f v i e w m o r e o b j e c t i v e t h a n m e r e l y t h e o p i n i o n o f a c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r . No o n e c h a r a c t e r c a n n e c e s s a r i l y b e i d e n t i f i e d w i t h a n o b j e c t i v e p o i n t o f v i e w o r a c o r r e c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f l i f e . I t i s o n l y f r o m t h e f i n a l o v e r v i e w t h a t we g e t s o m e t h i n g l i k e t h e o m n i s c i e n t n a r r a t o r ' s p o i n t o f v i e w i n f i c t i o n , o r t h e m a n i p u l a t i o n o f c a m e r a a n g l e i n a m o v i e . I n d r a m a , t h i s f i n a l o v e r v i e w may, i n f a c t , c o i n c i d e w i t h t h e v i s i o n o f a s i n g l e c h a r a c t e r . I n many p l a y s , t h o u g h , t h e r e i s n o t o n e v i e w b u t a d o u b l e v i e w , w h e r e two d i f f e r i n g 1 6 a t t i t u d e s a r e made s y m p a t h e t i c i n v a r y i n g w a y s t o a n a u d i e n c e s o t h a t t h e y a r e f o r c e d t o s e e r e a l i t y a s a t e n s i o n b e t w e e n c o n f l i c t i n g b u t p e r s u a s i v e f o r c e s . T h u s , i n T h e C a r e t a k e r , t h e e x p u l s i o n o f D a v i e s may b e s e e n a s a c r u e l a c t b u t a l s o a s a m e a n s o f p r o t e c t i n g A s t o n f r o m t h e t r a m p . A m b i g u i t y i s m a i n t a i n -e d t o o i n o u r a t t i t u d e t o D a v i e s ; he i s f i l t h y , c u n n i n g , l a z y a n d d i s h o n e s t , y e t P i n t e r m a n a g e s t o make h i m a l s o a f i g u r e O f p a t h o s . I n t h i s d o u b l e v i e w s t r u c t u r e we f i n d t h e c o m p a s s i o n w h i c h may n o t h a v e b e e n e v i d e n t u n t i l t h e t o t a l s t r u c t u r e h a d u n f o l d e d . N a t u r a l l y , m u l t i p l e v i e w s may r e s u l t f r o m c e r t a i n s t r u c t u r e s s o t h a t we a r e f o r c e d t o s e e l i f e i n t e r m s n o t o f l a c k o f m e a n i n g , b u t a s a c o m p l e x i t y o p e n t o c o n f l i c t i n g , d i f f e r i n g b u t e q u a l l y v a l i d ( f r o m e v i d e n c e w i t h i n t h e p l a y ) i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . When t h e r e i s n o t e n o u g h e v i d e n c e w i t h i n a t o t a l s t r u c t u r e f o r a r r i v i n g a t a d e f i n i t e v i e w o r v i e w s , t h e n we h a v e a n o p e n s t r u c t u r e ; t h e p l a y w o u l d b e a r i d d l e w i t h o u t a n a n s w e r . T h e s u r f a c e t e x t u r e o f P i n t e r ' s p l a y s c a n s o m e t i m e s b e v e r y p u z z l i n g , a n d T h e D w a r f s c o u l d b e a n o p e n v i e w s t r u c t u r e , b u t P i n t e r i s u s u a l l y c a r e f u l t o p r o v i d e w i t h i n h i s d r a m a t i c s t r u c t u r e s a s t r o n g e m o t i o n a l p a t t e r n o f a f a i r l y o r t h o d o x s o r t , e x p l o i t i n g s t r o n g b l a c k o u t s , c u r t a i n s a n d e n d i n g s . T h i s i s t r u e o f t h e p l a y s b e f o r e L a n d s c a p e . He a l s o p r o v i d e s p l e n t y o f l a u g h s a s w e l l a s m e n a c e . A l t h o u g h t h e p l a y s a r e a t t i m e s p u z z l i n g , t h e y a r e n o t t h e r e f o r e f r u s t r a t i n g , a n d t h i s i s b e c a u s e t h e y p r o v i d e a g o o d d e a l o f e m o t i o n a l r e l e a s e a n d e n t e r -t a i n m e n t . T h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e s t r u c t u r a l e l e m e n t s o f d r a m a i s 1 7 n o t o f f e r e d a s a r i g i d s c h e m e o r m o u l d i n t o w h i c h P i n t e r ' s p l a y s w i l l h e f i t t e d , come w h a t may. I t i s , r a t h e r , a s e r i e s o f o b s e r v a t i o n s b a s e d o n t h e e x a m i n a t i o n o f e x i s t i n g p l a y s a n d t h e r e c o g n i t i o n o f d e v i c e s a n d t e r m i n o l o g y c u l l e d f r o m t h e p r a c t i c e o f t h e p l a y w r i g h t s . I t w i l l p r o v i d e a b a s i s a n d a v o c a b u l a r y f o r t h e e m p i r i c a l a n a l y s i s o f t h e s t r u c t u r e o f P i n t e r ' s s t a g e p l a y s . T h e s e s t r u c t u r e s may w e l l m o d i f y o r p r o v i d e v a r i a t i o n s o n t h e p r i n c i p l e s s o f a r d i s c u s s e d . T h e y may w e l l i g n o r e some o f t h e m . A s F r i e d r i c h H e b b e l n o t e d i n h i s J o u r n a l s D r a m a t i c d e e d s a r e n o t t h e o n e s t h a t g o s t r a i g h t a h e a d l i k e b u l l e t s . ° 18 CHAPTER I I THE THREE E A R L Y P L A Y S P i n t e r ' s t h r e e e a r l y p l a y s , T h e Room, T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y a n d T h e Dumb W a i t e r , a l l w r i t t e n i n 1957. embody t h e d u a l t e n d e n c y o f P i n t e r ' s c r a f t a s a p l a y w r i g h t — t h e t e n d e n c y o n t h e o n e h a n d t o e x p l o r e a v e r y s i m p l e , b a r e a n d p e r h a p s f r a g -m e n t a r y s i t u a t i o n , a n d o n t h e o t h e r h a n d t o e x p l o r e a f u l l e r , m o r e e x p a n s i v e s i t u a t i o n c a p a b l e o f g r o w t h a n d c o m p l i c a t i o n . S i n c e t h e t w o s h o r t p l a y s , a s m i g h t b e e x p e c t e d , f a l l i n t o t h e f o r m e r c a t e g o r y , t h i s d i s c u s s i o n w i l l b e g i n w i t h t h e m , b e f o r e m o v i n g o n t o c o n s i d e r t h e l a r g e r p a t t e r n o f T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y . T h e Room w a s t h e f i r s t p l a y P i n t e r w r o t e . I t w a s made i n r e s p o n s e t o t h e n e e d s o f a f r i e n d , H e n r y W o o l f , t h e a c t o r , who w a n t e d a p l a y a t v e r y s h o r t n o t i c e f o r p r o d u c t i o n i n t h e D r a m a D e p a r t m e n t a t B r i s t o l U n i v e r s i t y . I t w a s w r i t t e n i n o n l y f o u r d a y s , b u t g r e w f r o m a b a s i c i m a g e w h i c h h a d b e e n i n P i n t e r ' s m i n d f o r some t i m e . I n T i m e o f 10 N o v e m b e r 1 9 6 l , P i n t e r i s q u o t e d a s r e m e m b e r i n g how o n c e a t a p a r t y i n L o n d o n he h a d l o o k e d i n t o a r o o m t o s e e t w o men, o n e o f whom, a l i t t l e b a r e - f o o t e d man, w a s c a r r y i n g o n a l i v e l y a n d r a t h e r l i t e r a t e c o n v e r s a t i o n , a n d a t t h e t a b l e n e x t t o h i m s a t a n e n o r m o u s l o r r y d r i v e r . He h a d h i s c a p o n a n d n e v e r s p o k e a w o r d . A n d a l l t h e w h i l e , a s he t a l k e d , t h e l i t / t i e man w a s f e e d i n g t h e b i g man — c u t t i n g h i s b r e a d , b u t t e r i n g i t , a n d s o o n . W e l l , t h i s i m a g e w o u l d n e v e r l e a v e me. I n a n a r t i c l e h e h a d p u b l i s h e d a f e w m o n t h s e a r l i e r , P i n t e r 1 9 r e v e a l e d t h a t t h i s b a s i c i m a g e h a d s t r u c k h i m w i t h a s o r t o f d r a m a t i c u r g e n c y i T h i s s t u c k w i t h me f o r some t i m e a f t e r w a r d s , a n d I f e l t t h a t t h e o n l y w a y I c o u l d g i v e i t e x p r e s s i o n a n d g e t i t o f f my m i n d w a s d r a m a -t i c a l l y . I s t a r t e d o f f w i t h t h i s p i c t u r e o f t h e t w o p e o p l e a n d l e t t h e m c a r r y o n f r o m t h e r e . 1 T h e i m a g e p r o v e d t o b e a p r e g n a n t o n e , c o n t a i n i n g e l e m e n t s w h i c h P i n t e r c o u l d d e v e l o p a n d u s e a g a i n : t h e r o o m i t s e l f a s a h a v e n ; t h e u n e x p e c t e d a r r i v a l a t t h e d o o r ; t h e p o w e r o f a s i l e n t i n d i v i d u a l ; t h e v u l n e r a b i l i t y o f s o l i c i t o u s t a l k e r s ; t h e a c c e p t a n c e o f a g i v e n , u n e x p l a i n e d s i t u a t i o n a n d c h a r a c t e r s ; t h e d i r e c t a c c e p t a n c e o f w o r k i n g - c l a s s c h a r a c t e r s a s f o d d e r f o r t h e d r a m a t i c i m a g i n a t i o n , r a t h e r t h a n a s m e r e c o m i c s t o c k c h a r a c t e r s o r o b j e c t s o f s o c i a l c o n c e r n . I t i s n o t e w o r t h y , t o o , t h a t h e w a s n o t i n T h e Room i n t e r e s t e d i n d e v e l o p i n g t h e s u g g e s t i o n o f a h o m o s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e t w o men, b u t i n s t e a d made t h e m i n t o a m a r r i e d c o u p l e , R o s e a n d B e r t H u d d . T h e l o r r y d r i v e r h a s b e c o m e B e r t , t h e v a n d r i v e r ; d e s p i t e t h i s s l i g h t c h a n g e , d r i v i n g i s r e t a i n e d i n t h e p l a y a s a n i m p o r t a n t p a r t o f B e r t ' s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , s u g g e s t i v e o f h i s s e x u a l a n d a g g r e s s i v e u r g e s , a n d c r o p s up a s a m o t i f i n l a t e r w o r k s . F i n a l l y , t h e p e o p l e i n t h e r o o m w e r e h a v i n g a o n e - s i d e d " c o n -v e r s a t i o n , " p r e s e n t i n g a s p e c t a c l e w i t h g a v e P i n t e r a s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r t h e s t r u c t u r e n o t o n l y o f T h e Room, b u t a l s o f o r o t h e r p l a y s , t h a t o f t w o c h a r a c t e r s , o n e o f whom i s s i l e n t w h i l e t h e o t h e r k e e p s u p a m o n o l o g u e . I n o r d e r t o d i s c e r n t h e s t r u c t u r e o f a p l a y i t i s c o n -v e n i e n t t o d i v i d e i t i n t o i t s " s c e n i c u n i t s . " T h e s c e n i c u n i t 20 i s a p o r t i o n o f t h e p l a y i n w h i c h a p i e c e o f b u s i n e s s , o r a m i m e , o r t h e s p o k e n l i n e s p r e s e n t u s w i t h a n e m o t i o n o r a n i d e a , o r s e r i e s o f t h e s e , w h i c h we c a n r e c o g n i s e a s f o r m i n g a k i n d o f s e l f - c o n t a i n e d e p i s o d e w i t h i t s own p u r p o s e o r p u r p o s e s i n t h e t o t a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p l a y . T h e r e may h e s e v e r a l s u c h u n i t s i n a o n e a c t p l a y , o r i n a l o n g s c e n e f r o m a l a r g e r p l a y . When r e h e a r s i n g , d i r e c t o r s a n d a c t o r s o f t e n f i n d i t u s e f u l t o t h i n k o f a s c e n e b e i n g b u i l t f r o m s u c h u n i t s o r s e q u e n c e s w h i c h w i l l p r e s e n t some human s i t u a t i o n — a q u a r r e l , a n a t t e m p t t o b o r r o w m o n e y , a p i e c e o f l o v e - m a k i n g — a n d t h e e m o t i o n s t h a t g o w i t h i t . I t i s f r o m t h e s e t h a t t h e p l a y a s a v e h i c l e f o r p e r -f o r m a n c e e m e r g e s . T h e p e r f o r m e r s d e a l i n t h e d y n a m i c s o f e m o t i o n a l t e n s i o n s , c l i m a x e s a n d c r i s e s , t h e g e s t u r e s a n d i n f l e x i o n s w h i c h make u s a c c e p t w h a t we a r e w a t c h i n g a s i n t e r -e s t i n g a n d p l e a s u r a b l e , a n d p e r h a p s s i g n i f i c a n t . I t i s f r o m t h e v i t a l i m a g e o f t h e p e r f o r m a n c e t h a t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s a n d m e a n i n g s may b e s u g g e s t e d , l e a d i n g t o a s t u d y o f t h e t e x t a n d t h e f u r t h e r e l a b o r a t i o n o f m e a n i n g s i n a r e a d e r ' s m i n d . How-e v e r many a b s t r a c t n o t i o n s o r c r i t i c a l s t a t e m e n t s t h e y h a v e r e a d a b o u t a p l a y , t h e p e r f o r m e r s a r e u s u a l l y i n t e n t n o t o n t r y i n g t o t e a c h t h e s e t o t h e a u d i e n c e t h r o u g h t h e m e d i u m o f t h e p l a y , b u t o n c o n v e y i n g i n a s l i v e l y a n d c o n v i n c i n g a w a y a s p o s s i b l e t h e a c t u a l i t y o f t h e human s i t u a t i o n s t h r o u g h t h e m e d i u m o f t h e e v e n t s w i t h i n t h e s e q u e n c e o f s c e n i c u n i t s . I n T h e Room o n e c a n f i n d t h i r t e e n s u c h u n i t s . T h e y c a n b e d e s c r i b e d a s f o l l o w s : 21 1. Bert reads a magazine and eats h i s meal d u r i n g Rose's fussy opening monologue which ends with the knock at the door and a pause. 2. Mr. Kidd opens the door and enters f o r a dialogue with Rose while Bert remains s i l e n t . 3. Kidd e x i t s , Rose gives us a laugh l i n e — " I don't b e l i e v e he had a s i s t e r , ever." ( p . l 6 ) — resumes her monologue and m i n i s t e r s to Bert who has stood up f o r the f i r s t time i n order to go out f o r a d r i v e . He e x i t s . 4. Rose i s alone; stage business; she takes r u b b i s h to be thrown away, but when she opens the door, she i s s t a r t l e d to f i n d Mr. and Mrs. Sands standing there. 5« Dialogue between a l l three characters d u r i n g which Rose i n v i t e s them i n t o the room and they begin to f e e l at ease u n t i l Toddy, the husband, "perches on the t a b l e " (p.22). 6. Toddy and C l a r i s s a Sands q u a r r e l over whether he was s i t t i n g or perching u n t i l she s i t s again and he stands, both of them muttering. 7« Rose resumes her questions about the man i n the base-ment, i n t r o d u c i n g Mrs. Sands' l o n g c l i m a c t i c speech and the subsequent dialogue which r a i s e the question of a t h r e a t to Rose's tenancy of the room. The Sands go out. 8 . Rose i s alone. This time she decides not to go out, but s i t s i n the rocker. 9 . Kidd knocks and enters; he persuades Rose to accept the mysterious v i s i t o r from the basement while Bert i s out, and e x i t s . 22 1 0 . R o s e i s a l o n e j u s t a moment b e f o r e t h e d o o r o p e n s a n d a b l i n d n e g r o e n t e r s . T h e r e i s a d i a l o g u e w i t h R o s e , v e r y a b u s i v e , d o i n g m o s t o f t h e t a l k i n g u n t i l t h e n e g r o , R i l e y , d e l i v e r s a m e s s a g e , " Y o u r f a t h e r w a n t s y o u t o come home." ( p . 3 0 ) T h e r e i s a p a u s e . 1 1 . A p a s s a g e o f s h o r t m o n o s y l l a b i c l i n e s i n w h i c h R i l e y c a l l s R o s e b y a n o t h e r name, S a l ; s h e a d m i t s t o d i s -s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h h e r l i f e f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e i n t h e p l a y . 1 2 . "She t o u c h e s h i s e y e s , t h e b a c k o f h i s h e a d a n d h i s t e m p l e s w i t h h e r h a n d s . " ( p . 3 1 ) B e r t e n t e r s a n d t h e n d r a w s t h e c u r t a i n s t o r e v e a l t h a t i t i s d a r k o u t s i d e . 1 3 . B e r t s p e a k s f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e , d e l i v e r i n g a mono-l o g u e a b o u t h i s d r i v i n g ; he b e a t s a n d k i c k s R i l e y a n d R o s e t e l l s u s s h e c a n ' t s e e ; b l a c k o u t , t h e n c u r t a i n . T h e s e t h i r t e e n u n i t s s h o w u s a s i n g l e c h a r a c t e r , R o s e , who i s t h e c o n s t a n t t h r e a d l i n k i n g t h e v a r i o u s e p i s o d e s , m a k i n g t h e b e s t o f h e r d i n g y r o o m a n d h e r m o r o s e h u s b a n d . H e r f r a g i l e s e c u r i t y v a n i s h e s s o o n a f t e r B e r t ' s d e c i s i o n t o go o u t . H e r t e n a n c y i s t h r e a t e n e d a n d t h e b l i n d n e g r o , a m e s s e n g e r f r o m h e r p a s t , p r e c i p i t a t e s h e r r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t h e r l i f e i s b o r i n g a n d r e s t r i c t e d t T h e d a y i s a hump. I n e v e r go o u t . ( p . 3 1 ) H a v i n g r e s p o n d e d t o t h e g e n t l e n e s s o f t h e n e g r o , s h e g o e s b l i n d a s i f t o s h u t o u t t h e g r o s s n e s s a n d v i o l e n c e o f B e r t . T h i s p r o v i d e s t h e m a j o r c l i m a x o f t h e p l a y . T h e l a s t f o u r u n i t s , i n d e e d , b u i l d up a n i n t e r e s t i n g t r i a n g l e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n R o s e , R i l e y a n d B e r t . T h e woman r e s p o n d s t o a g e n t l e , l o v i n g 23 man a n d d e v e l o p s a h a n d i c a p t o i n s u l a t e h e r f r o m h e r p r e s e n t , v i o l e n t man, t h u s f o r e s h a d o w i n g t h e t r i a n g l e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f L a n d s c a p e w h e r e B e t h , p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h m e m o r i e s o f h e r p a s t l o v e r , a g e n t l e m a n , a s s u m e s a k i n d o f d e a f n e s s , i g n o r i n g D u f f ' s r e m a r k s a n d a t t e m p t s a t c o n t a c t i n g h e r . D u f f i n h i s a c c o u n t o f a v i o l e n t s e x u a l e n c o u n t e r p r o v i d e s , l i k e B e r t , t h e m a j o r c l i m a x o f t h e p l a y . T h e e p i s o d i c s t r u c t u r e o f T h e Room i s s i m p l e e n o u g h t o p r e s e r v e u n i t y o f a c t i o n , p l a c e a n d t i m e , t h e t i m e o f t h e a c t i o n c o r r e s p o n d i n g e x a c t l y t o t h e t i m e t a k e n b y t h e p e r f o r m -a n c e . T h e t i m e s c h e m e o f t h e p l a y i s s e q u e n t i a l , o n e t h i n g f o l l o w i n g a n o t h e r i n c h r o n o l o g i c a l o r d e r , a n d t h u s v e r y s t r a i g h t -f o r w a r d , r i g h t u p t o t h e c l i m a c t i c a r r i v a l o f R i l e y . I n t h e s t r a n g e l y d i s t u r b i n g p a t h o s o f t h e b l i n d n e g r o , R o s e ' s p a s t l i f e s u d d e n l y c a t c h e s u p w i t h h e r . T i m e p a s t i s s q u e e z e d i n t o t w o b r i e f w o r d s , "home" a n d " S a l " ; l i f e i n t h e r o o m h a s b e e n i n v a d e d n o t o n l y b y p e o p l e , b u t b y t h e p a s t i t s e l f . T h i s i s t h e f i r s t b r i e f a p p e a r a n c e o f t h a t p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h t h e p a s t w h i c h c r o p s u p a g a i n i n P i n t e r ' s s u b s e q u e n t w o r k a n d , i n d e e d , b e c o m e s t h e o v e r a l l c o n c e r n o f h i s l a t e s t t h r e e p l a y s f o r t h e s t a g e , L a n d s c a p e , S i l e n c e , a n d O l d T i m e s . A l t h o u g h t h e s t r u c t u r e o f T h e Room i s v e r y s i m p l y a r i s i n g c u r v e o f m e n a c e , r e l a x i n g b r i e f l y w i t h R o s e ' s t e n d e r " l a y i n g o n o f h a n d s " r o u t i n e w i t h R i l e y , b e f o r e t h e c l i m a x o f B e r t ' s v i o l e n c e a n d R o s e ' s c r y t h a t s h e i s b l i n d , o u r r e s p o n s e s a r e b y no means s i m p l e . P i n t e r h a s p r o v i d e d a s t r o n g , m e l o -d r a m a t i c e n d i n g i n w h i c h t h e b l a c k o u t b e f o r e t h e c u r t a i n c a n 24 suggest Rose's blindness. But he has l e f t us with an open verdict and unresolved questions which allow the powerful l i t t l e play to grow i n the mind and trouble our thoughts. The balanced situation of the f i r s t three units which give us the domestic scene and a landlord who may be deaf and approaching s e n i l i t y but i s not unkind, gives way to a series of shocks for Rose. The Sands are s t a r t l i n g l y discovered; they question Mr. Kidd's identity as landlord; Mrs. Sands t e l l s of the s t a r t l i n g voice i n the basement coming out of the dark and asserting the exis-tence of the vacancy which Rose disputes; the discovery that the vacant room i s her own, number seven; the re-entry of Kidd to t e l l of the v i s i t o r who has waited f o r Bert to go out a l l week-end before coming up; the appearance of the v i s i t o r him-s e l f and his message, providing a major c r i s i s ; and f i n a l l y , Rose has to face the onset of her own blindness. But here the pi; y ends, so that the normal expectancy of the resolution of a developed complication i s denied. The triangle of Rose, Riley and Bert could have been developed, but i s instead arrested by swift and violent action from Bert, and by the imagery of darkness and blindness. What we have, i t seems, i s a s t r i k i n g f i r s t act. A further act or acts would pursue and develop and restore the balance i n a more orthodox playwright. Pinter's structure, though, offers something instead. He uses various means to keep our minds on the disturbing image he has offered us. F i r s t l y , an a i r of completion i s achieved by the structural device of giving a framework to the play through the character of Bert. He provides the unspeaking 25 a n c h o r o f t h e f i r s t t h r e e u n i t s , a f o r c e t o h e c a j o l e d , f l a t t e r e d p a r t i c u l a r l y a b o u t h i s d r i v i n g , a n d k e p t i n t h e r o o m a s l o n g a s p o s s i b l e b y h i s f u s s y , m o t h e r l y woman, t e n y e a r s h i s s e n i o r , who d r e s s e s h i m f o r h i s e v e n t u a l e x i t a s i f s h e i s s e n d i n g h e r s o n o f f t o s c h o o l o r t o w o r k . B e r t d o e s n o t r e - e n t e r u n t i l t h e l a s t u n i t . B u t now h e h a s c h a n g e d . He s p e a k s f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e . R o s e i s s u b d u e d , a s i f i n a t r a n c e , s p e a k i n g m o n o s y l l a b l e s w h e r e a s B e r t now h a s a v i r t u a l m o n o l o g u e , a k i n d o f m e s s e n g e r s p e e c h , i n w h i c h h e o b s e s s i v e l y r e p o r t s o n h i s i c y d r i v i n g e x p l o i t a n d b o a s t s o f h i s m e c h a n i z e d v i o l e n c e i T h e r e w a s n o c a r s . One t h e r e w a s . He w o u l d n ' t m o v e . I b u m p e d h i m . (p.32) T h e r i v a l v e h i c l e i s s e e n a s m a l e , w h e r e a s B e r t ' s i s f e m a l e , a r e c i p i e n t o f b r u t a l i t y a n d a c o m p l i a n t s e x u a l a i d e * I c a n e d h e r a l o n g . S h e w a s g o o d . . . S h e w e n t w i t h me. S h e d o n ' t m i x i t w i t h me. I u s e my h a n d . L i k e t h a t . I g e t h o l d o f h e r . I go w h e r e I g o . (p.32) T h e s p e e c h sums u p t h e s e x a n d v i o l e n c e o f t h e p l a y ' s s i t u a t i o n , a n d t h e p o s s i b l e j e a l o u s y o f B e r t w h e n h e f i n d s a n o t h e r m an w i t h R o s e , i n i t s i m a g e o f B e r t ' s c a r a s a woman a n d a n o t h e r c a r a s a r i v a l m a l e . T h e r e a r e f u r t h e r s y m m e t r i e s w i t h i n t h e o v e r a l l s t r u c -t u r e o f t h e p l a y . U n i t s 5» 6 a n d 7 p r e s e n t t h e S a n d s a s a c o u p l e who p a r a l l e l t h e H u d d s . T h e y a r e i n some w a y s a y o u n g e r v e r s i o n o f R o s e a n d B e r t i C l a r i s s a i s l o q u a c i o u s a n d c o n v i v i a l a s i s R o s e ; b o t h women h a v e a s e n s e o f t h e l i t t l e p o l i t e n e s s e s o f s o c i a l i n t e r c o u r s e ; T o d d y a n d B e r t , o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , a r e men o f f e w w o r d s a n d no s o c i a l g r a c e s . I t i s t r u e t h a t T o d d y 26 h a s m o r e l i n e s i n f a c t t h a n B e r t , h u t h i s m a n n e r i s g r u f f , r a t h e r m o r o s e , a n d w h e n he a n d h i s w i f e l e a v e , h e c a n n o t m u s t e r t h e s a v o i r f a i r e t o make h i s f a r e w e l l t o R o s e , b e i n g c o n t e n t m e r e l y t o s a y t o h i s w i f e , "Come o n " ( p . 2 4 ) . T h e u s e o f a s e r i e s o f l o n g e r s p e e c h e s m a k e s a f u r t h e r p a t t e r n w i t h i n t h e s t r u c t u r e . R o s e b e g i n s t h e p l a y w i t h h e r l o n g m o n o l o g u e i n u n i t 1. H e r s p e e c h i s c r u c i a l t o o u r u n d e r -s t a n d i n g o f h e r a n d o f h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h B e r t , a n d a s s u c h i t c a n b e s e e n a s a k i n d o f a n c h o r w h i c h we c a n h a n g o n t o a n d r e c o g n i z e a s a w e i g h t y p i e c e o f e v i d e n c e a m i d t h e c o n t r a d i c -t i o n s a n d i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s o f t h e t e x t . We r e c o g n i z e i t a s i m p o r t a n t e v e n i f we do n o t k n o w how f a r i t i s t h e t r u t h a b o u t a c h a r a c t e r o r s i t u a t i o n . S u c h s p e e c h e s w i l l b e c a l l e d " a n c h o r " s p e e c h e s f o r o u r p u r p o s e s h e r e . R o s e ' s a n c h o r s p e e c h k e e p s u p a s e m b l a n c e o f o p t i m i s t i c c h a t t e r a b o v e h e r b a s i c f e a r s — o f t h e b a s e m e n t , o f i l l n e s s , o f t h e i c e o n t h e r o a d s , o f , a b o v e a l l , B e r t ' s g o i n g o u t ( h e r m o n o l o g u e a f t e r K i d d ' s f i r s t e x i t g i v e s t h e h i n t t h a t s h e w a n t s t o d e l a y B e r t ' s g o i n g o u t , e v e n i f i t c a n b e o n l y f o r a m o m e n t ) . The n e x t a n c h o r s p e e c h i s M r s . S a n d s ' a c c o u n t o f t h e b a s e m e n t o f t h e h o u s e a n d t h e ' p o l i t e v o i c e w h i c h c o m e s o u t o f t h e d a r k n e s s . I f C l a r i s s a w a s s t a r t l e d b y t h e v o i c e s h e h e a r d , R o s e h e r s e l f i s d i s t u r b e d b y t h e s p e e c h , f o r s h e i s o n h e r g u a r d e n o u g h t o n o t i c e t h a t , w h e r e a s a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e v i s i t C l a r i s s a h a d t o l d h e r t h e y h a d j u s t come up t h e s t a i r s , s h e now f i n i s h e s h e r s p e e c h b y a s s e r t i n g t h a t t h e y w e r e o n t h e i r w ay down w h e n t h e y s t o o d o u t -s i d e R o s e ' s d o o r . R o s e ' s u n e a s i n e s s a b o u t t h e S a n d s a n d t h e i r 2 ? s e a r c h f o r a r o o m i s c o n f i r m e d i n a moment o f a w f u l r e a l i z a t i o n j u s t a f t e r t h e a n c h o r s p e e c h w h e n M r . S a n d s r e v e a l s t h a t t h e v a c a n t r o o m w a s s a i d t o b e n u m b e r 7, t h e o n e o c c u p i e d b y t h e H u d d s . B e s i d e s c o n t r i b u t i n g t o R o s e ' s s e n s e o f i n s e c u r i t y a n d r i s i n g f e a r , t h e a n c h o r s p e e c h a l s o p r e p a r e s u s f o r M r . K i d d ' s n e x t a p p e a r a n c e t o t e l l R o s e m o r e a b o u t t h e man i n t h e b a s e m e n t a n d s e t s up t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t t h e l a n d l o r d i s n o t K i d d a t a l l , b u t e i t h e r t h e man i n t h e b a s e m e n t o r e v e n a f u r t h e r , u n s p e c i -f i e d man. M o r e o v e r , t h e p o l i t e v o i c e C l a r i s s a h e a r s d e l i b e r a t e -l y f a i l s t o p r e p a r e u s f o r t h e a p p e a r a n c e a s a b l i n d n e g r o o f t h e b a s e m e n t d w e l l e r who m u s t w a i t f o r B e r t t o go o u t b e f o r e c o n t a c t i n g R o s e . Y e t w h e n he w o o s h e r g e n t l y t o w a r d s t h e e n d o f t h e p l a y , we c a n s e e w h y C l a r i s s a h a d d e s c r i b e d h i s v o i c e a s p o l i t e . The t h i r d a n d f i n a l a n c h o r s p e e c h o f t h e p l a y i s , o f c o u r s e , B e r t ' s m o n o l o g u e o f s e x a n d v i o l e n c e . W h e r e R o s e ' s m o n o l o g u e w a s h o m e l y a n d c o m f o r t i n g , a n d C l a r i s s a ' s p r o v i d e d a n e l e m e n t o f m e n a c e , B e r t ' s c o m p l e t e s t h e p a t t e r n b y r e a c h i n g o u t i n t o t h e c l i m a c t i c b e a t i n g , w h i c h t o t a l l y r e v e r s e s t h e f e e l i n g R o s e h a d t r i e d t o e s t a b l i s h a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e p l a y . T h i s r e v e r s a l i s e c h o e d o n t h e l e v e l o f s y m b o l i s m — n e v e r v e r y c l e a r i n T h e Room — w h e n t h e b l i n d man t e l l s R o s e , "Now I s e e y o u . " ( p . 3 1 ) , a n d w h e n , a f t e r t h e b e a t i n g , R o s e c h a n g e s f r o m a s i g h t e d t o a b l i n d p e r s o n . T h e r e i s a l s o a s i g n i f i c a n t p a r a l l e l i s m o f g e s t u r e i n t h e p l a y w h e n R o s e f u s s e s w i t h g e t t i n g B e r t w r a p p e d up f o r h i s d r i v e ; t h i s i s a l i t t l e r o u t i n e e x p r e s s i v e o f h e r p r o t e c t i v e n e s s t o -w a r d s h i m a n d o f h e r p o s s e s s i o n o f h i m . I t c o m e s j u s t b e f o r e 28 he e x i t s . R o s e ' s p a r a l l e l b u s i n e s s i s h e r r o u t i n e ( r e c a l l i n g t h e r i t u a l l a y i n g o n o f h a n d s ) w h e n s h e t e n d e r l y t o u c h e s R i l e y w i t h g e s t u r e s e x p r e s s i v e o f h e a l i n g a n d l o v e . T h i s c o m e s j u s t b e f o r e a n d d u r i n g B e r t ' s r e - e n t r y . T h e f o r c e o f t h i s s y m m e t r y i s a p p a r e n t . R o s e h a s t r a n s f e r r e d h e r c o n c e r n a n d a t t e n t i o n s t o R i l e y . B u t i t i s t o o l a t e . He i s b e a t e n , p o s s i b l y k i l l e d , a n d s h e i s l e f t w i t h a man s h e c a n n o t b e a r t o l o o k u p o n . S u c h p h y s i c a l g e s t u r e s , h a v i n g a f u r t h e r m e a n i n g o r p a t t e r n i n t h e t o t a l s t r u c t u r e , a r e u s e d a g a i n b y P i n t e r i n Th e Dumb W a i t e r a n d T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y a s we s h a l l s e e l a t e r i n t h i s c h a p t e r . A f u r t h e r s y m m e t r y ( t h a t o f R o s e ' s d i m i n i s h i n g a c t i o n b e t w e e n e p i s o d e s ) i n t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p l a y a r i s e s f r o m i t s e p i s o d i c n a t u r e , b u t t h i s h a s b e e n s e e n a s a d e f i n i t e w e a k n e s s i P i n t e r ' s f i r s t p l a y , t h e o n e - a c t T h e Room, w a s r a t h e r c r u d e l y c o n s t r u c t e d o n t h e p r i n c i p l e o f a m a n y - l a y e r e d s a n d w i c h . R o s e r e m a i n s s t a t i o n a r y i n t h e r o o m , w h i l e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s , M r . a n d M r s . S a n d s , M r s . CsicJ K i d d , a n d f i n a l l y R i l e y , come a n d go t h r e e t i m e s , l e a v i n g h e r a w k w a r d l y o n s t a g e , f i l l i n g i n t i m e w i t h t r i v i a l s t a g e b u s i n e s s b e t w e e n v i s i t o r s . 2 B u t t h e p o i n t a b o u t R o s e ' s t r i v i a l s t a g e b u s i n e s s b e t w e e n v i s i t s i s t h a t i t i s f u n c t i o n i n g t h e a t r i c a l l y . F i r s t , h e r m o m e n t s o f l o n e l i n e s s g i v e t h e a c t r e s s a n o p p o r t u n i t y t o e x p r e s s t h e a i r o f h o u s e w i f e l y a t t e n t i o n t o t h e l i v i n g q u a r t e r s w h i c h c o n t r a s t s w i t h t h e s u d d e n s h o c k o f t h e S a n d s ' a p p e a r a n c e w h e n R o s e o p e n s t h e d o o r . S e c o n d l y , t h e r e i s a d e l i b e r a t e d i m i n i s h -29 i n g o f h e r a c t i v i t y a n d a c o n t r a s t b e t w e e n t h e s e i n t e r l u d e s w h e n R o s e i s a l o n e . W h e r e t h e f i r s t i s q u i t e l o n g a n d s h o w s h e r m a k i n g t o t a k e t h e r u b b i s h o u t s i d e t h e r o o m , t h e s e c o n d i n t e r l u d e i s s h o r t e r . R o s e d o e s n o t now t h i n k t o v e n t u r e o u t -s i d e . S h e i s t o o d i s t u r b e d b y t h e k n o w l e d g e t h a t o t h e r s may b e a f t e r t h e v e r y r o o m s h e l i v e s i n . T h e d i r e c t i o n s now i n d i -c a t e u n c e r t a i n t y , n e r v o u s n e s s a n d t e n s i o n J ROSE w a t c h e s t h e d o o r c l o s e , s t a r t s t o w a r d s i t , a n d s t o p s . S h e t a k e s t h e c h a i r b a c k t o t h e t a b l e , p i c k s up t h e m a g a z i n e , l o o k s a t i t , a n d p u t s i t down. She g o e s t o t h e r o c k i n g - c h a i r , s i t s , r o c k s , s t o p s , a n d s i t s s t i l l . T h e r e i s a s h a r p k n o c k a t t h e d o o r , w h i c h o p e n s . E n t e r MR. K I D D . (p.2k) R o s e i s n o t m e r e l y l e f t a w k w a r d l y a l o n e . S h e i s a c t u a l l y d i s -t u r b e d , w i t h a g r o w i n g s e n s e o f d a n g e r . T h i s i s s i m i l a r t o t h e t e c h n i q u e o f t h e t h r i l l e r , e x c e p t t h a t i n P i n t e r ' s p l a y we do n o t k n o w w h a t t h e d a n g e r i s , n o r i t s s o u r c e . When R o s e i s n e x t l e f t a l o n e a f t e r K i d d ' s s e c o n d e x i t , i t i s o n l y f o r a f e w m o m e n t s , s o t h a t s h e b a r e l y h a s t i m e t o s i t d own. We h a v e t i m e t o r e a l i z e t h a t h e r n e x t v i s i t o r w i l l b e t h e s t r a n g e , u n s e e n man f r o m t h e b a s e m e n t who may b e c o m i n g t o t a k e h e r a w a y . R o s e ' s a g i t a t i o n may m a k e u s f e a r f o r h e r s a f e t y . H i s a p p e a r -a n c e a s he o p e n s t h e d o o r — t h i s t i m e t h e r e i s no k n o c k — i s u n e x p e c t e d a n d c h i l l i n g . V e r y e c o n o m i c a l l y P i n t e r h a s p r e p a r e d f o r t h e r e v e r s a l we u n d e r g o a s t h e b l i n d man b e c o m e s a m o v i n g a n d d e f e n c e l e s s v i c t i m . B u t t h i s s t r u c t u r a l p o i n t a b o u t t h e d i m i n i s h i n g a c t i o n s o f R o s e a f t e r B e r t h a s l e f t t h e r o o m h a s a f u r t h e r a s p e c t . I t w o r k s o n t h e l e v e l o f o r d i n a r y human b e -h a v i o u r . A f t e r h e r man h a s g o n e o u t , R o s e h a s l i t t l e t o d o . 30 H e r l i f e c o n s i s t s o f t e n d i n g t o h i s n e e d s . B e c a u s e o f s u c h p a r a l l e l i s m s a n d s y m m e t r i e s a s I h a v e d e s c r i b e d , t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p l a y h a s m o r e t h a n a s i m p l e l i n e a r s t r i n g i n g o u t o f e p i s o d e s r i s i n g t o c r i s i s a n d c l i m a x ; i t h a s a c e r t a i n d e n s i t y o f w e a v e , a s y s t e m o f r e f e r e n c e b a c k i n t o i t s e l f , w h i c h w o r k s i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h a t e n d e n c y t o u n d e r -c u t a n d d e n y i n f o r m a t i o n g i v e n . We do n o t k n o w w h e t h e r t h e S a n d s w e r e c o m i n g u p o r g o i n g d o w n , w h e t h e r K i d d i s o r i s n o t t h e l a n d l o r d , w h e t h e r R o s e r e a l l y i s S a l . A l t h o u g h t h e s t r u c t u r e h a s r e a c h e d a d e f i n i t e c o n c l u s i o n i n t e r m s o f p h y s i c a l a c t i o n , i n t e r m s o f m e a n i n g i t i s b y n o m e a n s f i n a l , a n d c o u l d b e d e s c r i b e d a s a n o p e n - e n d e d f o r m . T h i s d e n i a l o f v e r i f i c a -t i o n w i l l b e r e p e a t e d b y P i n t e r i n o t h e r p l a y s , a s w i l l s u c h m o t i f s a s t h e f e a r o f l o s i n g a woman, t h e s t r u g g l e f o r a p l a c e , t h e q u e s t i o n o f i d e n t i t y , t h e a r g u m e n t o v e r u s a g e a s w h e n t h e S a n d s a r g u e o v e r w h e t h e r T o d d y p e r c h e d o r s a t , t h e p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h t h e s t i l l n e s s a n d s i l e n c e o f a c h a r a c t e r , t h e u s e o f a n c h o r s p e e c h e s , a n d t h e m y s t e r i o u s h e a d a c h e a n d b l i n d n e s s . A n o t h e r r e c u r r i n g d e v i c e , o n e t h a t w i l l a p p e a r i n a l l P i n t e r ' s w o r k , i s t h e v e r y f r e q u e n t u s e o f t h e p a u s e , a n d t h e s i l e n c e . A p a u s e i n d i a l o g u e c a n s i g n i f y t h e n a t u r a l s i l e n c e s a m i d c o n v e r s a t i o n , i n w h i c h l i t t l e e v e r y d a y a c t i o n s may b e t a k i n g p l a c e . R o s e ' s m o n o l o g u e a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f The Room h a s some o f t h e s e p a u s e s i n i t . W h i l e R o s e b u s i e s h e r s e l f w i t h m i n i s t e r i n g t o B e r t , we g e t t h e i m p r e s s i o n o f h e r t r a i n o f t h o u g h t s c o n t i n u i n g , a n d o c c a s i o n a l l y j u m p i n g t o t h e s u r f a c e t o f i n d u t t e r a n c e . T h e p a u s e s s u g g e s t t h e c o n t i n u i n g t h o u g h t 3 1 p r o c e s s e s w h i c h c o n n e c t t h e s p o k e n p h r a s e s , t h e t h o u g h t s , t h e a s s o c i a t i o n s a n d t h e s e n s e i m p r e s s i o n s . B u t R o s e ' s p a u s e s a l s o t e l l u s a b o u t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h B e r t ; s h e i s t a l k a t i v e w h i l e h e i s m o r o s e . The p o w e r s e e m s t o b e w i t h h i m , t h e s i l e n t o n e . S h e h a s t o c a j o l e . S h e c o n t i n u a l l y o f f e r s q u e s t i o n s a n d s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h g i v e B e r t a c h a n c e t o r e p l y , e n t e r i n t o c o n v e r -s a t i o n , c o n f i r m h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h e r , a n d e a c h t i m e h e w i l l n p t r e p l y . T h e p a u s e g i v e s u s t h e h i s t o r y o f h e r f a i l u r e a n d o f h i s f a i l u r e : t h e f a i l u r e i n c o n v e r s a t i o n m i r r o r s t h e f a i l u r e o f a r e l a t i o n s h i p . A t o t h e r t i m e s t h e p a u s e o r t h e s i l e n c e may b e a w a y o f e s t a b l i s h i n g t h r o u g h m o v e m e n t a n d mime a n d s t a g e b u s i n e s s a d e f i n i t e k i n d o f s i l e n c e w i t h i t s o wn m o o d , o r a t m o s p h e r e ; i t s own s u s p e n s e o r t e n s i o n . When R o s e i s a l o n e j u s t a f t e r B e r t g o e s o u t , t h e mood i s f a i r l y r e l a x e d ; w h e n s h e i s s i l e n t b e f o r e t h e n e g r o a p p e a r s , t h e r e i s a d e f i n i t e s e n s e o f e x p e c t a n c y a n d s u s p e n s e . On t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e p a u s e c a n o p e r a t e i n a f a i r l y n a t u r a l i s t i c i m i t a t i o n o f t h e a w k w a r d p a u s e s o f r e a l c o n v e r s a -t i o n w h e n t h e r e s e e m s l i t t l e t o s a y . We c a n g e t t h e i m p r e s s i o n o f t h e c h a r a c t e r m a k i n g c o n v e r s a t i o n , t h i n k i n g up t h e n e x t p o l i t e r e m a r k . A n d t h i s may h a v e a k i n d o f c o m i c f o r c e . Y e t a t t h e same t i m e P i n t e r u s u a l l y h a s a n u l t e r i o r p u r p o s e f o r s u c h p a u s e s * MRS. SANDS. M a y b e t h e r e a r e . t w o l a n d l o r d s . P a u s e . MR. SANDS. T h a t ' l l b e t h e d a y . MRS. SANDS. What d i d y o u s a y ? 32 MR. SANDS. I s a i d t h a t ' l l b e t h e d a y . P a u s e . ROSE. W h a t ' s i t l i k e o u t ? ( p . 1 9 ) T h e d i a l o g u e h a s r a i s e d o n e o f t h e u n r e s o l v e d q u e s t i o n s o f t h e p l a y — t h e s t a t u s o f K i d d a s l a n d l o r d — a n d l e f t u s a p a u s e i n w h i c h we may s e e R o s e t a k i n g i n a s t a r t l i n g new a s p e c t o f t h e b u i l d i n g s h e i n h a b i t s , a n d i n w h i c h we may o u r s e l v e s w o n d e r a b o u t t h e a s s u m p t i o n s we h a v e b e e n m a k i n g a b o u t t h e s i t u a t i o n w h i c h i s u n f o l d i n g b e f o r e u s . A n d t h e n we a r e s t r u c k b y t h e h u m o r o u s a c c u r a c y o f P i n t e r ' s o b s e r v a t i o n o f s p e e c h h a b i t s . T h e s e c o n d p a u s e a l l o w s t o o f o r o u r l a u g h t e r . I t a l s o a l l o w s f o r R o s e t o f e e l t h e t h r e a t o f t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e S a n d s ' v i s i t i n s e a r c h o f a r o o m . P e r h a p s s h e w i s h e s t h e y w e r e g o n e : p e r h a p s s h e w a n t s t o r e m i n d t h e m t h a t t h e r e i s a n o u t s i d e w h i c h t h e y o u g h t t o b e g o i n g o u t t o b r a v e ; s h e d i v e r t s t h e c o n v e r s a -t i o n a f t e r t h e p a u s e . She d r o p s a h i n t . T h e S a n d s f a i l t o p i c k i t u p . A f e w s p e e c h e s l a t e r , R o s e d r o p s i t a g a i n , a f t e r a n o t h e r p a u s e . T h e p a u s e s a n d s i l e n c e s c a n t h e r e f o r e v a r y i n i m p o r t a n c e , b u t o n e o f t h e i r c o n s t a n t f u n c t i o n s i s t o l e t t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f a n a c t i o n , a r e m a r k o r a h i n t s i n k i n t o t h e a u d i e n c e ' s m i n d s , o r i n t o t h e m i n d s o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s t h e m -s e l v e s . I f t h e p a u s e a n d t h e s i l e n c e c a n c o n v e y t h e a w k w a r d -n e s s e s a n d i n a d e q u a c i e s , t h e g e n e r a l i n a r t i c u l a t e n e s s o f some o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s , i t c a n a l s o b e a d e l i b e r a t e c h a n g e o f s u b j e c t f o r t h e p u r p o s e s o f e v a s i v e n e s s o r d e v i o u s n e s s o r a m e r e r e l u c -t a n c e t o be p r e s s e d . When M r . K i d d r e c a l l s h i s s i s t e r , we f i n d 33 h i m u s i n g t h e p a u s e a n d e v a s i o n a s a k i n d o f r e b u k e o f R o s e ' s i n q u i s i t i v e n e s s i MR. K I D D . S h e h a d a l o v e l y b o u d o i r . A b e a u t i f u l b o u d o i r . ROSE. W h a t d i d s h e d i e o f ? MR. K I D D . Who? ROSE. Y o u r s i s t e r . P a u s e . MR. K I D D . I ' v e made e n d s m e e t . (p.15) S i n c e t h e f r e q u e n c y o f p a u s e s a n d s i l e n c e s h a s b e c o m e o n e o f t h e t r a d e m a r k s o f P i n t e r ' s d r a m a t i c s t y l e , i t i s w o r t h t h i n k i n g o f i t i n a w i d e r c o n t e x t . Th e p a u s e s c e r t a i n l y h e l p t o i n v o l v e t h e a u d i e n c e , m a k i n g t h e m c o n c e n t r a t e o n t h e t e n s i o n s a n d i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e s i t u a t i o n s a n d t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e i n g d e v e l o p e d o n s t a g e . T h e y a l s o a c t m u s i c a l l y , a s a k i n d o f p a c i n g d e v i c e . P i n t e r c a n f a i r l y a c c u r a t e l y s l o w t h e p a c e o r s p e e d i t u p , p r o v i d e s i l e n c e a s a c o n t r a s t t o v o i c e , a n d o f f e r h i n t s t o t h e d i r e c t o r a n d p e r f o r m e r s who s e e t h e t e x t a s i n p a r t a s c o r e f o r t h e m e l o p o e i c a s p e c t s o f t h e p e r f o r m a n c e . To e l a b o r a t e f u r t h e r , t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f t h e p a u s e a s a k i n d o f t h e a t r i c a l s p a r k g a p a r e a l s o e x p l o i t e d b y P i n t e r . I t c a n b e u s e d t o p r e s e n t a s t a t e m e n t w h i c h i s t h e n f o l l o w e d b y i t s o p p o s i t e , o r a t l e a s t b y a m o d i f i c a t i o n o r e v e n r e f u t a t i o n o f t h e f i r s t s t a t e m e n t . I t i s a n o l d t r i c k i n c o m e d y i MR. K I D D . I d o n ' t k n o w w h a t t o t h i n k . He s i t s . I t h i n k I'm g o i n g o f f my s q u i f f . (p.2 7 ) B u t a t o t h e r t i m e s , P i n t e r c a n u s e t h i s k i n d o f s p a r k g a p b e -t w e e n s t a t e m e n t s w i t h t h e s t u n n i n g e f f e c t o f c l i m a x , c u t t i n g 34 the ground from under us. We have grown used to a c c e p t i n g Mrs. Hudd as B e r t ' s wife, Rose, i n h a b i t a n t of room number seven. But we are suddenly robbed of a l l that when the b l i n d negro c a l l s a l l i n doubtt RILEY. Come home, S a l . Pause. ROSE. What d i d you c a l l me? (p.30) We are pushed i n t o another dimension. P i n t e r s u p p l i e s a pause f o r the new name to s i n k i n . Our expectations are once more denied. We thought we knew a good deal about Rose. Suddenly a v i s t a of past experience i s f l a s h e d to us by the pause. The spark gap of connections or c o n t r a s t s , of expectancies or d e n i a l s , the a s s o c i a t i o n s or evasions which provide the tensions of P i n t e r ' s t h e a t r i c a l pauses may perhaps be compared wi t h the technique of meaningful contrast or a s s o c i a t i o n i n the crerss-c u t t i n g techniques of the film-maker. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Grigory Kozintsev speculates on the analogy which might be drawn between the cross-cut and the pregnant h i a t u s between rhymes i n poetry» Is i t p o s s i b l e to compare the peaks of v i s u a l imagery with l i n e - e n d i n g s i n poetry? Perhaps not. In Lear i t i s not the key-stones which connect the scenes, but r a t h e r the i n t e r p l a y of c o n t r a s t s ; thus what has gone before i s r e f u t e d by what f o l l o w s . I f we were d e a l i n g with rhyme, then there would be "a mine of semantic p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n between the l i n e s " (Marina Tsvetayeva) A p o s s i b l e weakness of the pause and s i l e n c e as a s t r u c -t u r a l device, however pregnant, i s that i t could impose a deadly 35 l a c k o f p a c e , a s e r i e s o f g a p s w h i c h m e r e l y s u p p l y a m o u n t i n g b o r e d o m i n w h i c h n o t h i n g h a p p e n s . J e a n - L o u i s B a r r a u l t , w h e n r e h e a r s i n g h i s s p e c t a c u l a r " d r a m a t i c g a m e , M R a b e l a i s ( f i r s t p e r f o r m e d a t t h e R o u n d h o u s e , L o n d o n , 18 M a r c h , 1971) t o l d h i s c a s t Do n o t p a u s e . I f y o u p a u s e t h e r e i s a h o l e . I n s t e a d o f a p a u s e , c h a n g e t h e t e x t u r e a n d p i t c h — p i t c h ? Y e s ? — o f y o u r v o i c e . ^ I n h i s n o t e s s e s s i o n , t h e d a y a f t e r a p r e v i e w p e r f o r m a n c e , B a r r a u l t e x p l a i n e d f u r t h e r t o h i s c a s t , w i t h s o u n d t h e a t r i c a l s e n s e , t h e a c t o r ' s r a t i o n a l e f o r d i s t r u s t o f t h e p a u s e i No p a u s e s . When o n e a c t o r i s s p e a k i n g , t h e o t h e r i s l i s t e n i n g , a n d h e i s b e g i n n i n g t o make h i s a n s w e r w i t h h i s b o d y , a n d t h e w o r d s a r e c o m i n g i n s i d e h i m , s o t h a t w h e n i t i s t i m e t o s p e a k , t h e r e i s no p a u s e . He i s r e a d y t o s a y w h a t h e w i s h e s . Y o u m u s t h o o k — t h a t i s r i g h t , a c c r o c h e r — g o o d — y o u m u s t h o o k y o u r w o r d , t h e f i r s t w o r d o n t o h i s l a s t . Y o u d o n o t p a u s e t o ^ t h i n k , y o u a r e t h i n k i n g w h i l e h e i s s p e a k i n g . 5 B a r r a u l t ' s r e m a r k s a r e a b s o l u t e l y c o r r e c t f o r a c h i e v i n g p a c e a n d a u t h e n t i c i t y o f c o n v e r s a t i o n a l e f f e c t s ; t h e y w o u l d a p p l y e q u a l l y t o r e h e a r s a l s o f many s t r e t c h e s o f d i a l o g u e i n P i n t e r ' s p l a y s . B u t P i n t e r ' s p a u s e s , we c a n a d d , d e p e n d f o r t h e i r e f f e c t s o n t h e c o n t r a s t t h e y make w i t h t h e k i n d o f f l u e n c y B a r r a u l t w a n t s w h i c h i s o p e r a t i n g e l s e w h e r e i n P i n t e r ' s t e x t s . M o r e o v e r , t h e p a u s e a n d t h e s i l e n c e i n P i n t e r a r e n o t m e r e g a p s o r h o l e s i n t h e t e x t u r e o f h i s d i a l o g u e . T h e u s e s o f p a u s e we h a v e a l r e a d y d i s c u s s e d make i t o b v i o u s t h a t t h e y o f f e r n o t g a p s b u t m o m e n t s w h e n t h e t e n s i o n s o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s may w e l l f i n d b o d i l y e x p r e s s i o n o r a c h i e v e a s p e c i a l k i n d o f e m o t i o n a l o r 36 m e n t a l s p a r k g a p f i l l e d w i t h i n t e n s e a c t i v i t y a t t e s t e d t o p e r h a p s e v e n b y t h e q u a l i t y o f s t i l l n e s s o r g e s t u r e a n a c t o r e x h i b i t s . A n d , f i n a l l y , P i n t e r ' s p l a y s s h o w t h a t t h e p a u s e s r a n g e f r o m t h e s l i g h t h e s i t a n c y e x p r e s s e d b y a f e w d o t s b e t w e e n w o r d s t o t h e l o n g e r s i l e n c e s d e n o t e d b y t h e w o r d " p a u s e , " t o t h e l o n g e s t s i l e n c e s d e n o t e d b y t h e w o r d " s i l e n c e . " T h e t i m i n g o f t h e s e m o m e n t s r e l a t i v e t o e a c h o t h e r i s a n i n t r i c a t e b u s i n e s s w h i c h d e p e n d s o n t h e o v e r a l l s e n s e o f t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f e a c h o c c a s i o n f o r p a u s e w i t h i n t h e t o t a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p l a y , t h e s e n s e o f t i m i n g o f t h e a c t o r s i n v o l v e d , t h e q u a l i t y o f a t t e n t i o n t h e i r s t a g e p r e s e n c e s c a n command a n d t h e n a t u r e o f i n d i v i d u a l a u d i e n c e s a t s p e c i f i c p e r f o r m a n c e s . A p a u s e o r a s i l e n c e i s n o t a n o t h i n g n e s s i n a P i n t e r p l a y ; i t i s a n o c c a s i o n f o r g r e a t c o n c e n t r a t i o n o n t h e p a r t o f a c t o r s a n d t h e i r a u d i e n c e s . I t i s a s t r u c t u r a l d e v i c e w h i c h w i l l p e r s i s t t h r o u g h h i s c a r e e r up t o a n d i n c l u d i n g h i s l a t e s t s t a g e p l a y . The Room, t h e n , r e v e a l s a s t r u c t u r e w h i c h p r o c e e d s f r o m a b a l a n c e t h r o u g h s e v e r a l d i s r u p t i v e e p i s o d e s t o make a r i s i n g c u r v e o f t e n s i o n e n d i n g i n a c r i s i s a n d c l i m a x o f v i o l e n c e . T h e r e i s no d e n o u e m e n t , b u t i n s t e a d a b l a c k o u t w h i c h l e a v e s u s w i t h a n o p e n e n d i n g , a s w e l l a s c o m p l e t i n g i n t h e a t r i c a l t e r m s t h e i m a g e r y o f d a r k n e s s a n d b l i n d n e s s i n t h e p l a y . W i t h i n t h i s s t r u c t u r e t h e r e a r e p a r a l l e l s a n d o t h e r s y m m e t r i e s w h i c h l e a d u s b a c k i n t o t h e c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f t h e t e x t . We h a v e n o t a w e l l -made p l a y , b u t a s t r u c t u r e o f c l i m a x s u c h a s c a n b e f o u n d i n o t h e r o n e - a c t p l a y s — The Dumb W a i t e r , f o r e x a m p l e , a n d some p l a y s b y S t r i n d b e r g a n d Y e a t s . T h e Room s u g g e s t s o r h i n t s a t ] j ! 37 v a r i o u s t y p e s o f play« t h e t h r i l l e r , e x p l o i t i n g s u s p e n s e o r m e n a c e ; t h e p a r a b l e , b u t w i t h a n u n c e r t a i n t y r a t h e r t h a n a s p e c i f i c m e s s a g e ; t h e m i r a c l e p l a y i n w h i c h a man i s c u r e d ; t h e p l a y w h i c h i s b a s e d u p o n a r i t u a l s a c r i f i c e ; y e t i n p a r a b l e , m i r a c l e a n d s a c r i f i c e t h e r e i s n o r e l i g i o u s e l e m e n t a s P i n t e r w r i t e s t h e m . A n d f i n a l l y , we may d i s c e r n t w o t r i a n g l e s i t u a -t i o n s . T h e f i r s t i s a t r i a n g l e w h i c h h o l d s t h e t e n s i o n o f r i v a l r y a b o u t p l a c e : t h e H u d d s h a v e a r o o m , t h e S a n d s w a n t a r o o m , a n d t h e l a n d l o r d ( t h e r e may b e two l a n d l o r d s — o n e f a v o u r a b l e t o t h e H u d d s , t h e o t h e r e n c o u r a g i n g t h e S a n d s ) h a s t h e p o w e r t o g r a n t o r d e n y t h e m t h e s e c u r i t y o f a r o o m . T h e s e c o n d , o f c o u r s e , i s t h e t r i a n g l e o f s e x b e t w e e n R o s e , R i l e y a n d B e r t . T h i s t r i a n g l e s i t u a t i o n , s o f a m i l i a r i n t h e h i s t o r y o f human r e l a t i o n s h i p s a n d t h e r e f o r e o f d r a m a , i s o n e w h i c h P i n t e r u s e s a g a i n a n d a g a i n . A f t e r f i n i s h i n g T h e Room, a n d b e f o r e he h a d e v e n s e e n i t p e r f o r m e d , P i n t e r b e g a n w r i t i n g T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y . I t , t o o , s p r a n g up o u t o f a n a c t u a l e x p e r i e n c e i n h i s l i f e : T h e n I w e n t t o s e e T h e Room, w h i c h w a s a r e m a r k a b l e e x p e r i e n c e . S i n c e I ' d n e v e r w r i t t e n a p l a y b e f o r e , I ' d o f c o u r s e n e v e r s e e n o n e o f m i n e p e r f o r m e d , n e v e r h a d a n a u d i e n c e s i t t i n g t h e r e . . . i l w a s v e r y e n c o u r -a g e d b y t h e r e s p o n s e o f t h a t u n i v e r s i t y [ [ B r i s t o l ^ a u d i e n c e , t h o u g h no m a t t e r w h a t t h e r e s p o n s e h a d b e e n I w o u l d h a v e w r i t t e n T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y , I k n o w t h a t . . . . I t was s p a r k e d o f f f r o m a v e r y d i s t i n c t s i t u a t i o n i n d i g s w h e n I was o n t o u r . I n f a c t t h e o t h e r d a y a f r i e n d o f m i n e g a v e me a l e t t e r I w r o t e t o h i m i n n i n e t e e n - f i f t y s o m e t h i n g , C h r i s t k n o w s w h e n i t w a s . T h i s i s w h a t i t s a y s , ' I h a v e f i l t h y i n s a n e d i g s , a g r e a t b u l g i n g s c r a g o f a woman w i t h b r e a s t s r o l l i n g 38 a t h e r b e l l y , a n o b s c e n e h o u s e h o l d , c a t s , d o g s , f i l t h , t e a - s t r a i n e r s , m e s s , o h b u l l o c k s , t a l k , c h a t r u b b i s h s h i t s c r a t c h d u n g p o i s o n , i n f a n t i l i t y , d e f i c i e n t o r d e r i n t h e u p p e r f r e t w o r k , f u c k i n g r o l l o n . . . ' Now t h e t h i n g a b o u t t h i s i s t h a t w a s T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y — I w a s i n t h o s e d i g s , a n d t h i s woman was M e g i n t h e p l a y , a n d t h e r e w a s a f e l l o w s t a y i n g t h e r e i n E a s t b o u r n e , o n t h e c o a s t . T h e w h o l e t h i n g r e m a i n e d w i t h me, a n d t h r e e y e a r s l a t e r I w r o t e t h e p l a y . 6 B u t t h i s e x p e r i e n c e , u n l i k e t h e m o m e n t a r y g l i m p s e i n t o t h e r o o m , w a s a p r o l o n g e d o n e . P i n t e r d o u b t l e s s f e l t t h e n e e d t o make m u c h m o r e o u t o f i t . T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y t u r n e d o u t t o b e h i s f i r s t t h r e e a c t s t r u c t u r e , a n d i t i s a f a i r l y o r t h o d o x o n e a t t h a t h a v i n g s t r o n g c u r t a i n s a t t h e e n d o f t h e f i r s t t w o a c t s . I t p r e s e n t s u s w i t h a s t a t e o f b a l a n c e i n a c t o n e , c o m p l i c a t e s i t w i t h t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n , d e v e l o p s t h e s i t u a t i o n s u r p r i s i n g l y i n a c t t w o a n d a c h i e v e s a new, p r e c a r i o u s b a l a n c e i n a c t t h r e e . We a r e n o t g i v e n a n o r t h o d o x d e n o u e m e n t b e c a u s e t o o many q u e s t i o n s a r e l e f t u n s e t t l e d . T h e l a s t s n a t c h o f d i a l o g u e b e t w e e n M e g a n d P e t e y i s d e l i v e r e d u n d e r t h e s h a d o w o f t h e i r o n y t h a t s h e m u s t d i s c o v e r s o o n e r o r l a t e r h e r l o s s o f S t a n l e y . T h a t i s a s i t u a t i o n c a p a b l e o f f u r t h e r d r a m a t i c d e v e l o m e n t . T h e p l a y c o u l d h a v e a s e q u e l . B u t P i n t e r l e a d s u s b a c k i n t o t h e s i t u a t i o n o f t h e p l a y ' s o p e n i n g w h e n we s e e P e t e y r e a d i n g o v e r t h e b r e a k f a s t t a b l e a t t h e s t a r t o f a c t t h r e e . T h i s r e p e a t i s a s o b e r i n g a n d i r o n i c e c h o . M e g i s n o t s o m u c h a n t i c i p a t i n g S t a n l e y ' s l e v e e w i t h r e l i s h , b u t i s a n x i o u s a b o u t h i m a n d s u f f e r s f r o m a h a n g o v e r h e a d a c h e . The p a t t e r n o f t h e p l a y i s n o t o n l y l a r g e r t h a n t h a t o f 39 T h e Room, i t i s m u c h m o r e i n t e r e s t i n g b e c a u s e i t i s m o r e i n v e n t i v e . T h e b a s i c s i t u a t i o n i s m o r e c o m p l i c a t e d . S t a n l e y , a n u n w h o l e s o m e l o d g e r o f P e t e y a n d M e g , i s s p o i l e d a n d w o o e d b y Meg. Two s t r a n g e men m e e t P e t e y a n d a l s o b e c o m e v i s i t o r s . T h e y o r g a n i z e a b i r t h d a y p a r t y f o r S t a n l e y , b u t c o n t a c t w i t h t h e m r e s u l t s i n S t a n l e y ' s " r e - b i r t h * * a s a v i o l e n t , u n h i n g e d a n d i n a r t i c u l a t e c r e a t u r e w i t h no w i l l o f h i s own. I n w o r s e m e n t a l s h a p e t h a n h e w a s a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e p l a y , y e t now d r e s s e d i n h i s b e s t c l o t h e s , S t a n l e y i s t a k e n a w a y , o s t e n s i b l y t o a d o c t o r , t h o u g h P e t e y i s r e l u c t a n t t o l e t h i m go w i t h t h e t w o men, G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n , a n d t h e n l e t s M e g b e l i e v e t h a t S t a n l e y i s s t i l l i n b e d . We h a v e w i t n e s s e d t h e r e g r e s s i o n o r t h e d e s -t r u c t i o n o f a human b e i n g . A l o n g s i d e t h i s m a i n s i t u a t i o n i s t h e s u b o r d i n a t e f i g u r e o f L u l u , n o t c e n t r a l l i k e M e g , b u t n e v e r t h e -l e s s i m p o r t a n t f o r s h o w i n g S t a n l e y ' s l a c k o f r e a l s e x u a l p o w e r i m m e d i a t e l y b e f o r e t h e a d v e n t o f G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n . L u l u ' s l a s t l i n e i n h e r d i a l o g u e w i t h S t a n l e y i n w h i c h he r e a l i z e s t h e r e i s n o w h e r e he c a n go t o w i t h h e r t o e s c a p e h i s own m i s e r y a n d i n a d e q u a c y i s v e r y s i m p l e , v e r y c a n d i d a n d a b s o l u t e l y d e v a -s t a t i n g i L U L U . Y o u ' r e a b i t o f a w a s h o u t , a r e n ' t y o u ? (p.26) T h e e f f e c t o n S t a n l e y i s t o make h i m b u c k u p ; he s t a r t s t o w a s h h i s f a c e . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t i s p r e c i s e l y a t t h e moment w h e n S t a n l e y h a s b e e n c r i t i c i s e d a n d r e j e c t e d t h a t G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n a r r i v e . The a r r a n g e m e n t o f t h e e p i s o d e s i n t h i s w a y u s e s s t r u c t u r e t o make a t h e m a t i c p o i n t . L u l u ' s w o r d s h a v e a p o s i t i v e 40 e f f e c t o n S t a n l e y ; t h e w o r d s o f h i s t w o t o r m e n t o r s h a v e a d e s t r u c t i v e e f f e c t o n S t a n l e y ' s p e r s o n a l i t y . L u l u p l a y s a n i m p o r t a n t p a r t i n t h e p a r t y s c e n e , t o o , f o r s h e b e c o m e s t h e v i c t i m o f S t a n l e y ' s c r a z y a s s a u l t , a n d t h e o b j e c t o f G o l d b e r g ' s m i d d l e - a g e d l u s t . H e r r e v e l a t i o n s a b o u t G o l d b e r g ' s l a s c i v i o u s -n e s s a f t e r t h e p a r t y g i v e u s h o r r i b l e p r o o f o f t h e h y p o c r i s y o f t h i s s p o k e s m a n ( i n h i s c r o s s - e x a m i n a t i o n o f S t a n l e y ) o f p e t i t b o u r g e o i s v a l u e s . I m p o r t a n t l y t o o , L u l u r e a c t s h o n e s t l y a n d w i t h some d i s g u s t t o G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n , p r o v i d i n g a s i m p l e h uman n o r m t o s e t a g a i n s t t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s i I ' v e s e e n e v e r y t h i n g t h a t ' s h a p p e n e d . I k n o w w h a t ' s g o i n g o n . I ' v e g o t a p r e t t y s h r e w d i d e a . • • • I'm g o i n g . ( p . 8 l ) T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y i s s t r u c t u r e d f r o m 26 s c e n i c u n i t s , 10 i n A c t 1, ? i n A c t I I , a n d 9 i n A c t I I I . I n A c t I , t h e f i r s t u n i t g i v e s u s a b a l a n c e - s i t u a t i o n w i t h P e t e y a s t h e n e w s p a p e r r e a d e r , m o n o s y l l a b i c a n d t a c i t u r n . T h e l a s t u n i t o f A c t I I I r e t u r n s t o t h i s c a l m r o u t i n e . W i t h i n t h i s f r a m e w o r k t h e a c t i o n o f t h e p l a y u n f o l d s . T h a t P i n t e r p r e s e n t s t h e n e w s p a p e r o r m a g a z i n e r e a d e r s o o f t e n i s p e r h a p s a w a y o f i n s i s t i n g t h a t h i s p l a y s a r e r o o t e d f i r m l y i n t h e r e a l i t y o f o u r l i v e s , a n d i n t h e k i n d o f " r e a l i t y ' * t h a t we r e a d a b o u t i n t h e n e w s p a p e r s , t h e d i s a s t e r s , a c c i d e n t s , m u r d e r s , m a d n e s s e s w h i c h make u p t h e d e b r i s o f o u r w o r l d . B u t h e r e , t h e n e w s p a p e r r o u t i n e i s a q u i c k a n d e c o n o m i c a l w a y o f e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e u n i n t e l l i g e n t M e g ' s p r i v a t e d i s a p p o i n t m e n t ; s h e h a s no c h i l d r e n . S h e o v e r - r e a c t s t o t h e n e w s i t e m P e t e y r e a d s a b o u t L a d y S p l a t t ' s new b a b y . 4 1 S t a n l e y , we r e a l i z e v e r y s o o n , h a s b e c o m e f o r h e r a s u r r o g a t e s o n a s w e l l a s a l o v e r . I n h i s f i r s t a c t , P i n t e r v e r y e f f i c i e n t l y i n t r o d u c e s a n d e s t a b l i s h e s a l l t h e c h a r a c t e r s n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e r i t u a l w h i c h m a k e s u p t h e c e n t r a l e v e n t o f t h e p l a y . T h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e -t w e e n S t a n l e y a n d M e g i s b u i l t u p . We s e e h i s d i s g u s t a t h e r m i x t u r e o f m o t h e r l i n e s s a n d u n s e e m l y s e n s u a l i t y . He s l a m s o u t o f t h e h o u s e , b u t t h e r e i s a s w i f t r e v e r s a l a s he r e t u r n s . T h i s p h y s i c a l r e v e r s a l i n t e r m s o f a c t u a l m o v e m e n t a c r o s s t h e s t a g e i s a n e q u i v a l e n t o f t h e p s y c h i c r e v e r s a l w h i c h o c c u r s a s s o o n a s M e g l e t s s l i p t h e i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t t w o men h a v e b e e n l o o k i n g f o r r o o m s . S t a n l e y h a s a p p e a r e d h i t h e r t o a s c o c k o f t h e w a l k i n t h e s q u a l i d b o a r d i n g h o u s e : now he i s s h a k e n . He c r o s s -q u e s t i o n s M e g , a n d t h e p a c e q u i c k e n s d u r i n g t h e c r i s i s o f S t a n l e y ' s f e a r , s u s p i c i o n a n d d o u b t u n t i l t h e c l i m a x o f h i s i d e n t i t y c r i s i s i n w h i c h h e v a i n l y a t t e m p t s t o p r e s e n t h i m s e l f a s a s t r o n g a n d s i g n i f i c a n t p e r s o n , a n d t h e n b r e a k s d o w n, d e -f e a t e d b y h i s own s e l f - k n o w l e d g e : I w a n t t o a s k y o u s o m e t h i n g . (MEG f i d g e t s n e r v o u s l y . She d o e s n o t go t o him.") Come o n . ( P a u s e . ] A l l r i g h t . I c a n a s k i t f r o m h e r e j u s t a s w e l l . ( D e l i b e r a t e l y . ) T e l l me, M r s . B o l e s , w h e n y o u a d d r e s s y o u r s e l f t o me, do y o u e v e r a s k y o u r s e l f who e x a c t l y y o u a r e t a l k i n g t o ? E h ? S i l e n c e . He g r o a n s , h i s t r u n k f a l l s f o r w a r d , h i s h e a d f a l l s i n t o h i s h a n d s . (p.21) S t a n l e y ' s b r a v a d o a t t e m p t a t s e l f - e s t e e m w h i c h t h e n b r e a k s down i s t h e c l i m a x t o t h e c r o s s - e x a m i n a t i o n d i a l o g u e . The s w i f t r e v e r s a l i n h i s s e n s e o f s e c u r i t y p r o v i d e s t h e n a p r e f i g u r i n g kz o f t h e c r o s s - e x a m i n a t i o n s w h i c h he h i m s e l f w i l l l a t e r s u f f e r ; h i s b r a v a d o a n d h i s b r e a k - d o w n l i k e w i s e p r e f i g u r e t h e c e n t r a l r i t u a l o f S t a n l e y ' s v i c t i m i z a t i o n . T h i s c a n b e a r e m a r k a b l y a r r e s t i n g moment i n p e r f o r m a n c e , a n d i t i s f i t t i n g t h a t t h i s s h o u l d b e s o , c o n s i d e r i n g t h e s t r u c t u r a l i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e p a s s a g e . T h e n P i n t e r b u i l d s u s t o t h e n e x t c l i m a x , w h i c h i s t h e a n c h o r s p e e c h r e v e a l i n g S t a n l e y ' s a c c o u n t o f h i s p a s t a s a p r o m i s i n g a n d t a l e n t e d m u s i c i a n , p e r s e c u t e d b y p o w e r f u l a n d a n t a g o n i s t i c o p p o n e n t s . One r e c o g n i z e s t h e p a r a n o i a o f t h e n e u r o t i c p e r f o r m e r ; a l l t h i s c o u l d b e a t r u e a c c o u n t o f S t a n l e y ' s p a s t , b u t t h e r e i s n o n e e d f o r u s t o t a k e i t a s a n y -t h i n g m o r e t h a n t h e s a d d a y - d r e a m o f a m e n t a l l y s i c k y o u n g man. T h e u n i t w h i c h f o l l o w s t h e a n c h o r s p e e c h c u t s b r i l l i a n t l y a c r o s s t h e p r e v i o u s t o n e . We h e a r S t a n l e y ' s a s s u m e d l i g h t a n d c a s u a l t o n e a s he c r u e l l y a n d p a t h e t i c a l l y t e l l s M e g t h a t " t h e y " a r e c o m i n g w i t h a v a n c o n t a i n i n g a w h e e l b a r r o w t o t a k e M e g a w a y i we r e c o g n i z e t h e d i s t u r b e d m e m o r y o f a m b u l a n c e a n d w h e e l e d s t r e t c h e r i n t h e i m a g i n a t i o n t r o u b l e d b y d r e a d o f m e n t a l i l l n e s s , a n d t h e n e u r o t i c p r o j e c t i o n o f S t a n l e y ' s own s e n s e o f h i s l i k e l y f a t e o n t o M e g . T h e k n o c k a t t h e d o o r , c o m i n g s t r a i g h t a f t e r t h i s u n i t , d e l i v e r s a s h o c k . We e x p e c t t h e t w o men. B u t i t i s o n l y L u l u . S he c o m p l e t e s t h e c i r c l e o f s a f e t y c h a r a c t e r s , P e t e y , M e g a n d L u l u , w h i c h now s u r r o u n d s S t a n l e y . A f t e r L u l u ' s e x i t , P i n t e r u s e s a g o o d d e a l o f dumbshow t o g i v e d u e w e i g h t t o t h e e n t r y o f G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n who p r o v i d e t h e c i r c l e o f d a n g e r f r o m w h i c h S t a n l e y w i l l n o t e s c a p e . G o l d b e r g ' s a n c h o r s p e e c h ('The s e c r e t 43 i s b r e a t h i n g ' ) f o l l o w s q u i c k l y . T h e s p e e c h i s a b a g o f c l i c h e l s h u m o r o u s l y e s t a b l i s h i n g G o l d b e r g ' s c h a r a c t e r a n d b a c k g r o u n d , f i x i n g h i m b y h i s i d i o m a s f r o m a n u n e d u c a t e d a n d l o w e r - c l a s s f a m i l y , b u t w i t h p r e t e n s i o n s t o c u l t i v a t i o n , " c l a s s * 1 a n d r e s p e c t -a b i l i t y . T h e p r e t e n s i o n s a r e c o m i c a l l y a t o d d s w i t h t h e v u l -g a r i t y o f G o l d b e r g ' s i d i o m , w h i c h r e a c h e s a c l i m a x i n t h e h a s t i l y i n s e r t e d a n d s l i g h t l y d e f i a n t r h e t o r i c a l q u e s t i o n m e a n t t o d e f l e c t a f e a r e d c o n t r a d i c t i o n i R e s p e c t e d b y t h e w h o l e c o m m u n i t y . C u l t u r e ? D o n ' t t a l k t o me a b o u t c u l t u r e . He w a s a n a l l - r o u n d man, w h a t do y o u m e a n ? He w a s a c o s m o p o l i t a n , ( p p . 2 7 - 8 ) G o l d b e r g ' s f r e s h a i r e t h i c , t y p i c a l o f s u c h s e l f - c o n g r a t u l a t o r y c l i c h e ' ' s y s t e m s o f m o r a l i t y , a n t i c i p a t e s o n a r e a l i s t i c l e v e l t h e r i t u a l a c t i n g o u t i t r e c e i v e s l a t e r i n t h e p l a y w h e n t h e e x h a u s t e d G o l d b e r g a s k s M c C a n n t o b l o w i n h i s m o u t h . H i s d e e p b r e a t h i n g o f h i s c o m p a n i o n ' s s t a l e b r e a t h r e v i v e s h i m . I t i s a f t e r t h e " j o b " t h a t G o l d b e r g n e e d s t h i s a t t e n t i o n . B y c o n -t r a s t , M c C a n n , l i k e Gus i n T h e Dumb W a i t e r , i s n e r v o u s b e f o r e -h a n d , n e e d i n g a b o l s t e r i n g p a r o d y o f a m i l i t a r y b r i e f i n g s p e e c h * T h e m a i n i s s u e i s a s i n g u l a r i s s u e a n d q u i t e d i s t i n c t f r o m y o u r p r e v i o u s w o r k . . . (p.30) P i n t e r ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n o f G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n e s t a b l i s h e s t h e m a s h a v i n g come t o t h e h o u s e o n a " j o b , " We s e e t h e m a s t h e men who w e r e o n t h e b e a c h . S t a n l e y ' s r e a c t i o n s h a v e b u i l t a s e n s e o f t h e i r m e n a c e f o r h i m , a n d t h e y a r e e s t a b l i s h e d i n o u r m i n d s a s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f J e w i s h a n d I r i s h C a t h o l i c e t h i c a l s y s t e m s i n a v e r y c r u d e a n d l o w l y s e n s e a s t h e y m i g h t b e s e e n t o e x i s t i n t h e v a g u e d i s t o r t i o n s o f t h e p o p u l a r i m a g i n a t i o n . 44 T h o u g h i n t h e i r d i a l o g u e w i t h h e r , M e g c a n a c c e p t t h e m a s t w o n i c e g e n t l e m e n g u e s t s , o u r s e n s e o f t h e i r s i n i s t e r p u r p o s e i n c r e a s e s w h e n t h e y c r o s s - e x a m i n e h e r a b o u t h e r g u e s t whom t h e y h a v e n o t y e t e v e n s e e n . M e g ' s a c c o u n t o f S t a n l e y ' s p a s t a s a p i a n i s t g i v e s a c o m i c a n d r e a l i s t i c d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f h e r p o o r i n t e l l i g e n c e a n d m e m o r y , t h e u n r e l i a b i l i t y o f " e v i d e n c e . " M e g , p a t h e t i c a l l y , c a n n o t c o m p r e h e n d S t a n l e y o r h i s p r o b l e m s , b u t i n t e l l i n g o f a c a r e t a k e r who l o c k e d h i m i n t h e c o n c e r t h a l l , s h e r e v e a l s a f e a r t h a t he may b e c o m e u n s t a b l e e n o u g h t o b e l o c k e d u p . H i s b i g o u t b u r s t h a s o b v i o u s l y s h a k e n h e r . A f t e r p l a n n i n g t h e p a r t y t o " b r i n g h i m o u t o f h i m s e l f , " G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n l e a v e t o s e t t l e i n . Now i t i s S t a n l e y ' s t u r n o n c e m o r e t o c r o s s - e x a m i n e M e g , t h u s p r o v i d i n g t h e t h i r d s u c h s t r e t c h o f d i a l o g u e . T h e s e c r o s s - e x a m i n a t i o n s a r e l a t e r p a r a l l e l e d b y t h e p a r o d i e s o f t h e " t h i r d d e g r e e " g r i l l i n g w h i c h S t a n l e y s u f f e r s . B u t S t a n l e y ' s q u e s t i o n s t o M e g e l i c i t v e r y l i t t l e u n t i l he l e a r n s t h e name G o l d b e r g . P i n t e r t h e n b r e a k s o f f t h e d i a l o g u e , t h e p a c e s l o w s , a s S t a n l e y s i t s . He g o e s i n t o a s l o w , m o n o s y l l a b i c p h a s e . The p a c e i s now a l m o s t s o m n a m b u l i s t i c u n t i l t h e o p e n i n g o f t h e p a r c e l a n d t h e u n e x p e c t -e d r e v e l a t i o n o f t h e d r u m , M e g's s i m p l e , w e l l - m e a n i n g a t t e m p t t o b o o s t S t a n l e y ' s " m u s i c i a n s h i p " : b u t S t a n l e y i s now r e -g r e s s i n g . I n t h i s c o n t e x t t h e d r u m i s n o t o n l y a t o y , i t i s a t o y w h i c h S t a n l e y w i l l h a n d l e a s i f he i s a c h i l d who g e t s e x c i t e d a n d l o s e s c o n t r o l . The dumbshow p r o v i d e s a s t u n n i n g a n d h o r r i f y i n g c l i m a x t o t h e a c t . I t h e r a l d s t h e move f r o m t h e r o u t i n e o f o r d i n a r y l i f e t o a c h i l l i n g r i t u a l o f s a c r i f i c e , 45 w i t h S t a n l e y a s t h e human v i c t i m a n d s c a p e g o a t . T h e s y m b o l i s m o f m u s i c i s s h a p e d i n t o a c l i m a x e x p r e s s i v e o f t h e l o s s o f h a r m o n y . W h e r e r o u t i n e i s a r e p e t i t i o n o f a c t i v i t i e s i n a c e r t a i n o r d e r , r i t u a l i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d b y t h e f a c t t h a t i t i s a p a t t e r n o f a c t i o n s e x p r e s s i v e o f some m y t h . T h e m y t h a t t h e h e a r t o f T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y c o u l d b e s e e n a s t h e s a c r i f i c e o f t h e h e r o ( i n t h i s c a s e a n a n t i - h e r o ) a s a s c a p e g o a t . S t a n l e y ' s a t t e m p t t o s t r a n g l e t h e m o t h e r l y M e g a n d h i s s e x u a l a s s a u l t o n L u l u a r e p a r a l l e l e d b y M c C a n n ' s v i o l e n c e a n d b y G o l d b e r g ' s s e x u a l i t y . S t a n l e y i s p u n i s h e d , i t s e e m s , f o r c r i m e s o f w h i c h t h e s e t w o r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f " n o r m a l " s o c i a l c o n s c i e n c e a r e t h e m s e l v e s g u i l t y . W i t h i n t h e f r a m e w o r k p r o v i d e d b y P e t e y , t h e n , t h e r e i s a r i t u a l o f t h e d e s t r u c t i o n o f S t a n l e y . W i t h i n t h e b r o a d b o u n d s o f t h i s r i t u a l , d e l i m i t e d b y t h e t w o o c c a s i o n s o n w h i c h M c C a n n t e a r s s t r i p s o f n e w s p a p e r , t h e r e i s t h e r i t u a l o f t h e b i r t h d a y p a r t y i t s e l f . W i t h i n t h i s , t h e r e i s t h e game o f b l i n d m a n ' s b u f f , i t s e l f p e r h a p s t h e s u r v i v a l o f some a n c i e n t r i t u a l , a n d w i t h i n t h i s t h e r e i s t h e s p r e a d - e a g l i n g o f L u l u o n t h e t a b l e l i k e a v i c t i m o n a n a l t a r — b u t t h e l e e r i n g S t a n l e y h a s i n f a c t b e c o m e t h e s a c r i f i c e now. I t o n l y r e m a i n s f o r G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n t o g e t h i m up t o h i s r o o m . M c C a n n ' s t e a r i n g o f t h e n e w s p a p e r i n t o s t r i p s i s a g o o d e x a m p l e o f P i n t e r ' s a b i l i t y t o h a n d l e s y m b o l i c a c t i o n s w i t h i n h i s r e a l i s t i c s c e n e s . On a r e a l i s t i c l e v e l , i t i s a s u r p r i s i n g y e t b e a u t i f u l l y r i g h t e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e t e n s i o n s w i t h i n M c C a n n 46 t h e s t r o n g - a r m man. H i s n e r v o u s n e s s o n t h e j o b c o m e s o v e r w e l l . On a n o t h e r l e v e l , i t i s a n a c t i o n w h i c h f a s c i n a t e s S t a n l e y a n d k e e p s h i m i n t h e r o o m t o o l o n g , s o t h a t he i s t r a p p e d . I n s o f a r a s i t i s a n e n a c t m e n t o f t h e d e s t r u c t i o n o f S t a n l e y — t h e r e i s a common e x p r e s s i o n " t o t e a r a s t r i p o f f " s o m e b o d y , m e a n i n g t o h u m i l i a t e a n d r e d u c e h i m i n some w a y — i t s h o w s t h e f a s c i n a t i o n o f t h e v i c t i m w i t h h i s own f a t e . On y e t a n o t h e r l e v e l , i t i s g o o d s t a g e b u s i n e s s . I t g i v e s t h e a c t o r p l a y i n g M c C a n n t h e c h a n c e t o b u i l d up f o r t h e a u d i e n c e a n i m p r e s s i o n o f t h e t e n s i o n s a n d n e u r o s i s o f t h e c h a r a c t e r , o r p e r h a p s p r o v i d e t h e c o m i c v i g n e t t e o f t h e k i n d o f b o t h e r s o m e p e r s o n who a l w a y s s e e m s t o g e t t h e n e w s p a p e r s i n t o a m e s s i n a n y h o u s e h o l d . The u s e o f l i t t l e r e a l i s t i c t o u c h e s s u g g e s t i v e a t t h e same t i m e o f g r e a t e r s i g n i f i c a n c e i s t y p i c a l o f P i n t e r ' s a r t . T h e r i s i n g t e n s i o n a n d s u s p e n s e o f t h i s a c t i s h a n d l e d i n a m a s t e r l y w a y . S t a n l e y a n d M c C a n n s p a r v e r b a l l y a s M c C a n n b l o c k s S t a n l e y ' s a t t e m p t s a t e s c a p e a n d c o n c i l i a t i o n , u n t i l t h e moment o f p h y s i c a l v i o l e n c e w h e n M c C a n n h i t s h i s v i c t i m . T h e w h i s t l i n g r o u t i n e w h i c h i n t r o d u c e s t h i s s p a r r i n g d i a l o g u e i s p e c u l i a r l y c o m i c a n d a p p r o p r i a t e l y e x p r e s s i v e o f t h e b a l a n c e o f f o r c e s a t t h i s p o i n t i n t h e s i t u a t i o n . T h e e n t r y o f G o l d b e r g w i t h P e t e y r e l a x e s t h e t e n s i o n s o m e w h a t u n t i l P e t e y a n n o u n c e s t h a t he m u s t go t o h i s c h e s s m a t c h . T h e e n c o u n t e r b e t w e e n S t a n l e y a n d G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n w h i c h t h e n f o l l o w s p r o c e e d s r a t h e r l i k e a c h e s s m a t c h . S t a n l e y i m m e d i a t e l y l a u n c h e s a v e r b a l a t t a c k o n G o l d b e r g . W i t h t h e r e - e n t r y o f M c C a n n , G o l d b e r g t r i e s t o g e t S t a n l e y t o s u b m i t s y m b o l i c a l l y b y s i t t i n g d o w n . T h e w a r y , m o c k w e a r y c i r c l i n g o f t h e t h r e e men i n t h e i r s t r u g g l e f o r p s y c h o l o g i c a l m a s t e r y p r o v i d e s a c u r i o u s c o m e d y o f t e n s i o n w h i c h p a r o d i e s t h e m o c k - p o l i t e n e s s o f t h u g s i n some g a n g s t e r m o v i e s w i t h t h e i r d e l i b e r a t e c h a r a d e b e f o r e t h e o u t b r e a k o f v i o l e n c e . I t i s a c l i c h e ' o f t h e c i n e m a , y e t i t i s a l s o s u g g e s t -i v e , a f t e r P e t e y ' s r e m a r k s , o f t h e w a r y g a m b i t s o f c h e s s . T h e t h r e e c h u n k s o f d i a l o g u e ( p p . 46-7), w h i c h p r e s e n t t h i s s t r u g g l e a n d l e a d t o S t a n l e y ' s c o c k y w h i s t l i n g a g a i n o f The M o u n t a i n s o f M o r n e b e f o r e he e v e n t u a l l y s i t s , a m o u n t t o a v e r y f u n n y a n d v e r y b r i l l i a n t c o m e d y o f a n i m a l s u s p i c i o n . T h e t h e a t r i c a l l o g i c o f t h i s i s i m p e c c a b l e . T e n s i o n i s r e l a x e d b y t h e l a u g h t e r . T h e s i l e n c e b e f o r e S t a n l e y s i t s a l l o w s f o r j u s t t h e r i g h t t i m i n g f r o m t h e a c t o r t o g e t t h e a u d i e n c e ' s e x p e c t a n c y . A n d t h e n t h e t e n s i o n c a n b e b u i l t a g a i n t h r o u g h t h e l o n g a n d m o u n t i n g f r e n z y o f t h e i n t e r r o g a t i o n s p e e c h e s i n w h i c h S t a n l e y i s a c c u s e d i n e v e r y w a y o f g u i l t . T h e d i a l o g u e i s c l e v e r l y s t r u c t u r e d t o b u i l d t h r o u g h a t t a c k s o n S t a n l e y ' s b e h a v i o u r i n t h e h o u s e h o l d ( h o w do t h e y know a b o u t i t ? ) w h a t h e w e a r s , h i s d r o p p i n g - o u t o f t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n , h i s b e t r a y a l o f h i s m o t h e r , h i s p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y , h i s p l a c e o f o r i g i n , h i s l a c k o f p e r s o n a l c l e a n l i n e s s a n d h i s s h o r t - s i g h t e d n e s s . A t t h i s p o i n t h i s g l a s s e s a r e s e i z e d . T h e i n t e r r o g a t i o n c a n now b u i l d t o a f u r t h e r c l i m a x t h r o u g h t h e a c c u s a t i o n s o f w i f e - m u r d e r , t h e c o n f e s a i o n t h a t h i s m o t h e r i s i n a s a n a t o r i u m , a n d t h e f u r t h e r a c c u s a t i o n s o f j i l t i n g , ( o r i g i n a l ? ) s i n , u n g o d l i n e s s , p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n e p t i t u d e , l e c h e r y , n o s e - p i c k i n g . The c r o s s - e x a m i n a t i o n c o n t i n u e s w i t h a l i s t o f 48 o f a b s u r d a c c u s a t i o n s i n t h e m a n n e r o f I o n e s c o (whom P i n t e r h a d n e v e r h e a r d o f a t t h e t i m e o f w r i t i n g t h i s p l a y ) m o u n t i n g t o t h e u l t i m a t e r e l i g i o u s a n d t e l e o l o g i c a l q u e s t i o n o f t h e c h i c k e n o r t h e e g g , a t w h i c h p o i n t S t a n l e y s c r e a m s . T h e t h i r d d e g r e e now b e c o m e s a k i n d o f v e r b a l i z e d t o r t u r e i M c C a n n . Wake h i m u p . S t i c k a n e e d l e i n h i s e y e . (p.52) G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n h a v e r e d u c e d S t a n l e y t o a c r o u c h e d " o d o u r " i n h i s c h a i r . T h e y a r e c o n f i d e n t a n d c o m m a n d i n g , d i s g u s t e d b y t h e i r d e g r a d e d v i c t i m . B u t t h e m t h e r e i s a v e r y s w i f t a n d s u r p r i s i n g r e v e r s a l a s S t a n l e y s u d d e n l y k i c k s G o l d b e r g i n t h e s t o m a c h . S t a n l e y a n d M c C a n n a r e now w e a r i l y c i r c l i n g a g a i n , b u t t h i s t i m e t h e y a r e w i e l d i n g c h a i r s . T h u s t h e w h o l e s e q u e n c e c a n b e s e e n a s a u n i f i e d s e q u e n c e , a c h e s s b a t t l e w h i c h b e g i n s w i t h S t a n l e y a t t a c k i n g , t h e n a m a j o r o f f e n s i v e b y G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n , w i t h a l a s t m i n u t e r e c o u p i n g b y S t a n l e y t o g i v e a n u n e a s y c h e c k . I t i s a t t h i s s t a g e t h a t M e g b e a t s o n t h e d r u m a n d m a k e s h e r e n t r y f o r t h e p a r t y . M e g ' s a n d l a t e r L u l u ' s p r e s e n c e a t t h e p a r t y r e q u i r e s a s u r f a c e g e n i a l i t y f r o m G o l d b e r g , a n d t h i s i s a p a r t i c u l a r l y s u b t l e a n d e f f e c t i v e s t r o k e . F o r j u s t a s t h e p a r t y s t r u c t u r e o v e r l a y s t h e r i t u a l i s t i c d e s t r u c t i o n o f S t a n l e y , s o t h e g e n i a l -i t y o f f s e t s t h e g r i m n e s s a n d m e n a c e , g i v i n g a n e x q u i s i t e t w i s t t o t h e s u s p e n s e a n d t e n s i o n . T h e c i r c l e s o f t h e d e f e n s i v e a n d o f f e n s i v e c h a r a c t e r s a r o u n d S t a n l e y h a v e b e c o m e c o n c e n t r i c . Now G o l d b e r g c a n d e l i v e r c o v e r t t h r e a t s i n t h e g u i s e o f p a r t y b o n -h o m i e . M c C a n n ' s p a r t y t u r n , h i s G a r d e n o f E d e n s o n g , c a n a l s o 49 "be seen as a g l o a t i n g r e m i n d e r t h a t S t a n l e y has l o s t h i s s l a t t e r n l y Eden i n M e g ' s h o u s e . The game o f b l i n d man's b u f f i s a good p a r t y game, b u t i t p r o v i d e s McCann w i t h a n o t h e r o p p o r t u n i t y t o h u m i l i a t e S t a n l e y by g r a t u i t o u s l y b r e a k i n g h i s g l a s s e s and by t r i p p i n g him up w i t h the drum. The game goes bad when S t a n l e y a t t a c k s Meg, and t h e r e i s a b l a c k o u t r e l i e v e d o n l y by the gleams o f the f l a s h l i g h t . P i n t e r d e v e l o p s t o the f u l l the t h e a t r i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f the s i t u a t i o n , p r o v i d i n g a s t a r t l i n g c l i m a x o f sudden h o r r o r and f r a n t i c p a n i c . I t i s a b r i l l i a n t r e v e r s a l a g a i n ; once more S t a n l e y a t the moment o f d e g r a d a t i o n l a s h e s o u t . He now p l a y s a k i n d o f c a t and mouse game i n the d a r k u n t i l the n e x t h o r r i f i c moment when the t o r c h i s shone a t him as he i s b e n d i n g o v e r L u l u and b e g i n s t o g i g g l e . H i s a w f u l madness p r o v i d e s one o f t h e most p o w e r f u l e n d - o f - a c t c l i m a x e s i n the modern t h e a t r e . The i d e a o f the h e a d , g r o t e s q u e l y i l l u m i n e d by the f l a s h l a m p , t r a p p e d i n a c i r c l e o f l i g h t , i s a b r i l l i a n t t h e a t r i c a l i d e a , an e q u i v a l e n t f o r a c h e c k - m a t e , a l e e r i n g image o f madness. I n s t a g e c r a f t terms i t i s a p o w e r f u l enough i d e a f o r B e c k e t t t o have been a b l e t o use i t f o r t h e t h r e e heads i n h i s P l a y . I n a s e n s e , i t i s a l s o a m e t a t h e a t r i c a l scene i n s o f a r as i t s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y r e f e r s back t o the t h e a t r i c a l h e r i t a g e — we remember a n o t h e r famous s c e n e , i n w h i c h a v i l l a i n c a l l s f o r l i g h t s . The game o f b l i n d man's b u f f has become a m o u s e - t r a p scene i n w h i c h the t r a p p e r s meet unexpected v i o l e n c e and t r o u b l e ; b u t i t i s S t a n l e y ' s f i g h t f o r h i s freedom w h i c h i r o n i c a l l y exposes him as i r r e t r i e v a b l y mad. A f u r t h e r s u b t l e t y o f the scene i s t h a t i f the v i c t i m can 50 b e s o m e t i m e s v e r y c u n n i n g a n d v i c i o u s , t h e t o r m e n t o r s c a n a l s o b e c o m e v i c t i m s . T h e o r d e a l o f t h e i r s t r u g g l e s h o w s . I n a c t t h r e e we f i n d t h a t G o l d b e r g g e t s r a t t l e d b y M c C a n n ' s t e n s e a n d n e r v o u s ( a s he s u p p o s e s ) t e a r i n g o f t h e n e w s p a p e r i n t o s t r i p s . M c C a n n i s r e l u c t a n t t o go up t o S t a n l e y ' s r o o m a g a i n , a n d t h e n p r e t e n d s t h a t he h a s n e v e r e x p r e s s e d t h a t f e a r . G o l d b e r g b e g i n s t o l o s e h i s g r i p o n h i s own s e n s e o f i d e n t i t y a n d p u r p o s e a n d g o o d h e a l t h u n t i l he s e e m s l o s t i n some p r i v a t e n i g h t m a r e t B e c a u s e I b e l i e v e t h a t t h e w o r l d . . . ( V a c a n t . ) . . . B e c a u s e I b e l i e v e t h a t t h e w o r l d . . . ( D e s p e r a t e . ) . . . . B E C A U S E I B E L I E V E THAT THE W O R L D . . . ( L o s t . ) . . 7 . He s i t s i n c h a i r . ( p . 7 8 ) He m a n a g e s t o t a l k h i m s e l f b a c k i n t o h i s c o n v e n t i o n a l c l i c h e " w o r l d ...Work h a r d a n d p l a y h a r d . N o t a d a y ' s i l l n e s s . (p.78) b u t n e v e r t h e l e s s n e e d s a c u r i o u s m o u t h t o m o u t h r e s u s c i t a t i o n t o g e t b a c k t o h i s o l d c o n f i d e n c e . G o l d b e r g ' s l o s s o f p o w e r i n t h e l a s t a c t i s a s u b t l e p o i n t i n t h e p o w e r b a l a n c e s o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s , b u t i t i s a d i s a d v a n t a g e i n s h e e r t h e a t r i c a l t e r m s ; he l o s e s m u c h o f h i s h u m o u r , t o o , s o t h a t t h e t h i r d a c t s u f f e r s f r o m a l a c k o f l a u g h l i n e s a n d f u n n y s i t u a t i o n s . A d d t o t h i s t h e f a c t t h a t t h e r e i s no e n d - o f - a c t m o u n t i n g t e n s i o n a n d p o w e r f u l c l i m a x , a n d t h e i m p r e s s i o n we g e t , i f t h e p l a y i s n o t s k i l l f u l l y d i r e c t e d a n d p e r f o r m e d , i s t h a t i t i s a w e a k a c t l a c k i n g i n i n t e r e s t . Y e t e v e r y e p i s o d e i s n e c e s s a r y . T h e f l a t n e s s a n d r o u t i n e o f l i f e g o i n g o n a f t e r t h e p a r t y ; t h e r e v e l a t i o n t h a t G o l d b e r g i s n o t i m p r e g n a b l e ; L u l u ' s c e n s u r e o f w h a t i s h a p p e n i n g ; P e t e y ' s m i l d a n d u n s u c c e s s f u l a t t e m p t t o 51 i n t e r v e n e ; M e g ' s o b l i v i o u s n e s s a n d i r o n i c i g n o r a n c e o f S t a n l e y ' s d e p a r t u r e ; a n d S t a n l e y ' s f i n a l e n t r y , a s a c l i m a x b e f o r e t h e e n d , h i s a p p e a r a n c e a l t e r e d f o r t h e w o r s e — a l l t h e s e p r o v i d e i n t e r e s t , a n d a m o u n t t o a n e x a m i n a t i o n o f w h a t h a p p e n s a f t e r a man i s b r o k e n . We s e e t h e r e s p o n s e s o f t h e r e s t o f t h e h o u s e h o l d , t h e a f t e r m a t h o f e m o t i o n a l s t r a i n . T h e r e l a t i v e q u i e t o f t h e l a s t a c t c o u n t e r a c t s u n w a n t e d e f f e c t s o f m e l o d r a m a ; t h e l o w e r l e v e l o f t e n s i o n c u t s o u t a n y h o p e f o r a r e v e r s a l . S t a n l e y c a n n o t b e " s a v e d . " We a r e g i v e n a s e n s e o f t h e i n e v i t a b i l i t y o f h i s f a t e . I n v i e w o f a l l t h i s , a n d n o t l e a s t t h e t h e a t r i c a l c o u p o f S t a n l e y ' s new a p p e a r a n c e a n d i n f a n t i l e i n c o h e r e n c e , t h e t h i r d a c t may b e s e e n a s a q u i e t l y e f f e c t i v e c o m p l e t i o n o f t h e t o t a l s t r u c t u r e . I n p e r f o r m a n c e i t c a n w o r k w e l l w i t h o u t s a g g i n g . M e g ' s s i l l y v a n i t y a s " b e l l e o f t h e b a l l " i n h e r m e m o r y a n d h e r p a t h e t i c v u l n e r a b i l i t y i n i g n o r a n c e o f S t a n l e y ' s f a t e c a n g i v e a m o v i n g c u r t a i n . T h e t h i r d a c t i s a l s o v i a b l e f r o m a n e m o t i o n a l p o i n t o f v i e w , f o r i t c o m p l e t e s a r i s i n g c u r v e o f e m o t i o n w h i c h m o v e s f r o m c a l m a n d r o u t i n e t h r o u g h h o r r o r a n d l a u g h t e r a n d h y s t e r i a t o t h e e x h a u s t e d c a l m o f t h e e n d i n g . T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y s h o w e d P i n t e r ' s a b i l i t y t o e l a b o r a t e a l a r g e s t r u c t u r e w e l d i n g s e v e r a l m o t i f s : t h e b l i n d n e s s o f The Room t u r n s up i n a m i l d e r f o r m i n S t a n l e y ' s s h o r t - s i g h t e d -n e s s a n d Meg's " b l i n d n e s s " t o w h a t i s g o i n g o n ; a g a i n t h e p a s t c a t c h e s up w i t h t h e p r e s e n t ; t h e r e i s a l s o e m o t i o n a l r e g r e s s i o n a n d t h e e m a s c u l a t i o n o f S t a n l e y ; t h e m e n a c i n g i n v a s i o n o f a n d t h e d e f e n c e o f o n e ' s p l a c e r e c u r s . T h e l a r g e new t h e m e s o f m e n t a l b r e a k d o w n , a m y s t e r i o u s a n d v i c i o u s o r g a n i z a t i o n , a n d 52 d a n g e r o u s p o w e r games b e t w e e n p e o p l e a p p e a r . F i n a l l y , a c e r t a i n s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s a p p e a r s — t h e game w i t h i n t h e p a r t y a n d t h e d a r k n e s s e c h o e s H a m l e t ' s p l a y w i t h i n a p l a y c o n s t r u c t i o n . T h e r e i s a f u r t h e r l i t e r a r y e c h o i n t h e t i t l e , t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n a r o u n d a p a r t y a n d t h e t h e m e o f m y s t e r i o u s a g e n t s who p r e s i d e o v e r t h e f a t e o f a c h a r a c t e r . S t r a n g e l y e n o u g h t h i s h a s n o t t o my k n o w l e d g e b e e n p o i n t e d o u t b e f o r e , b u t P i n t e r ' s p l a y s e e m s t o c a s t a b a c k w a r d g l a n c e a t T.S. E l i o t ' s T h e C o c k t a i l P a r t y . I n t h a t p l a y C e l i a C o p p l e s t o n e g o e s t o m e e t a d r e a d f u l d e a t h b y c r u c i f i x i o n o n a n a n t h i l l ; s h e i s a c t i n g u n d e r t h e i n f l u e n c e o f H a r c o u r t R e i l l y , a p s y c h i a t r i s t , a n d o n e o f E l i o t ' s m y s t e r -i o u s C h r i s t i a n G u a r d i a n s . A l t h o u g h o s t e n s i b l y b e n i g n , t h e s e G u a r d i a n s h a v e b e e n s e e n a s u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y s i n i s t e r f i g u r e s o f f e r i n g a d v i c e w h i c h h e l p s a n i n d i v i d u a l i n t h e i r c a r e t o w a r d s s p i r i t u a l l i f e , b u t e x e r c i s i n g a n a l a r m i n g a m o u n t o f c o n t r o l o v e r t h e i r c h a r g e ' s w i l l . P i n t e r s e e m s t o p a r o d y t h i s c o n c e p t i n G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n ( t h e u n f r o c k e d p r i e s t ) who p r o v i d e a m o r e s i n i s t e r a n d l o w e r - c l a s s d i s t o r t e d m i r r o r i m a g e o f E l i o t ' s u r b a n e c h a r a c t e r s . T h e c o c k t a i l p a r t y h a s b e c o m e a d u b i o u s b i r t h d a y p a r t y . A t t h e e n d o f h i s p l a y , P i n t e r ' s s t r o n g r h y t h m s a n d l a n g u a g e e v e n s e e m t o d e r i v e p a r t l y f r o m E l i o t ' s v e r s e p l a y s t B u t we c a n s a v e y o u . F r o m a w o r s e f a t e . t • • F r o m now o n , w e ' l l b e t h e h u b o f y o u r w h e e l . W e ' l l r e n e w y o u r s e a s o n t i c k e t . ... W e ' l l w a t c h o v e r y o u . A d v i s e y o u . G i v e y o u p r o p e r c a r e a n d t r e a t m e n t . L e t y o u u s e t h e c l u b b a r . K e e p a t a b l e r e s e r v e d . 53 H e l p y o u a c k n o w l e d g e t h e f a s t d a y s . B a k e y o u c a k e s . H e l p y o u k n e e l o n k n e e l i n g d a y s . ( p p . 8 2 - 8 3 ) B u t w h e r e i n E l i o t t h e h e r o a c h i e v e s a s p i r i t u a l r e b i r t h w h i c h i s s e e n a s d e s i r a b l e , i n P i n t e r i t i s a n e x p e r i e n c e w h i c h c a r r i e s w i t h i t t h e h o r r o r o f n i g h t m a r e . W h e r e i n E l i o t i t i s a n o c c a s i o n f o r s o l e m n i t y a n d s o p h i s t i c a t e d l e v i t y , i n P i n t e r i t i s a c c o m p a n i e d b y s e e d y r e a l i s m a n d c o a r s e b e l l y l a u g h t e r . A f t e r t h e r e l a t i v e l y e l a b o r a t e T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y , P i n t e r ' s n e x t p l a y i s a s u r p r i s e i n t h a t i t s s t r u c t u r e r e v e a l s a d r a s t i c p a r i n g d o w n . The Dumb W a i t e r g o e s r i g h t b a c k t o t h e g e r m s i t u a t i o n o f t h e t w o men i n a r o o m . One t a l k s r e s t l e s s l y w h i l e s u p p o s e d l y m a k i n g t e a , w h i l e t h e o t h e r i s l e s s t a l k a t i v e , a n d m o r e i n t e r e s t e d i n h i s n e w s p a p e r t h a n i n h i s c o m p a n i o n . B u t w h e r e T h e Room h a d e x p l o r e d t h e d o m e s t i c p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f t h e s i t u a t i o n , T he Dumb W a i t e r e x p l o r e s t h e new i n t e r e s t t h a t h a d e m e r g e d i n T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y — t h e m y s t e r i o u s h i r e l i n g s o f a n a n o n y m o u s a n d d u b i o u s o r g a n i z a t i o n . The Dumb W a i t e r h a s a s o m e w h a t s i m i l a r s t r u c t u r e t o t h a t o f T h e Room, b u t r e v e a l s a t e n d e n c y t o c u t o u t c h a r a c t e r s a n d i n c i d e n t s , t o p a r e d own a n d t o c o n c e n t r a t e . Y e t t h e p l a y i s l o n g e r t h a n T h e Room. A l t h o u g h i t h a s o n l y t w o c h a r a c t e r s , i t c o v e r s , p a r t l y b y i m p l i c a t i o n , a w i d e r a n g e o f e x p e r i e n c e . W h e r e t h e m a i n c o n c e r n s o f T h e Room w e r e t h e p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n -s h i p s b e t w e e n t h e c h a r a c t e r s , t h e d e s i r e f o r a s e c u r e p l a c e o f o n e ' s own, t h e s t r o n g p u l l o f f a m i l y a n d p a s t r e l a t i o n s h i p s , a n d t h e s u d d e n e r u p t i o n o f p h y s i c a l v i o l e n c e , t h e m a i n c o n c e r n s o f 54 The Dumb Waiter are l e s s domestic — the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Gus and Ben r a i s e s the weighty question of man's w i l l i n g n e s s to k i l l simply because he has been contracted to take orders and ask no questions. This has been the c e n t r a l p o l i t i c a l question of our time ever since the Nuremberg t r i a l s . The very t i t l e of the play emphatically reminds us that the h i r e d k i l l e r s , Gus and Ben, perform a f u n c t i o n s i m i l a r to that of a,dumb-waiter. They are a kind of mechanical device i n a murder organization. They must go up and down the country c a r r y i n g orders. L i k e machines, t h e i r f u n c t i o n i s not to think but to serve. Moreover, i n s o f a r as Ben i s content to wait f o r the k i l l without much thought or t a l k he i s a dumb waiters i n s o f a r as Gus i s s i l l y enough to become a v i c t i m himself by t h i n k i n g while he waits, he i s a dumb waiter. The punning ambiguity of the t i t l e captures the grim farce which emerges as the play progresses. The sudden descents of the contraption w i t h i t s orders f o r e x o t i c f o r e i g n dishes i r o n -i c a l l y at odds with what Gus and Ben can r e a l l y supply, and t h e i r f r a n t i c e f f o r t s to follow orders, r e s u l t i n very funny sequences of a c t i o n . Yet at the same time, while Ben and Gus are lucky i f they can get a cup of tea — they never i n f a c t manage to — the unspecified powers-that-be above are probably w e l l - f e d . Gus suspects that They've probably got a salad, bowl up there. Cold meat, radishes, cucumbers. Watercress. R o l l mops. Pause. Hardboiled eggs. 55 P a u s e . T h e l o t . T h e y ' v e p r o b a b l y g o t a c r a t e o f b e e r t o o . P r o b a b l y e a t i n g my c r i s p s w i t h a p i n t o f b e e r now. D i d n ' t h a v e a n y t h i n g t o s a y a b o u t t h o s e c r i s p s , d i d h e ? T h e y do a l l r i g h t , d o n ' t w o r r y a b o u t t h a t . ( p p . 6 3 - 4 ) T h i s i s n o t m e r e l y t h e v o i c e o f a t i r e d k i l l e r . I t i s t h e v o i c e o f c l a s s d i s c o n t e n t ; i t i s t h e v o i c e o f t h e a r m y p r i v a t e , t h e N a t i o n a l S e r v i c e m a n t a l k i n g o f t h e O f f i c e r ' s M e s s , t h e v o i c e o f t h e a n g r y g e n e r a t i o n o f t h e f i f t i e s , t i r e d o f a u s t e r i t y a n d t h e d e m a n d s o f a n h i e r a r c h i c a l , i m p e r i a l i s t i c p o w e r w h i c h w a s o n t h e w a n e . I t i s t h e v o i c e o f t h e u n i v e r s a l u n d e r - d o g . I n i t s i m m e d i a t e c o n t e x t i t i s v e r y f u n n y . I n t h e o v e r a l l c o n t e x t o f t h e p l a y , i t h a s a c r i t i c a l f o r c e a k i n t o t h a t s o c i a l a n d p o l i t i c a l c o n s c i e n c e we h e a r i n P o p e ' s " A n d w r e t c h e s h a n g t h a t j u r y m e n may d i n e . " I t i s p e r h a p s no a c c i d e n t t h a t w h e n P i n t e r w r o t e t h e s c r e e n p l a y f o r T h e Q u i l l e r M e m o r a n dum, a d e l i b e r a t e l y u n g l a m o r o u s f i l m i n t h e s p y t h r i l l e r g e n r e , he c o n t r a s t e d t h e m o d e s t s a n d w i c h l u n c h o f t h e s e e d y u n d e r l i n g , a c t u a l l y o n t h e j o b i n B e r l i n , w i t h t h e g o u r m e t f a r e o f t h e c u l t i v a t e d t o p p l a n n e r s i n W h i t e h a l l . T h e p o l i t i c a l m e a n i n g o f t h e s t r u c t u r e i s c o m p l e t e d b y t h e f i n a l i r o n i c r e v e r s a l , w h e r e Gus t h e h i r e d k i l l e r a p p e a r s a s Gus t h e v i c t i m . T h o s e who q u e s t i o n t h e p u r p o s e s o f p o w e r , t h o s e who c a n n o l o n g e r k i l l w i t h c o l d d e t e r m i n a t i o n , t h o s e who d a r e t o d e f y t h e d e mands u p o n t h e m b y c o n f e s s i n g t h e i r i n a b i l i t y t o s u p p l y w h a t i s n e e d e d , b e c o m e m e r e l y a s u p e r f l u o u s i n c o n v e n i e n c e a n d m u s t be r e m o v e d . P i n t e r ' s p l a y g i v e s u s a n 56 exemplary parable of t h i s s i t u a t i o n ; but h i s s t r u c t u r e , l i k e that of The Room, i s open-ended. We do not see whether Ben shoots Gus. P i n t e r does not commit himself to p o l i t i c a l optimism or pessimism. But P i n t e r ' s second short play i s a l s o more s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y wrought than the f i r s t . I t shows signs of being d e l i b e r a t e l y a sort of cockney's eye view of Waiting f o r Godot r B e c k e t t - l i k e , P i n t e r begins h i s a c t i o n w i t h comic business over a boot and ends h i s a c t i o n with an i n v i t a t i o n to make a d e c i s i o n which the characters do not a c t u a l l y take. P i n t e r ' s Gus and Ben are not tramps, but t h e i r job keeps them t r a v e l l i n g , with l o n g s p e l l s of w a i t i n g , on the journey towards death. They owe a l l e g i a n c e to a powerful, unspecified and elusi v e boss. Their v i g i l , though, i s enlivened not by a Lucky reduced by Pozzo to a sort of machine, but by a machine which emphasises that Ben and Gus can be seen as reduced by t h e i r job to machine status — and Gus, l i k e Lucky, begins to think. The structure of The Dumb Waiter i s also very much a f a r c i c a l v a r i a t i o n on the suspense t h r i l l e r . Two k i l l e r s await a v i c t i m while various i n c i d e n t s intervene before the climax. The "whodunit" question i s diverted by the r e v e l a t i o n of k i l l e r as v i c t i m . Furthermore, the s i m i l a r i t y of Beckett's Molloy has been noticed by at l e a s t one c r i t i c t ...the whole conception of the play seems to owe a great deal to Beckett's novel Molloy. The pattern i s the same — two men, one with authority over the other, i n p u r s u i t of a t h i r d man — and i n both p l o t s the quantity of unknown f a c t s i s overwhelming. Moran, the 'agent' i n Molloy, knows l i t t l e about the organization that he's working f o r and much of the comedy hinges on the discrep-57 a n c y b e t w e e n t h e g r a v i t y o f t h e m i s s i o n ( v a g u e t h o u g h i t i s ) a n d t h e t r i v i a l i t y o f t h e d i s t r a c t i o n s t h a t g e t i n t h e w a y o f c a r r y i n g i t o u t . I n T h e Dumb W a i t e r , B e n a n d Gus k n o w w h a t t h e y h a v e t o d o , b u t t h e y d o n ' t know w h y , t h e y d o n ' t k n o w who t h e i r v i c t i m s a r e a n d t h e y d o n ' t k n o w w h a t a d v a n t a g e t h e i r d e a t h s a r e t o t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t e m p l o y s t h e m . ? I t i s w o r t h n o t i n g a l s o t h a t P i n t e r , t h r o u g h h i s i d e a o f m a k i n g Gus a v i c t i m , h a s s u c c e e d e d i n t i g h t e n i n g t h e p l o t b y e l i m i n a t -i n g t h e t h i r d a n d l o n g - a w a i t e d p e r s o n . W h e r e a s T h e Room h a d u s e d t h e i n t r u s i o n o f v a r i o u s m i n o r p e r s o n a g e s , t h e s e a r e c u t f r o m t h e l a t e r p l a y a n d r e p l a c e d i n s t e a d b y t h e d u m b - w a i t e r d e v i c e , a d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e s e r v i n g h a t c h w h i c h w a s a n i m p o r t a n t p a r t o f t h e s e t t i n g o f T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y . T h i s m e c h a n i c a l d e v i c e , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e o t h e r m e c h a n -i s m — t h e d e f i c i e n t b a l l c o c k i n t h e l a v a t o r y — p r o v i d e s t h e d i v e r s i o n a r y e p i s o d e s d e f l e c t i n g G u s ' s q u e s t i o n i n g o f t h e p u r p o s e o f t h e j o b s h e a n d B e n a r e c o m m i s s i o n e d t o p e r f o r m . T h e p l o t l e a d s u s t h r o u g h c a r e f u l l y p l a c e d f a r c i c a l e p i s o d e s u n t i l t h e c l i m a x o f r e b e l l i o n w h e n Gus s h o u t s d e f i a n t l y a t t h e u n s e e n m a n i p u l a t o r o f t h e m a c h i n e . The t e n s i o n t h e n d r o p s w h i l e , i n t h e p e n u l t i m a t e s c e n i c u n i t , t h e m a i n m o t i f s o f t h e p l a y a r e r e p e a t e d i n a c o n d e n s e d f o r m . I n t h e f i n a l s c e n i c u n i t , t h e p l a y m o u n t s r a p i d l y t o i t s l a s t - m i n u t e r e v e r s a l , w h i c h r e v e a l s Gus a s t h e n e x t v i c t i m . T h i s s t r u c t u r e i s n e a t , c o n c i s e , e c o n o m i c a l a n d w o r k s p o w e r f u l l y i n p e r f o r m a n c e o n t h e s t a g e . B u t , l i k e t h a t o f The Room, i t h a s w i t h i n i t c e r t a i n i n t e r e s t i n g s y m m e t r i e s . I d i s c e r n t w e n t y - o n e s c e n i c u n i t s . The f i r s t t w o u n i t s e s t a b l i s h 58 w h a t h a s b e c o m e b y now P i n t e r ' s c o n v e n t i o n f o r b e g i n n i n g a p l a y : t w o p e o p l e i n a r o o m , o n e r e a d i n g a n e w s p a p e r o r m a g a z i n e . T h e s l e e p y , b e f u d d l e d Gus g o e s t o t h e W.C. a n d r e -e n t e r s s c r a t c h i n g h i s h e a d ( i n a S t a n L a u r e l / O l i v e r H a r d y r e l a t i o n s h i p t h i s g e s t u r e b e c a m e a m o t i f ) a n d t h e n B e n r e a d s t h e n e w s i t e m a b o u t d e a t h t o t h e a c c o m p a n i m e n t o f f e e d l i n e s f r o m G u s , h i s " s t o o g e . " U n i t t h r e e t h e n r e p e a t s i n c o m p r e s s e d f q r m t h e s u b s t a n c e o f u n i t s o n e a n d t w o . T h e d i a l o g u e i n t h e p l a y i s n o t a s c o n t i n u o u s a s i t i s i n T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y , b u t i s c u t up i n t o c h u n k s p u n c t u a t e d b y many s i l e n c e s a n d t h e f r e q u e n t e x i t s a n d e n t r i e s o f G u s . T h e s e l i t t l e j o u r n e y s s e r v e a l s o t h e p u r p o s e o f g e t t i n g l a u g h s f r o m t h e f a c t o f t h e d e f i c i e n t W . C , e s t a b l i s h Gus a s h i g h l y n e r v o u s a b o u t t h e j o b he h a s t o d o , e m p h a s i z i n g t h e r e s t l e s s n e s s i n Gus w h i c h v e x e s B e n , a n d c r e a t e a s t r u c t u r e i n w h i c h we a c c e p t a s n o r m a l h i s g o i n g o u t a n d r e t u r n i n g , s o t h a t w h e n we g e t t o t h e e n d o f t h e p l a y a n d Gus f i n a l l y r e - e n t e r s a s v i c t i m , i t comes a s a s h o c k , e v e n i f i t i s n o t a t o t a l s u r p r i s e . T h e s n a t c h e s o f d i a l o g u e do n o t n e c e s s a r i l y f o l l o w o n l o g i c a l l y i n a c a u s e a n d e f f e c t p a t t e r n f r o m o n e t o a n o t h e r . I n s t e a d we f i n d l i t t l e s e l f - c o n t a i n e d l i n g u i s t i c " c i r c l e s . " B e n ' s a s t o n i s h e d r e a d i n g s f r o m t h e p a p e r w i t h G u s ' s d u t i f u l e j a c u l a t i o n s o f w o n d e r a r e a n o b v i o u s c a s e . T h e r e a r e e f f e c t i v e r e p e t i t i o n s o f t h i s r o u t i n e : B e n r e a d s a b o u t a man o f e i g h t y - s e v e n r u n o v e r w h e n c r a w l i n g u n d e r a l o r r y ; l a t e r h e r e a d s t h a t a c h i l d o f e i g h t k i l l e d a c a t ; a t t h e e n d o f t h e p l a y , j u s t a f t e r G u s ' s o u t b u r s t s h o u t e d up t h e s p e a k i n g t u b e , a n d B e n ' s h i t t i n g h i m 59 a c r o s s t h e c h e s t , P i n t e r m a k e s t h e m i g n o r e t h e h a t c h w h e n i t f a l l s h a c k i n t o p l a c e a n d i n s t e a d r e p e a t t h e n e w s p a p e r r o u t i n e — h u t t h i s t i m e B e n g i v e s Gus no i n f o r m a t i o n w h a t s o e v e r a b o u t w h a t he i s r e a d i n g , w h i l e G u s ' s r e a c t i o n s a r e m e r e l y d u l l . A s a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e p l a y , he r i s e s a n d g o e s o u t . A l l i s b a c k t o n o r m a l , s a v e t h a t i t i s a n e m p t y r i t u a l o f c o m p a n i o n -s h i p , h a v i n g n o c o n t e n t a n d no r e a l i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p , n o m a t t e r how t e n u o u s . Gus g o e s o u t f o r a d r i n k o f w a t e r , a n d we a s s u m e f r o m t h e l a v a t o r y f l u s h , t o g o t o t h e W.C. a g a i n j u s t a s he d i d b e f o r e . A n d t h e n we g e t t h e s w i f t c l i m a x — t h e s p r i n g o f t h e b e a s t . B u t t h e n e w s p a p e r d i a l o g u e s i n t h e p l a y a l s o p r o v i d e l a u g h t e r , t o g e t h e r w i t h a c e r t a i n s a r d o n i c a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s . T h e n e w s i t e m s a r e a b o u t d e a t h , a n d Gus u s e s h i s c r i m i n a l i n s t i n c t t o s o l v e o n e c r i m e ? GUS. I b e t he d i d i t . B E N . Who? GUS. T h e b r o t h e r . B E N . I t h i n k y o u ' r e r i g h t . P a u s e . ( S l a m m i n g d own t h e p a p e r . ) W h a t a b o u t t h a t , e h ? A k i d o f e l e v e n k i l l i n g a c a t a n d b l a m i n g i t o n h i s l i t t l e s i s t e r o f e i g h t ! I t ' s e n o u g h t o - (p.38) T h e t o n e s o f d i s g u s t a s t h e p o p u l a r m i n d r e a c t s t o t h e s t u n n i n g p e r f i d y o f human n a t u r e a r e p e r f e c t l y c a u g h t s o t h a t we c a n r e v e l i n t h e l o v i n g f i d e l i t y o f P i n t e r ' s e a r f o r p o p u l a r i d i o m . I n r e t r o s p e c t , t h e l i n e s r i n g w i t h i r o n y w h e n we l a t e r r e a l i z e t h e s e men a r e t h e m s e l v e s p r o f e s s i o n a l a s s a s s i n s . The c i r c l e o f l a n g u a g e i s n o t o n l y f u n n y b u t a p a r a d i g m o f a t r a p . I n The B i r t h d a y P a r t y , t h r e e c i r c l e s o f l a n g u a g e 60 m a r k t h e c o m i c s t r u g g l e o f t h e c h e s s - l i k e m a n o e u v r e s t o make S t a n l e y s i t d own a n d t h u s f i x h i m s t e a d y f o r c r o s s - e x a m i n a t i o n . I n T h e Dumb W a i t e r , a c i r c l e o f l a n g u a g e t u r n s up i n t h e f o o t -b a l l c o n v e r s a t i o n ! BEN. ( t o n e l e s s l y ) . T h e y ' r e p l a y i n g a w a y . GUS. Who a r e ? BEN. T h e S p u r s . GUS. T h e n t h e y m i g h t b e p l a y i n g h e r e . BEN. D o n ' t b e s i l l y . GUS. I f t h e y ' r e p l a y i n g a w a y t h e y m i g h t b e p l a y i n g h e r e . T h e y m i g h t b e p l a y i n g t h e V i l l a . B EN. ( t o n e l e s s l y ) . B u t t h e V i l l a a r e p l a y i n g a w a y . P a u s e . A n e n v e l o p e s l i d e s u n d e r t h e d o o r , r i g h t . GUS s e e s i t . (p.44) I t i s f u n n y i n i t s e l f . I t f i x e s t h e l o c a l e o f t h e p l a y a s B i r m i n g h a m o r i t s e n v i r o n s — A s t o n V i l l a i s a l o c a l t e a m t h e r e — a n d a s t h e l a s t l i n e o f d i a l o g u e c l o s e s t h e t r a p o f t h e c i r c l e , s o t h e m y s t e r i o u s p o w e r o u t s i d e t h e b a s e m e n t r o o m b e g i n s t o c l o s e t h e t r a p a r o u n d Gus b y m a k i n g i t s p r e s e n c e f e l t w i t h t h e e n v e l o p e w h i c h i s s l i p p e d u n d e r t h e d o o r . T h e n e x t l i n g u i s t i c c i r c l e i s m o r e e x t e n s i v e , b u t i t w o r k s i n b a s i c a l l y t h e same w a y . I t i s t h e a r g u m e n t a t i v e d i a l o g u e a b o u t l i g h t i n g t h e k e t t l e o r t h e g a s . I t b e c o m e s a h i g h l y f r a u g h t q u a r r e l i n w h i c h B e n f e e l s h i s l e a d e r s h i p a s " s e n i o r p a r t n e r " t o b e c h a l l e n g e d . I t p r o v i d e s t h e f i r s t b i g c l i m a x o f t h e p l a y w h e n B e n g r a b s Gus b y t h e t h r o a t . T h e c i r c l e s e e m s t o h a v e b e e n c o m p l e t e d a s B e n w e a r i l y s a y s P u t o n t h e b l o o d y k e t t l e , f o r C h r i s t ' s s a k e . (p.49) He h a s s a i d w h a t he h a s p r e v i o u s l y d e n i e d i s e v e r s p o k e n . B u t 6 i t h i s i s a d e l a y e d a c t i o n t r a p . A t t h e e n d o f u n i t s i x t e e n , a l m o s t a t t h e e n d o f t h e p l a y , B e n ' s l i n g u i s t i c u s a g e i s c o n f i r m e d h y t h e v o i c e o n t h e o t h e r e n d o f t h e t u b e * B E N . Y o u k n o w w h a t h e s a i d ? L i g h t t h e k e t t l e ! N o t p u t o n t h e k e t t l e ! N o t l i g h t t h e g a s ! B u t l i g h t t h e k e t t l e ! ( p . 6 2 ) T h i s s e t s o f f a n o t h e r c i r c l e — a l m o s t . B u t n o t q u i t e . T h e y c a n n o t f o l l o w t h e o r d e r b e c a u s e Gus p o i n t s o u t t h a t t h e r e i s no g a s . T h e o r d e r f r o m a b o v e w a s f o r t e a , a n d t h i s r e a l l y a n n o y s Gus» GUS. He w a n t e d a c u p o f t e a ! What a b o u t me? I ' v e b e e n w a n t i n g a c u p o f t e a a l l n i g h t ! (p.6 3 ) We a r e r e m i n d e d o f t h e p r e v i o u s a t t e m p t s o f Gus t o g e t t h e t e a made; we a r e f o r c e d t o r e a l i z e t h a t n o t h i n g m u c h h a s y e t h a p p e n -e d ; we a r e i n v i t e d t o c o m p a r e t h e r e l a t i v e p o s i t i o n s o f b o s s a n d u n d e r - d o g . I t i s now t h a t Gus r e v e a l s t h e e x t e n t o f h i s d i s c o n t e n t w i t h t h e s y s t e m i n w h i c h he w o r k s a s a k i l l e r ( c f . t h e a r m e d f o r c e s a s h i r e l i n g s o f t h e n a t i o n ) ; b e c a u s e he t h i n k s t o o m u c h , he m u s t b e t h e n e x t v i c t i m . T h e d e v i c e o f t h e p a r o d y o f c r o s s - e x a m i n a t i o n i n T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y i s n o t u s e d i n T h e Dumb W a i t e r , b u t a s i m i l a r p a r o d y s t r u c t u r e a p p e a r s i n s t e a d . I t i s a p a r o d y o f t h e m i l i t a r y b r i e f i n g i n t h e p a s s a g e w h e r e B e n a n d Gus r e h e a r s e t h e i r k i l l i n g p r o c e d u r e . B u t i n t h i s , t o o , t h e r e i s a c l u e t o G u s ' s f a t e , s i n c e B e n f o r g e t s t h a t Gus w i l l h a v e t o p u l l o u t h i s g u n . T h i s , w h e n c o n s i d e r e d t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e f a c t t h a t B e n s t o p p e d a t n i g h t i n h i s v a n f o r some o b s c u r e m o t i v e c o n n e c t e d w i t h a p r e v i o u s o c c u p a n t o f t h e r o o m a n d t h e f a c t 6 2 t h a t i t i s he who r e c e i v e s t h e f i n a l m e s s a g e o v e r t h e t u b e , s u g g e s t s t h a t B e n c o u l d k n o w t h a t Gus w i l l h e t h e n e x t v i c t i m , a n d t h a t t h e p r e v i o u s o c c u p a n t who h a s s u l l i e d t h e s h e e t s i s p e r h a p s t h e man who s l i p s t h e e n v e l o p e u n d e r t h e d o o r , o p e r a t e s t h e d u m b - w a i t e r a n d e v e n m a n a g e s t o p l a y t h e g r i m j o k e o f f l u s h i n g t h e t o i l e t , w i t h s a t i s f y i n g s u c c e s s . Y e t t h e e n d o f t h e p l a y s u g g e s t s B e n d o e s n o t r e a l i z e Gus i s t o b e o f f e r e d a s t h e n e x t v i c t i m . He c a l l s t o h i m t o h u r r y . S u c h q u e s t i o n s h o w e v e r d o n o t e v e r b e c o m e r e s o l v e d i n t h e p l a y . T h e h i n t - w a i t p a t t e r n o f m o u n t i n g s u s p e n s e p o s e s t h e s e q u e s t i o n s t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e q u e s t i o n s a s t o who i s t h e v i c t i m , w h e n w i l l h e o r s h e a p p e a r , who i s t h e b o s s , a n d w h a t i s h i s o r g a n i z a t i o n . O n l y t h e q u e s t i o n s a b o u t t h e v i c t i m a r e a n s w e r e d . T h e e n d o f t h e p l a y i n f a c t f i n d s i t s c l i m a x i n a t a b l e a u w h i c h p o s e s t h e f u r t h e r , o v e r w h e l m i n g q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r o r no B e n w i l l s h o o t h i s p a r t n e r . T h e s t r u c t u r e i s o n e o f p o s e d a n d d e f l e c t e d q u e s t i o n s , o f m e n a c e d i s s o l v i n g i n t o l a u g h t e r a n d l a u g h t e r h a r d e n i n g i n t o t e n s i o n . T h e m u r d e r r o u t i n e t h e k i l l e r s r e h e a r s e i s a s o r t o f n a s t y t r i c k ; y e t t h r o u g h o u t t h e p l a y t h e y b e c o m e t h e b u t t s o f i r o n i c t r i c k s — t h e f a u l t y l a v a t o r y p l a y s t h e m t r i c k s , t h e d u m b - w a i t e r s e t s t h e m l u d i c r o u s t a s k s w h i l e t h e i r own c u l i n a r y c a p e r s c a n n o t e x t e n d e v e n t o a c u p o f t e a f o r t h e m s e l v e s . T h e game t h e y d i s c u s s i s t h e w o r k i n g - c l a s s game o f s o c c e r ; b u t t h e r o o m c o n t a i n s a p h o t o o f a f i r s t e l e v e n o f c r i c k e t e r s — B e n a n d Gus a s k i l l e r s c e r t a i n l y d o n ' t p l a y c r i c k e t . T h e b a s e m e n t r o o m s e t t i n g o f t h e p l a y a n d t h e d o m i n a -t i o n o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s b y a p o w e r a b o v e m a k e s t h e s t r u c t u r e 63 s u g g e s t i v e o f t h e w a y men f i n d t h e m s e l v e s t o h e r e d u c e d t o p l a y i n g s t a n d a r d p a r t s i n a p o w e r s t r u c t u r e * h i r e d k i l l e r s m u s t o b e y t h e b o s s i n a l l t h i n g s w i t h o u t q u e s t i o n ; b u t s o m u s t s e r v i c e m e n i n t h e a r m e d f o r c e s ; a n d s o m u s t man s u b m i t t o t h e g o d s — i n t h i s c a s e a v e r y a m u s i n g p a r o d y o f t h e d e u s e x m a c h i n a . T h e q u i r k y h u m o u r o f f a t e ' s t r i c k s a n d t h e a w f u l , d i s t u r b i n g j o k e o f d e a t h i t s e l f p r o v i d e s a p e r v a d i n g s e n s e o f i r o n y , a n i r o n y w h i c h i s b u i l t i n t o t h e v e r y s t r u c t u r e b y i t s c l e v e r u s e o f d e l a y e d e x p o s i t i o n . T h e i r o n i e s i n c r e a s e a s we l e a r n t h a t t h e t w o men a r e k i l l e r s . We r e m e m b e r B e n ' s g r i s l y i n t e r e s t i n n e w s o f d e a t h s , a n d G u s ' s s u s p i c i o n s a b o u t t h e c a t m u r d e r e r . I r o n i c a l l y , Gus w a s u p s e t b y t h e k i l l i n g o f t h e g i r l w h o s e d e a t h made s u c h a m e s s . K i l l e r s a r e m e n a c i n g p e o p l e ; y e t t h i s p a i r a r e r e d u c e d t o m a k i n g f o o l s o f t h e m s e l v e s w i t h a d u m b - w a i t e r . P i n t e r m a n i p u l a t e s w i t h g r e a t s u r e n e s s o u r s e n s e o f t h e f a r c i c a l a n d o u r s e n s e o f t h e m a c a b r e . K i l l e r s b e c o m e k i t c h e n h a n d s . P e o p l e who o b e y o r d e r s u n q u e s t i o n i n g l y may b e c o m e a n y t h i n g . C h a r a c t e r s i n a p l a y c a n b e c o m e a n y t h i n g t h a t t h e i r " b o s s , " t h e a u t h o r , d e s i r e s . B u t w h e r e a s some c h a r a c t e r s d o a s t h e y a r e t o l d , p e r f o r m i n g a p l o t f u n c t i o n , o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s s e e m t o d e v e l o p a r o u n d n e s s , a w a y w o r d n e s s o f t h e i r own. T h e l a s t q u e s t i o n o f t h e p l a y i s t h i s * w i l l B e n s h o o t , i . e . w i l l he c o m p l e t e t h e p l o t , o r w i l l he r e f u s e t o c o m p l e t e t h e p l o t ? W i l l he o b e y t h e b o s s o r n o t ? W i l l w h a t -e v e r he may o r may n o t do make h i m a d e v e l o p e d c h a r a c t e r ? A n d o f c o u r s e t h e q u e s t i o n i s n e v e r a n s w e r e d , b e c a u s e t h e w r i t e r h i m s e l f h a s f o u n d a s u f f i c i e n t c l i m a x i n b e i n g c o n t e n t t o p o s e 64 t h i s r i d d l e i n s t a r t l i n g l y v i s u a l t e r m s . T h e o p e n - e n d i n g o f t h e p l a y ' s s t r u c t u r e i s a t o n c e i n t e n s e l y t h e a t r i c a l a n d a l s o a s u b t l e comment o n t h e p r o b l e m s o f t h e d r a m a t i s t ' s p o w e r a n d a r t . L i k e T h e Room, T h e Dumb W a i t e r s t a r t s a t a l e i s u r e l y p a c e w h i c h g a t h e r s momentum t o r e a c h a v e r y s u d d e n f i n a l c l i m a x a t t h e e n d . I n The Room t h e p a c e b e c o m e s v e r y f a s t f r o m t h e moment R o s e d e c i d e s t o s e e t h e v i s i t o r . B u t i n T h e Dumb W a i t e r , t h e p a c e r e a c h e s a f a r c i c a l p e a k i n t h e s y m m e t r i c a l l y r e p e a t e d d e s c e n t s o f t h e c l a m o r o u s d u m b - w a i t e r . T h e p a c e t h e n q u i c k e n s a g a i n t o w a r d s t h e e n d . T h e p l a y h o l d s o u r i n t e r e s t t h r o u g h i t s v a r i e d i n c i d e n t s d e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t t h e r e a r e b u t t w o c h a r a c t e r s r e v e a l e d t o u s . P i n t e r ' s o n e - a c t s t r u c t u r e i n The Room w a s e x p a n d e d i n t h e t h r e e - a c t s t r u c t u r e o f T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y t o a c c o m m o d a t e a d d i t i o n a l c o n c e r n s , s u c h a s t h e r e l a t i o n -s h i p o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s t o a s o c i a l c o n t e x t , a n d t o m o r a l c o n -v e n t i o n s . R e t u r n i n g t o t h e o n e - a c t s t r u c t u r e i n T h e Dumb W a i t e r , P i n t e r w a s a b l e t o c o n s t r u c t w i t h g r e a t c l a r i t y a n d i n t e r e s t , m a k i n g u s e o f s y m m e t r i c a l a r r a n g e m e n t s , c o m p r e s s e d r e p e a t s c e n e s a n d l i n g u i s t i c c i r c l e s , a n d a t t h e same t i m e r e v e a l a n i n c r e a s e d a w a r e n e s s o f h i s own a r t i s t i c p r o c e s s e s . The p a r i n g d o w n a n d c o n c e n t r a t i o n o n t h e q u e s t i o n o f w h a t k i n d o f p l a y c o u l d b e w r i t t e n o n a p a i r o f a g e n t s o f a m y s t e r i o u s o r g a n i z a t i o n s e e m s t o h a v e b e e n a d e l i b e r a t e e x e r c i s e i n h i s a r t . T h e e x e r c i s e s e e m e d t o b e a l e s s o n i n e c o n o m y o f m e a n s . T h u s t h e t e n d e n c y o f P i n t e r t o b u i l d up a n d e x p a n d i n o r d e r t o s e e how f a r a s i t u a t i o n c o u l d b e d e v e l o p e d , a n d t h e o p p o s i t e 65 t e n d e n c y t o t a k e a n a s p e c t o r i d e a a n d k e e p i t s m a l l a n d c o n t r o l l e d , a c h i e v i n g maximum e f f e c t s f r o m d r a s t i c e c o n o m y , b o t h t h e s e a r e e x e m p l i f i e d i n T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y a n d T h e Dumb W a i t e r . B u t i f t h i s i s t r u e , a n d i t i s t o b e c a l l e d a t e n d e n c y , i t m u s t b e r e p e a t e d a g a i n i n t h e r e s t o f h i s s t a g e p l a y s . A f t e r T h e Dumb W a i t e r , t h e n , we s h o u l d e x p e c t t o f i n d a n o t h e r e x p a n -s i o n o f s t r u c t u r e . T h i s t u r n s o u t t o b e p r e c i s e l y t h e c a s e w h e n we come t o e x a m i n e t h e n e x t s t a g e p l a y , T h e C a r e t a k e r . 66 CHAPTER I I I THE CARETAKER AND THE HOMECOMING A l t h o u g h T h e C a r e t a k e r was P i n t e r ' s n e x t s t a g e p l a y , o p e n i n g o n 2 ? A p r i l , i 9 6 0 a t t h e A r t s C l u b T h e a t r e , L o n d o n , he h a d w r i t t e n m e a n w h i l e t h e r a d i o p l a y , A S l i g h t A c h e a n d t h e t e l e v i s i o n p l a y , A N i g h t O u t . He h a d a l s o come up w i t h a , c o u p l e o f r e v i e w s k e t c h e s , T r o u b l e i n t h e W o r k s a n d T h e B l a c k a n d W h i t e . S i n c e t h e s e f o u r i t e m s a r e n o t s t a g e p l a y s , t h e y a r e n o t p r o p e r l y p a r t o f t h i s e n q u i r y , y e t t h e u s e o f l i g h t i n g i n t h e s t r u c t u r e o f T h e C a r e t a k e r s u g g e s t s t h e i n f l u e n c e o f u s i n g f a d e - o u t s w h e n w r i t i n g f o r r a d i o a n d t e l e v i s i o n . I t s e e m s f i t t i n g , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t t h e r a d i o a n d t e l e v i s i o n p l a y s h o u l d a t l e a s t b e m e n t i o n e d h e r e b e f o r e we c o n s i d e r t h e s t r u c t u r e o f T h e C a r e t a k e r i n d e t a i l . I t i s w o r t h r e m e m b e r i n g t o o t h a t T h e C a r e t a k e r w a s P i n t e r ' s f i r s t s t a g e s u c c e s s . W h e r e T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y h a d b e e n d e m o l i s h e d b y t h e r e v i e w e r s ( s a v e f o r w i l y H a r o l d H o b s o n ) , The C a r e t a k e r was f a v o u r a b l y r e v i e w e d i n L o n d o n a n d New Y o r k , a n d r a n w e l l i n b o t h c i t i e s . The L o n d o n s u c c e s s may h a v e h a d s o m e t h i n g t o do w i t h H a r o l d H o b s o n ' s i n f l u e n t i a l l i k i n g f o r P i n t e r ' s w o r k ; i t c o u l d h a v e h a d s o m e t h i n g t o do w i t h t h e t h e a t r i c a l f a s h i o n f o r p l a y s s e t i n s e e d y r a t h e r t h a n d i s t i n g -u i s h e d r o o m s , t h e t r a m p i s h c h a r a c t e r o f D a v i e s b r i l l i a n t l y c r e a t e d b y D o n a l d P l e a s e n c e a n d t h e f a c t t h a t P i n t e r h a d d e v e l o p e d a l o v i n g e a r f o r t h e v i v i d h u m o u r a n d p a t h o s o f a c e r t a i n k i n d o f p o p u l a r i d i o m ; i t m u s t h a v e h a d s o m e t h i n g t o do 67 w i t h t h e f a c t t h a t P i n t e r h a d w r i t t e n a p l a y w h i c h c o u l d w o r k a t b o t h a f a i r l y u n s o p h i s t i c a t e d l e v e l , g i v i n g a p i c t u r e o f r e c o g n i z a b l e l o w e r - c l a s s t y p e s i n a s i t u a t i o n f u l l o f s t r o n g h u m o u r a n d s t r o n g f e e l i n g s , a n d a t a v e r y s o p h i s t i c a t e d l e v e l i n d e e d , g i v i n g p l e n t y t o o c c u p y t h e m i n d s o f a m o s t c u l t i v a t e d a u d i e n c e ; f i n a l l y , i t s s u c c e s s o n t h e s t a g e i n t e r m s o f b o x o f f i c e w a s d o u b t l e s s a s s u r e d b y t h e f a c t , a s t o n i s h i n g t h o u g h i t ' may s e e m , t h a t A N i g h t O u t w a s i n c r e d i b l y s u c c e s s f u l i n i t s t e l e v i s i o n p r o d u c t i o n j u s t t h r e e d a y s b e f o r e T h e C a r e t a k e r o p e n e d i n L o n d o n i P i n t e r i s c o m p u l s i v e v i e w i n g f o r t h e m a s s a u d i e n c e a s w e l l a s f o d d e r f o r t h e i n t e l l e c -t u a l , a n d i t i s a s i g n o f h i s m a j o r t a l e n t t h a t we may s h a r e t h e d r a m a t i c e x p e r i e n c e he o f f e r s a t t h e l e v e l o f o u r c h o i c e . A N i g h t O u t o b t a i n e d t h e t o p r a t i n g o f a l l p r o g r a m m e s o f a l l k i n d s t r a n s m i t t e d d u r i n g t h e w e e k o f i t s p r o d u c t i o n . P o p u l a r i t y o f t h i s o r d e r f o r s u c h o b l i q u e d r a m a i s h a r d t o c r e d i t i n a n a g e o f d i v i d e d c u l t u r e . 1 B u t w h e n a l l t h i s h a s b e e n s a i d , we m u s t n o t f o r g e t t h e o n e s i g n i f i c a n t c h a n g e i n P i n t e r ' s m a n n e r w h i c h made i t e a s i e r f o r T h e C a r e t a k e r t o b e u n d e r s t o o d a n d a c c e p t e d b y t h e a u d i e n c e . P i n t e r h a d a v o i d e d t h o s e t o t a l l y i n e x p l i c a b l e m o t i f s w h i c h w e r e a f e a t u r e o f h i s e a r l i e r p l a y s . We a r e p u z z l e d b y M i c k ' s p r e s e n c e a n d A s t o n ' s c a l m a c c e p t a n c e o f h i m , b u t i t i s s o o n e x p l a i n e d w h e n A s t o n r e v e a l s t h a t t h e y a r e b r o t h e r s . D a v i e s p r e s e n t s a t o t a l l y c o m p e l l i n g a n d c o n v i n c i n g p o r t r a i t o f a p a r t i c u l a r l y u n p l e a s a n t v a g r a n t . B r i t i s h d o s s h o u s e s a n d S a l v a t i o n A r m y H o s t e l s a r e f u l l o f s u c h p a t h e t i c f a i l u r e s . A s t o n ' s b e h a v i o u r i s e x p l i c a b l e i n t e r m s o f g e n u i n e g o o d n a t u r e 6 8 a n d t h e s i m p l i c i t y a n d a l m o s t s o p o r i f i c c a l m a t t e n d a n t u p o n h i s m e n t a l i l l n e s s a n d i t s d r e a d f u l t r e a t m e n t b y e l e c t r i c s h o c k . On a m o r e l i t e r a r y l e v e l , he i s , t o o , r e a d i l y r e c o g -n i z a b l e a s a n o t h e r v e r s i o n o f t h e h o l y f o o l — b u t o n e w h i c h s t o p s s h o r t o f s a i n t h o o d , a l t h o u g h he a c h i e v e s a m o v i n g a n d g e n u i n e c h a r i t y t o w a r d s D a v i e s . M i c k ' s a n t i c s , i t i s t r u e , a r e p r e t t y u n p r e d i c t a b l e , b u t t h e y c a n w i t h o u t d i f f i c u l t y b e s e e n a s c o n s i s t e n t i n t h i s r e s p e c t s M i c k h a s a g o o d r e l a t i o n -s h i p w i t h h i s b r o t h e r A s t o n , a n d s o t e s t s D a v i e s t o f i n d o u t w h e t h e r h e i s l i k e l y t o h a r m h i m . M i c k s e e m s t o a c c e p t D a v i e s ' p r e s e n c e a s a w e l c o m e s i g n t h a t A s t o n i s e a s i n g h i s w a y i n t o t h e n o r m a l w o r l d a g a i n , e s t a b l i s h i n g c o n t a c t w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e . B u t M i c k i s j u s t i f i a b l y a n g r y a n d s u s p i c i o u s t h e m o r e he l e a r n s a b o u t D a v i e s , a n d i s p l e a s e d w h e n A s t o n e v e n t u a l l y m a n a g e s t o g i v e D a v i e s h i s m a r c h i n g o r d e r s . A l t h o u g h he m a n i p u l a t e s D a v i e s i n t o r e v e a l i n g h i s s e l f - c e n t r e d a n d r u t h l e s s d e n i a l o f t h e f r i e n d -s h i p A s t o n h a s s h o w n h i m , M i c k i s s e n s i t i v e a n d s u b t l e e n o u g h n o t t o t h r o w D a v i e s o u t h i m s e l f , o r t o r i s k u p s e t t i n g A s t o n b y t e l l i n g h i m p r e m a t u r e l y t o g e t r i d o f D a v i e s . P i n t e r , t h e o n l y c h i l d , g i v e s u s a c o n v i n c i n g s t u d y o f t w o b r o t h e r s . T h i s s e n s e o f f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s i s v i t a l t o t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p l a y , a n d , i n t e r e s t i n g l y , i t i s a t h e m e P i n t e r d e v e l o p e d f u r t h e r i n h i s n e x t s t a g e p l a y , T h e H o m e c o m i n g . The C a r e t a k e r ' s s t r u c t u r e i s l a r g e r , l o o s e r a n d l e s s o b v i o u s l y s y m m e t r i c a l t h a n t h a t o f t h e p r e v i o u s s t a g e p l a y s , b u t i t c a n be s e e n t h a t t h e r e i s a d o u b l e c y c l e o f r e l a t i o n -s h i p s a t w o r k , e a c h i n v o l v i n g o n e o f t h e b r o t h e r s . A r l e n e S y k e s 69 h a s s h o w n t h a t t h e " b a s i c p a t t e r n o f t h e p l a y f o l l o w s a f a i r l y common a b s u r d i s t s c h e m a , a t w o - f o l d c y c l e o f b r e a k d o w n i n c o m m u n i c a t i o n . I n e a c h c y c l e o n e man t u r n s t o a n o t h e r w i t h h i d e o u s l y m i s t a k e n t r u s t , a n d f a i l s t o s e e , u n t i l i t i s t o o l a t e , t h a t h i s " c o n f i d a n t M r e g a r d s h i m w i t h d e t a c h m e n t , a n d c o n t e m p t , d e - s i . r i n g o n l y t o e x p e l h i m f r o m t h e h o u s e . I n t h e f i r s t o f t h e s e c y c l e s , A s t o n g r a d u a l l y u n f o l d s h i m s e l f , b e -f r i e n d i n g D a v i e s t h r o u g h a s e r i e s o f u n s e l f - c o n s c i o u s a c t s o f c h a r i t y t he h a s r e s c u e d D a v i e s f r o m a v i o l e n t S c o t , b r o u g h t h i m b a c k t o t h e h o u s e a n d p e r m i t t e d h i m t o s t a y , g i v e n h i m i t e m s o f c l o t h i n g , r e t r i e v e d D a v i e s * b a g s u p p o s e d l y , a n d g i v e n h i m m o n e y . I n t h e m i d d l e o f A c t I I A s t o n * s p r o t e c t i o n o f D a v i e s r e a c h e s i t s c l i m a x w h e n he o f f e r s h i m t h e j o b o f c a r e -t a k e r . B y t h i s t i m e a c o n t e x t h a s e v o l v e d i n w h i c h t h i s o f f e r c o m e s a s a p o w e r f u l d r a m a t i c i r o n y , f o r a t t h e e n d o f A c t I we h a d s e e n D a v i e s , a l o n e i n t h e r o o m , b i t i n g t h e . h a n d t h a t f e d h i m b y p r o w l i n g a r o u n d l o o k i n g f o r s o m e t h i n g w o r t h s t e a l i n g f r o m h i s b e n e f a c t o r ; he i s o b l i v i o u s o f t h e f a c t t h a t h i s c o n t e m p t i b l e b e h a v i o u r i s o b s e r v e d b y M i c k , who h a s s e e n e n o u g h t o p u t t w o a n d t w o t o g e t h e r ; M ICK comes i n , p u t s t h e k e y i n h i s p o c k e t , a n d c l o s e s t h e d o o r s i l e n t l y . He s t a n d s a t t h e d o o r a n d w a t c h e s D A V I E S . W h a t ' s he g o t a l l t h e s e p a p e r s f o r ? ( D A V I E S c l i m b s o v e r r o l l e d c a r p e t t o t h e b l u e c a s e . ) H a d a s h e e t a n d p i l l o w r e a d y i n h e r e . (He o p e n s t h e c a s e . ) N o t h i n g . (He s h u t s - t h e c a s e T ) S t i l l , I h a d a s l e e p t h o u g h . I d o n ' t make no n o i s e s . (He l o o k s a t t h e w i n d o w . ) W h a t ' s t h i s ? He p i c k s up a n o t h e r c a s e a n d t r i e s t o o p e n i t . MICK m o v e s u p s t a g e , s i l e n t l y . (p.2~S"] O u r s y m p a t h y f o r D a v i e s i s v e r y l o w ; t h e r e i s a t e n s e g l e e a s 7-0 w e l l a s t h e f e a r o f v i o l e n c e i n u s d u r i n g t h e s e l a s t m o m e n t s o f A c t I . P i n t e r m a k e s t h e u t m o s t o u t o f t h e moment o f c o n f r o n t -a t i o n , t h e s h o c k a n d h u m o u r o f D a v i e s a l m o s t j u m p i n g o u t o f h i s s k i n w i t h s u r p r i s e , t h e q u e s t i o n o f M i c k ' s i d e n t i t y a n d w h y he h a s a k e y t o t h e r o o m , t h e t h r e a t a n d t e n s i o n o f o n e o f P i n t e r ' s s i m p l e s t a n d m o s t e f f e c t i v e c u r t a i n l i n e s i M I C K . W h a t ' s t h e game? (p.29) D a v i e s h a s b e e n s h o w n t o h e a p e t t y t h i e f , a n d M i c k h a s b e e n s h o w n o b s e r v i n g t h e f a c t . I r o n i c a l l y , A s t o n w i l l a s k D a v i e s t o b e c a r e t a k e r . B u t a l o n g s i d e h i s g i v i n g , A s t o n s h o w s h i s t r u s t i n D a v i e s b y b e c o m i n g l e s s m o n o s y l l a b i c , i n c r e a s i n g l y t a l k a t i v e . A t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f A c t I , a f t e r M i c k ' s b i t o f s i l e n t a c t i o n , D a v i e s a n d A s t o n e n t e r , D a v i e s c o n d u c t i n g a v i r t u a l m o n o l o g u e w h i l e A s t o n r e p l i e s m i n i m a l l y a n d o n l y o c c a s l o a l l y . P i n t e r h a s g i v e n h i s s i l e n t c h a r a c t e r t h i s t i m e n o t a n e w s p a p e r t o o c c u p y h i m s e l f w i t h b u t t h e r o l l i n g o f a c i g -a r e t t e a n d t h e f i x i n g o f a t o a s t e r . T h e a c t i v i t y i s c o n v i v i a l r a t h e r t h a n s c r e e n i n g , a n d t h e a s p e c t o f t h e m o n o s y l l a b i c A s t o n i s n o t o n e o f s u p p r e s s e d v i o l e n c e a s i n B e r t H u d d o r B e n t h e g u nman, b u t o f g e n t l e n e s s a n d a w i l l i n g n e s s t o s h a r e w i t h a f e l l o w h uman b e i n g . B y t h e t i m e we h a v e r e a c h e d t h e e n d o f A c t I I , A s t o n h a s p r o v i d e d t h e c l i m a x t o t h e a c t b y h i s e x t r a -o r d i n a r y a n c h o r s p e e c h i n w h i c h he r e v e a l s t o D a v i e s t h a t he h a s b e e n i n a m e n t a l h o s p i t a l a n d u n d e r g o n e e l e c t r i c s h o c k t r e a t m e n t . T h i s i s t h e c l i m a x o f t r u s t i n t h e f i r s t c y c l e , a n d l i g h t i n g h a s i s o l a t e d A s t o n , D a v i e s b e i n g l o s t i n s h a d o w a s i f he i s u n f e e l i n g , a n d u n m o v e d b y w h a t he h e a r s . The s p e e c h i s 7 1 b r i l l i a n t l y p l a c e d t o c o n t r a s t w i t h t h e c l i m a x o f b e t r a y a l we saw a t t h e e n d o f A c t I . I t i s now h o r r i b l y i n e v i t a b l e t h a t D a v i e s w i l l b e t r a y A s t o n * s t r u s t a g a i n — a n d i n A c t I I I he d o e s j u s t t h i s , b y u s i n g A s t o n * s m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n a s a w e a p o n i n a b i d t o e s t a b l i s h h i m s e l f i n M i c k ' s h o u s e ( he b e l i e v e s M i c k now t o b e t h e o w n e r ) a n d o u s t A s t o n . I t i s a t t h i s p o i n t t h a t D a v i e s i s m o s t c o n t e m p t i b l e , a t t e m p t i n g t o s e t b r o t h e r a g a i n s t b r o t h e r . D a v i e s * l o n g t a u n t i n g s p e e c h b e c o m e s o n e l o n g a c t o f v e r b a l s a d i s m a n d b e t r a y a l , a h o r r i f y i n g p r o l o g u e t o h i s d r a w i n g h i s k n i f e o n t h e d e f e n c e l e s s A s t o n : Y o u t h i n k y o u ' r e b e t t e r t h a n me y o u g o t a n o t h e r t h i n k c o m i n g . I k n o w e n o u g h . T h e y h a d y o u i n s i d e o n e o f t h e m p l a c e s b e f o r e , t h e y c a n h a v e y o u i n s i d e a g a i n . Y o u r b r o t h e r ' s g o t h i s e y e o n y o u t T h e y c a n p u t t h e p i n c e r s o n y o u r h e a d a g a i n , man! T h e y c a n h a v e t h e m o n a g a i n ! A n y t i m e . A l l t h e y g o t t o do i s g e t t h e w o r d . T h e y ' d c a r r y y o u i n t h e r e , b o y . T h e y ' d come h e r e a n d p i c k y o u up a n d c a r r y y o u i n ! T h e y ' d k e e p y o u f i x e d ! T h e y ' d p u t t h e m p i n c e r s o n y o u r h e a d , t h e y ' d h a v e y o u f i x e d ! T h e y ' d t a k e o n e l o o k a t a l l t h i s j u n k I g o t t o s l e e p w i t h t h e y ' d k n o w y o u w e r e a c r e a m e r . . . Y o u t h i n k I'm g o i n g t o do y o u r d i r t y w o r k ? H a a a a a h h h h h ! Y o u b e t t e r t h i n k a g a i n ! Y o u w a n t me t o do a l l t h e d i r t y w o r k a l l up a n d down t h e m s t a i r s , j u s t s o I c a n s l e e p i n t h i s l o u s y f i l t h y h o l e e v e r y n i g h t ? N o t me, b o y . N o t f o r y o u b o y . Y o u d o n ' t k n o w w h a t y o u ' r e d o i n g h a l f t h e t i m e . Y o u ' r e up t h e c r e e k ! Y o u ' r e h a l f o f f ! Y o u c a n t e l l i t b y l o o k i n g a t y o u . Who e v e r saw y o u s l i p me a f e w b o b ? T r e a t i n g me l i k e a b l o o d y a n i m a l ! I n e v e r b e e n i n s i d e a n u t -h o u s e ! ASTON m a k e s a s l i g h t move t o w a r d s h i m . D A V I E S t a k e s k n i f e f r o m h i s b a c k p o c k e t . (p.67) A s t o n ' s m o v i n g a n c h o r s p e e c h a t t h e e n d o f A c t I I i s t h u s s a n d -w i c h e d b e t w e e n t h e a t t e m p t e d t h e f t o f A c t I a n d t h i s v i l e r e v e l a -72 t i o n o f D a v i e s * s a d i s m w h e n h e t h i n k s he i s s e c u r e i n t h e j o b w h i c h M i c k h a s b y now o f f e r e d h i m a s c a r e t a k e r ; he i s r e t a l i a t -i n g f o r A s t o n ' s h a v i n g m e r e l y a w a k e n e d h i m t o s t o p h i s n o c t u r n a l g r o a n s — a r e v e n g e o u t o f a l l p r o p o r t i o n t o A s t o n * s m i l d a c t i o n . D a v i e s h a s r e a c h e d t h e l o w e s t p o i n t o f n a s t i n e s s i n t h e p l a y ; h i s s p e e c h s h o w s i n a c t i o n a man who i s b o t h d i s g u s t i n g a n d v i c i o u s . I t p r e p a r e s u s f o r M i c k ' s l a t e r s p e e c h i n w h i c h h e a n a t o m i z e s D a v i e s a s l i t t l e m o r e t h a n a w i l d a n i m a l . I t i s c l e a r , t h e n , t h a t A s t o n ' s b i g a n c h o r s p e e c h a t t h e e n d o f A c t I I i s c l o s e l y b o u n d u p w i t h o t h e r s p e e c h e s a n d s i t u a t i o n s v i t a l t o t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p l a y ; i t i s b y no means t h e i n c o n g r u o u s e f f u s i o n w h i c h H a y m a n 3 t a k e s i t t o b e . A s f i r s t p e r f o r m e d b y P e t e r W o o d t h o r p e a t t h e D u c h e s s T h e a r e (30 May i960) i t s t r u c k J o h n R u s s e l l T a y l o r a s " o u t o f c o n t e x t , b e i n g made i n t o a d i r e c t s e l f - p i t y i n g a p p e a l f o r s e n t i m e n t a l s y m p a t h y , " ^ b u t t h i s w a s a n i m p r e s s i o n c a u s e d b y t h e a c t i n g , f o r t h e s t y l e o f t h e s p e e c h i s i n k e e p i n g w i t h t h e r e s t o f A s t o n ' s r e m a r k s . I t i n v i t e s a d u l l , i m p e r s o n a l d e l i v e r y , s u c h a s R o b e r t Shaw g a v e i t i n t h e f i l m o f T h e C a r e t a k e r . T h e n i t b e c o m e s " l e g i t i m a t e l y t h e c l i m a x o f h o r r o r i n t h e p l a y . R o b e r t S h a w ' s A s t o n was s o p o w e r f u l t h a t t h e r o l e m a i n t a i n e d i t s l e g i t i m a t e b a l a n c e , t o o , a g a i n s t t h a t o f D a v i e s , w h i c h i s , a f t e r a l l , t h e r i c h e s t p a r t i n t h e p l a y , a n d , m o r e o v e r , w h i c h h a d t h e b e n e f i t o f D o n a l d P l e a s e n c e ' s m a g n i f i -c e n t p e r f o r m a n c e . T h i s b a l a n c i n g o f p o w e r f u l r o l e s i s a new d e p a r t u r e f o r P i n t e r . H i s p r e v i o u s s t a g e p l a y s p r e s e n t e d c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r s w i t h m i n o r r o l e s s u r r o u n d i n g t h e m . B u t A s t o n ' s p a r t h a s e n o u g h p o w e r a n d m a g n i t u d e t o make h i s q u i e t , t o n e l e s s d i s -73 m i s s a l o f D a v i e s s o e x t r e m e a n u n d e r s t a t e m e n t a s t o b e g r o t e s -q u e l y f u n n y , d e s p e r a t e l y s a d a n d u t t e r l y f i n a l s ASTON. I . . . I t h i n k i t ' s a b o u t t i m e y o u f o u n d s o m e w h e r e e l s e . I d o n ' t t h i n k w e ' r e h i t t i n g i t o f f . ( p . 6 8 ) A m a z i n g l y , P i n t e r i n v e s t s h i s numb m e n t a l c a s e w i t h a r u e f u l d i g n i t y , a s a d d e n e d d e t e r m i n a t i o n , a s he p i c k s up h i s " f r i e n d ' s " m i s e r a b l e b e l o n g i n g s t o s e n d h i m o n h i s w a y . He h a s d o n e w h a t o n l y a f o o l c a n d o , t a k e o n t h e u n h o l y b u r d e n o f a man n a s t y , b r u t i s h a n d s t i n k i n g ( a s i f o f s i n ) , a n d f o u n d i t , r e g r e t t a b l y , t o o h e a v y . He r e t r e a t s a g a i n i n t o m o n o s y l l a b l e s a n d s i l e n c e . T h e s e c o n d c y c l e o f r e l a t i o n s h i p a n d b r e a k - d o w n o f t r u s t i s t h e i n t e r p l a y b e t w e e n D a v i e s a n d M i c k . A c t I p r e s e n t s u s w i t h a s t r u c t u r e s h o w i n g t h e f r i e n d l y t r e a t m e n t o f D a v i e s b y A s t o n w i t h i n a f r a m e w o r k p r o v i d e d b y t h e a p p e a r a n c e o f M i c k v e r y b r i e f l y a t t h e o p e n i n g , a n d h i s s t e a l t h y r e a p p e a r -a n c e a t t h e c l i m a x w h e n D a v i e s i s a t t e m p t i n g h i s p e t t y p i l f e r -i n g . The D a v i e s / M i c k c y c l e b e g i n s a t t h e moment o f c o n f r o n t a -t i o n b e t w e e n t h e t w o , D a v i e s g u i l t y a n d s c a r e d , M i c k t h r e a t e n -i n g a n d k n o w i n g ; y e t , a s i t t u r n s o u t i n A c t I I , M i c k r e v e r s e s h i s a t t i t u d e s w i f t l y f r o m d i r e c t a c c u s a t i o n t o o b l i q u e m e n a c e a n d t e a s i n g , a c a l c u l a t e d c a t a n d m ouse game. J u s t a s D a v i e s , f r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g o f h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h A s t o n , h a s m e r e l y b e e n u s i n g h i m a n d d e c e i v i n g h i m , s o M i c k , h a v i n g s e e n D a v i e s ' "game" a s p e t t y t h i e f i n a c t i o n f r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e i r i n t e r p l a y , d e c e i v e s D a v i e s , m e r e l y o b s e r v e s h i m a n d e n c o u r a g e s h i m t o c o n f i r m h i s s u s p i c i o n s a n d k n o w l e d g e o f h i m , d i s c o v e r i n g t h e e x t e n t o f h i s d a n g e r o u s n e s s , u n t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s a n d t h a n k l e s s -n e s s . T h e M i c k / D a v i e s c y c l e f o l l o w s b e h i n d t h e A s t o n / D a v i e s c y c l e a l l t h r o u g h t h e p l a y . M i c k ' s p a r a l l e l v e r b a l o n s l a u g h t s ( h e i s g i v e n t h r e e b i g s p e e c h e s ) a n d t w o t e a s i n g a c t i o n s ( f l i c k -i n g t h e t r o u s e r s a n d g r a b b i n g t h e b a g ) w h i c h i n t e r l o c k a n d p r o v i d e t h e m a i n a c t i o n o f t h e f i r s t h a l f o f A c t I I , a m o u n t t o a n o r d e a l o f n e r v e s f o r D a v i e s a n d r e v e a l M i c k ' s c o n t e m p t f o r a n d i n s i g h t i n t o h i s l i e s a n d a c t i o n s : M I C K . Y o u ' r e s t i n k i n g t h e p l a c e o u t . Y o u ' r e a n o l d r o b b e r , t h e r e ' s no g e t t i n g a w a y f r o m i t . Y o u ' r e a n o l d s k a t e . Y o u d o n ' t b e l o n g i n a n i c e p l a c e l i k e t h i s . Y o u ' r e a n o l d b a r b a r i a n . H o n e s t , ( p . 3 5 ) M i c k h a s summed h i m u p c o r r e c t l y . H i s v i c i o u s t e a s i n g o f t h e o l d m a n n o t o n l y e x h i b i t s M i c k ' s t h o r o u g h k n o w l e d g e o f t h e t r a m p ' s "game," i t a l s o r e v e a l s c e r t a i n a s p e c t s o f M i c k ' s own n a t u r e , h i s f a n t a s y , h i s t e n d e n c y t o b e a b i t o f a j o k e r , h i s i r o n y a n d s u p e r i o r c r a f t i n e s s , h i s c r u e l t y a n d v i o l e n c e , a n d h i s o v e r a l l w i l l i n g n e s s t o u s e t h e s e p o w e r f u l r e s o u r c e s i n d e f e n c e o f h i s own p r o p e r t y a n d t h e i n t e r e s t s o f h i s b r o t h e r . S t r u c t u r a l l y , t h e t e a s i n g o r d e a l s f o r m a s e r i e s s e t i n c o n t r a s t t o t h e l i t t l e a c t s o f c h a r i t y p e r f o r m e d b y A s t o n . T h e s e t w o c o n t r a s t i n g s e r i e s b e c o m e j o i n e d a t t h e p o i n t w h e r e a f t e r some t e a s i n g h o r s e p l a y A s t o n g i v e s t h e b a g t o M i c k s o t h a t he may t h e n a t l a s t r e t u r n i t t o D a v i e s . M i c k e v i d e n t l y w i l l n o t t e a s e D a v i e s i f i t i s g o i n g t o u p s e t A s t o n , ( p . 3 9 ) M i c k ' s n e x t e n c o u n t e r w i t h D a v i e s o c c u r s i n t h e d a r k . I t i s v a g u e l y r e m i n i s c e n t o f t h e game o f b l i n d man's b u f f i n The B i r t h d a y P a r t y . G o l d b e r g a n d M c C a n n , b y f r i g h t e n i n g a n d 75 h u m i l i a t i n g S t a n l e y , p r e c i p i t a t e h i s b r e a k d o w n a n d d r a g h i s m a d n e s s o u t o f h i m i n t o t h e l i g h t . M i c k , b y t e r r i f y i n g D a v i e s w i t h t h e e l e c t r o l u x v a c u u m c l e a n e r , f o r c e s h i m t o b r i n g o u t a l l h i s d e f e n c e s . T h e t r i c k i s e f f e c t i v e , f o r i t r e v e a l s t h a t D a v i e s c a r r i e s a k n i f e . I t a l s o b e a r s a s y m m e t r i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e p r e v i o u s c l i m a x o f f e a r w h e n M i c k h a d j u m p e d o u t o n D a v i e s i n A c t I . M i c k now w o r k s o n D a v i e s m o r e s u b t l y , b y i m p l i c a t i o n a n d i r o n y . He r u b s i n t h e f a c t t h a t D a v i e s i s m e r e l y a v i s i t o r , a n d s h o u l d o r d i n a r i l y p a y r e n t s M I C K . I'm s o r r y i f I g a v e y o u a s t a r t . B u t I h a d y o u i n m i n d t o o , y o u k n o w . I m e a n , my b r o t h e r ' s g u e s t . We g o t t o t h i n k o f y o u r c o m f o r t , e n ' t we? D o n ' t w a n t t h e d u s t t o g e t up y o u r n o s e . How l o n g y o u t h i n k i n g o f s t a y i n g h e r e , b y t h e w a y ? A s a m a t t e r o f f a c t , I w a s g o i n g t o s u g g e s t t h a t w e ' d l o w e r y o u r r e n t , make i t j u s t a n o m i n a l sum, I m e a n u n t i l y o u g e t f i x e d u p . J u s t n o m i n a l , t h a t ' s a l l . P a u s e . S t i l l , i f y o u ' r e g o i n g t o b e s p i k y , I ' l l h a v e t o r e c o n s i d e r t h e w h o l e p r o p o s i t i o n . (p.46) M i c k ' s b i t t e r h u m o u r i s e i t h e r l o s t o n D a v i e s , o r e l s e he f e e l s t o o s e c u r e i n h i s a b i l i t y t o m a n i p u l a t e t h e t r u s t f u l A s t o n , w h o h a s a l r e a d y o f f e r e d h i m t h e j o b o f c a r e t a k e r , t o be s e n t p a c k i n g t h i s e a s i l y . M i c k now c u n n i n g l y c h a n g e s h i s t a c t i c s , a n d f e i g n s a d m i r a t i o n o f D a v i e s * s t u r d y s e l f - d e f e n c e : he o f f e r s h i m f o o d , e n c o u r a g i n g h i m t o f e e l s e c u r e . I t w o r k s . D a v i e s b e g i n s s p e c u l a t i n g a b o u t A s t o n . M i c k i s q u i c k t o s e e a n o p p o r -t u n i t y t o b r i n g o u t D a v i e s ' t r u e a t t i t u d e s , a n d s o a s k s h i s a d v i c e a b o u t A s t o n , a p p e a l i n g t o t h e t r a m p ' s v a n i t y w i t h i r o n y 76 w h e n he c a l l s h i m " a man o f t h e w o r l d . " H i s i r o n i c a n a l y s i s o f A s t o n a s w o r k - s h y w h i c h e l i c i t s D a v i e s ' s a g e l y h y p o c r i t i c a l a g r e e m e n t i s a c o m i c gem. M i c k ' s o f f e r o f t h e j o b o f c a r e t a k e r now c o m e s o u t , m a k i n g a n o t h e r c o n t r a s t i n g p a r a l l e l w i t h t h e e a r l i e r o f f e r i n t h e A s t o n / D a v i e s c y c l e . M i c k ' s o f f e r i s b a c k e d b y t h e a s s u r a n c e t h a t he i s t h e r e a l a n d l e g a l o w n e r o f t h e p r e m i s e s . D a v i e s h a s r e c o g n i z e d t h a t A s t o n i s m e n t a l l y d i s t u r b e d a n d u n w o r l d l y , w h e r e a s M i c k i s , t h o u g h u n p r e d i c t a b l e , s t r o n g a n d o b v i o u s l y i n command. W h e r e he h a d n o t t r u s t e d i n t h e o f f e r w h e n i t came f r o m A s t o h a n d h a d r e p l i e d e v a s i v e l y , w h e n i t c o mes f r o m M i c k h e s e e s i t a s a r e a l e v e n t u a l i t y , c r e d i b l e e n o u g h t o a c c e p t . M i c k e n j o y s g i v i n g D a v i e s a p a r o d y o f a n i n t e r v i e w , w i t h t a l k o f r e f e r e n c e s , s t i p e n d a n d s o l i c i t o r . M i c k s e e m i n g l y t r u s t s D a v i e s . D a v i e s i s d e c e i v e d i n t o t r u s t i n g M i c k . When A s t o n c o m e s i n a n d e n d s t h e a c t w i t h h i s m a d h o u s e s p e e c h he i s a t t h e p e a k o f h i s t r u s t o f D a v i e s . T h e two c y c l e s r e a c h a c l i m a x o f t r u s t a n d d e c e p t i o n i n A c t I I a n d i n t e r l o c k i n a p a r t i c u l a r way* A s t o n t r u s t s D a v i e s who t r u s t s M i c k ; M i c k d e c e i v e s D a v i e s who d e c e i v e s A s t o n . I n A c t I I I D a v i e s f e e l s s e c u r e e n o u g h i n h i s d i s a s t r o u s l y m i s p l a c e d t r u s t t o b i t e t h e h a n d t h a t f e e d s h i m b y c r i t i c i s i n g A s t o n t o M i c k a n d t r y i n g t o o u s t h i m i n w h i n i n g v o l l e y s o f c o m p l a i n t . F o r t h e o f f e r o f h e l p a s c a r e t a k e r a n d now d e c o r a t o r h e e x p e c t s M i c k t o a c c e p t h i s d e n i a l t h a t A s t o n i s h i s f r i e n d , h i s c h a r g e t h a t A s t o n h a s no f e e l i n g s , a n d h i s s u g g e s t i o n t h a t M i c k s h o u l d " t a l k t o h i m . " When t h e d o o r s l a m s , M i c k r i s e s a n d e x i t s q u i c k l y w i t h a n a m b i g u o u s l i n e w h i c h s h o w s t h a t he may 77 w e l l t a l k t o A s t o n , b u t n o t i n t h e w a y t h a t D a v i e s i m a g i n e s * M I C K . Y e s . . . m a y b e I w i l l . A d o o r b a n g s * M I C K r i s e s , g o e s t o t h e d o o r a n d e x i t s . D A V I E S . W h e r e a r e y o u g o i n g ? T h i s i s h i m t S i l e n c e , (p.64) P i n t e r t h u s m a k e s i t p o s s i b l e f o r us t o i m a g i n e t h a t M i c k h a s i n d e e d g o n e t o w a r n A s t o n b r i e f l y t h a t D a v i e s i s t h o r o u g h l y u n t r u s t w o r t h y , o r e l s e t h a t he i s s i m p l y g e t t i n g o u t o f t h e w a y q u i c k l y s o t h a t A s t o n w i l l e n c o u n t e r D a v i e s a l o n e . I n a n y c a s e , b y j u x t a p o s i n g t h e t w o s y s t e m s o f t r u s t a n d d e c e p t i o n P i n t e r a c h i e v e s m o v i n g i r o n y . A f t e r D a v i e s ' w r e t c h e d b e h a v i o u r w i t h M i c k , A s t o n now c o m e s i n w i t h a n o t h e r p a i r o f s h o e s he h a s m a n a g e d t o o b t a i n f o r h i s " f r i e n d . " D a v i e s i s p r e d i c t a b l y u n g r a t e f u l . A s t o n * s d i s m i s s a l o f D a v i e s f o r m s t h e c l i m a x a n d t u r n i n g p o i n t o f t h e f i r s t p a r t o f A c t I I I , l e a d s t o t h e n e x t r e v e r s a l a s D a v i e s r e v e a l s he i s M i c k ' s c a r e t a k e r , p l a y s o n A s t o n * s f e e l i n g f o r M i c k a n d c o n t e m p t i b l y h u r l s t h e " s h e d i n s u l t " a t A s t o n . T h i s p h a s e o f t h e A s t o n / D a v i e s c y c l e i s now f o l l o w e d b y t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g p h a s e i n t h e M i c k / D a v i e s c y c l e . D a v i e s now t a k e s h i s f u r t h e r c o m p l a i n t s t o M i c k who g i v e s h i m e n o u g h v e r b a l r o p e t o t h r o t t l e h i m s e l f , a n d p l a y s c a t a n d m o u s e a g a i n u n t i l D a v i e s h a s a s k e d h i m t o t h r o w h i s own b r o t h e r o u t , a n d s e n d h i m b a c k w h e r e he came f r o m b e c a u s e he i s " n u t t y . " M i c k ' s c o n t r o l l e d r a g e , s h a c k l e d b y i r o n y , i s c o o l l y e f f e c t i v e a s he s p e c u l a t e s o n t h e l e g a l r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n h i m s e l f a n d h i s b r o t h e r a s l a n d l o r d a n d t e n a n t , t o y s w i t h D a v i e s ' p o t e n t i a l -i t y a s a d e c o r a t o r a n d t h e n f i n a l l y u n l e a s h e s a l l h i s l o a t h i n g f o r t h e m i s e r a b l e l i t t l e man i n t h e b r i l l i a n t c y n i c i s m o f t h e 7 8 a n a t o m y - o f - a - t r a m p s p e e c h . T h i s i s a s o r t o f i n f e r n a l p a r o d y o f t h a t a n c i e n t hymn t o man's n a t u r e w h i c h a r i s e s i n S o p h o c l e s ' A n t i g o n e , a n d r e a p p e a r s i n R e n a i s s a n c e g u i s e i n H a m l e t ' s f a m o u s "What a p i e c e o f w o r k e i s a man!" P i n t e r ' s t o n e i s v i r u l e n t l y c o l l o q u i a l , a n d d e c e p t i v e l y s i m p l e . T h e s p e e c h , l i k e t h e s i m p l e t r i a n g l e s i t u a t i o n o f t h e p l a y i t s e l f , r a i s e s e n o r m o u s q u e s t i o n s a b o u t t h e n a t u r e o f man, a n d t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h we c a n e v e r b e o u r b r o t h e r ' s k e e p e r , a n d , u l t i m a t e l y , w h e t h e r i n o r d e r t o b e g o o d we n e e d t o b e a l i t t l e mad, t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e c o n v e r s e t h a t s e l f - p r o t e c t i o n d e m a n d s a c e r t a i n . r u t h l e s s n e s s t M I C K . What a s t r a n g e man y o u a r e . A r e n ' t y o u ? Y o u ' r e r e a l l y s t r a n g e . E v e r s i n c e y o u came i n t o t h i s h o u s e t h e r e ' s b e e n n o t h i n g b u t t r o u b l e . H o n e s t . I c a n t a k e n o t h i n g y o u s a y a t f a c e v a l u e . E v e r y w o r d y o u s p e a k i s o p e n t o a n y n u m b e r o f d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n s . M o s t o f w h a t y o u s a y i s l i e s . Y o u ' r e v i o l e n t , y o u ' r e e r r a t i c , y o u ' r e j u s t c o m p l e t e -l y u n p r e d i c t a b l e . Y o u ' r e n o t h i n g e l s e b u t a w i l d a n i m a l , w h e n y o u come down t o i t . Y o u ' r e a b a r b a r i a n . A n d t o p u t t h e o l d t i n l i d o n i t , y o u s t i n k f r o m a r s e - h o l e t o b r e a k f a s t t i m e . L o o k a t i t . Y o u come h e r e r e c o m m e n d i n g y o u r -s e l f a s a n i n t e r i o r • d e c o r a t o r , w h e r e u p o n I t a k e y o u o n , a n d w h a t h a p p e n s ? Y o u make a l o n g s p e e c h a b o u t a l l t h e r e f e r e n c e s y o u ' v e g o t d own a t S i d c u p , a n d w h a t h a p p e n s ? I h a v e n ' t n o t i c e d y o u go down t o S i d c u p t o o b t a i n t h e m . I t ' s a l l m o s t r e g r e t t a b l e b u t i t l o o k s a s t h o u g h I'm c o m p e l l e d t o p a y y o u o f f f o r y o u r c a r e t a k i n g w o r k . H e r e ' s h a l f a d o l l a r , ( p p . 7 3 - 4 ) T h e s p e e c h i s c r u d e o n t h e s u r f a c e . B u t b e s i d e t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s a l r e a d y d i s c u s s e d t h e r e i s t h e s u b t l e t y t h a t P i n t e r d o e s n o t make M i c k r e f e r t o t h e w a y D a v i e s h a s t a k e n a d v a n t a g e o f h i s b r o t h e r , A s t o n . A n d t h e r e i s t h e one w o r d s e n t e n c e " H o n e s t " a g a i n — t h a t c o l l o q u i a l i s m w h i c h h a d a p p e a r e d a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f A c t I I w h e n M i c k t o l d D a v i e s e x a c t l y w h a t he t h o u g h t o f h i m 79 f o r h i s a t t e m p t a t t h e f t . T h e w o r d l i n k s t h e t w o s p e e c h e s , a n d g i v e s u s t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o r e m e m b e r t h e p r e v i o u s s p e e c h a n d how r i g h t M i c k ' s f i r s t i m p r e s s i o n s h a d b e e n . M i c k p i c k s u p t h e s t a t u e o f B u d d h a . A t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e p l a y i t h a d made D a v i e s e v i d e n t l y f e e l u n e a s y w h e n he e n c o u n t e r e d i t a m o n g t h e d e b r i s o f t h e r o o m , p r o m p t i n g h i s e m p h a t i c a s s e r t i o n t h a t h e h a d d i n e d o f f t h e f i n e s t p l a t e s . B e n e a t h h i s l i n e , o n e f e e l s t h e d i s c o m f o r t o f t h e l o w l y a m ong t h e p r o d u c t i o n s o f h i g h c i v i l i z a t i o n . T h e s t a t u e s u g g e s t s h i g h a r t , a n d a l s o m o r a l g o o d n e s s . I f t h e j u m b l e d d e b r i s o f t h e r o o m i s a p a r a d i g m o f A s t o n ' s b e i n g , t h e B u d d h a i s t h a t a m i a b l e c h a r i t y we s e e i n h i m . When D a v i e s ' c r i n g i n g , i n g r a t e t o n e s s t r i k e M i c k ' s e a r s , h i s v i o l e n c e i s u n l e a s h e d , he t h r o w s d o w n a n d s m a s h e s t h e B u d d h a . C a l m , r e p o s e , g o o d n e s s h a v e g o n e . A s t o n ' s c h a r i t y h a s g o n e , a s we saw w h e n h e t o l d D a v i e s t o g o . M i c k e m o t i o n a l l y g i v e s up h i s o w n e r s h i p o f t h e h o u s e , a s i t w e r e , t o A s t o n a n d t h u s n e a t l y r e v e r s e s t h e p o w e r b a l a n c e . D a v i e s i s now " u n e m p l o y e d " a n d a b a n d o n e d t o A s t o n ' s d e c i s i o n . T h e M i c k / D a v i e s c y c l e i s a t a n e n d t o o . A f t e r t h e e m o t i o n a l r e l e a s e a n d c l i m a x , t h e r e i s a s i g n i f i c a n t b u t v e r y b r i e f e n c o u n t e r b e t w e e n t h e b r o t h e r s ; i t i s a s p e e c h l e s s moment, d e m o n s t r a t i n g s i l e n t u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d k i n s h i p s ASTON comes i n . He c l o s e s t h e d o o r , m o v e s i n t o t h e r o o m a n d f a c e s MICK. They l o o k a t e a c h o t h e r . B o t h a r e s m i l i n g , f a i n t l y . F o r a moment o n e s e n s e s a p e r f e c t c o m p l i c i t y . T h e r e p o s e o f t h e B u d d h a s e e m s t o be i n t h e m , a n d i n t h e i r f e e l i n g f o r e a c h o t h e r . W o r d s a r e n o t now n e c e s s a r y b e t w e e n t h e m , a n d M i c k ' s 80 v o i c e t r a i l s o f f i n t o s i l e n c e a s h e g o e s o u t . B o t h c y c l e s m e e t t h u s a t t h i s p o i n t o f s t a s i s i n t h e s t r u c t u r e . A l l t h a t r e m a i n s t o t h e e n d o f t h e a c t i s a s o r t o f c o d a i n w h i c h t h e b r i e f e x c h a n g e s b e t w e e n A s t o n a n d D a v i e s a b o u t t h e b e d s a n d t h e s h e d b o t h e n d i n r e b u f f s f o r D a v i e s . T h e y a r e s y m m e t r i c a l l y p l a c e d b e t w e e n t h e t w o m o n o l o g u e s o f D a v i e s w h i c h f r a m e t h e s c e n e , t h e f i r s t a t e n t a t i v e o v e r t u r e d u r i n g w h i c h h e g a i n s e n o u g h h o p e a n d c o n f i d e n c e t o t r y , e v e n now, t o g e t A s t o n t o s l e e p i n t h e d r a u g h t y b e d , t h u s g e t t i n g o u t o f h i s d e p t h a g a i n ; t h e s e c o n d a p l e a f o r s y m p a t h y w h i c h g e t s s l o w e r , m o r e s e l f - p i t y i n g , m o r e p a i n f u l u n t i l i t b r e a k s o f f , u n f u l f i l l e d , i n t o l o n g s i l e n c e a n d a t a b l e a u o f r e j e c t i o n w h i c h i s t h e p r e c i s e o p p o s i t e o f A s t o n ' s k i n d n e s s a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f A c t I . A n o t h e r k i n d o f b a l a n c e e x i s t s b e t w e e n t h e b e g i n n i n g a n d t h e e n d o f t h e p l a y , a n d i t i s a n i m p o r t a n t o n e , b e c a u s e i t i n v o l v e s t i m e . L i k e T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y , t h e t i m e o f d a y f o r t h e b e g i n n i n g o f A c t I i s t h e same a s t h e t i m e o f d a y a t t h e e n d o f A c t I I I . W h e r e i t w a s m o r n i n g i n T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y , i t i s e v e n i n g i n T h e C a r e t a k e r . B u t t h e r e i s a m o r e i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t o f t h e u s e o f t i m e i n t h e s t r u c t u r e o f The C a r e t a k e r , f o r i t i s a n i n n o v a t i v e o n e . I n t h e e a r l i e r s t a g e p l a y s , P i n t e r o b s e r v e s u n i t y o f t i m e i n T h e Room a n d T h e Dumb W a i t e r t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t t h e . t i m e o f t h e a c t i o n i s s e q u e n t i a l a n d e x a c t l y c o i n c i d e s w i t h t h e p e r f o r m a n c e t i m e . I n T h e B i r t h d a y P a r t y , t i m e i s a g a i n s e q u e n t i a l , a n d t h e r e i s o n l y a p a s s a g e o f a f e w h o u r s b e t w e e n e a c h a c t , s o t h a t t h e 81 t o t a l a c t i o n i s w i t h i n t h e l i m i t s o f t h e o l d t w e n t y - f o u r h o u r s r u l e f o r u n i t y o f t i m e . A c c o r d i n g t o t h i s c o n v e n t i o n , we e a s i l y a s s u m e t h a t d u r i n g t h e b r i e f m i n u t e s o f t h e i n t e r v a l s , l o n g h o u r s h a v e e l a p s e d w i t h i n t h e a r t i f i c i a l w o r l d o f t h e p l a y . B u t i n T h e C a r e t a k e r P i n t e r h a s s t r u c t u r e d h i s a c t b r e a k s i n a s u r p r i s i n g w a y . B e t w e e n A c t s I a n d I I o n l y a f e w s e c o n d s h a v e e l a p s e d i n t h e t e n o r f i f t e e n m i n u t e s o f o u r t i m e , w h i l e b e t w e e n A c t s I I a n d I I I , o u r i n t e r v a l r e p r e s e n t s a g a p o f t w o w e e k s * T h i s d e l i b e r a t e c o n t r a s t d r a w s a t t e n t i o n t o t h e d i s p a r i t y b e t w e e n s t a g e a n d r e a l t i m e . A c t s I I a n d I I I o f t h e p l a y a r e a l s o d i s t i n g u i s h e d b y t h e f a c t t h a t e a c h i s c u t i n t o t h r e e p a r t s b y t w o p a r a l l e l l i g h t i n g e f f e c t s . I n A c t I I t h e r e a r e t h e t w o f a d e s t o b l a c k o u t w h i c h o c c u r a f t e r k e y s p e e c h e s b y D a v i e s , t h e f i r s t w h e n he r e v e a l s t h a t h i s name i s a s s u m e d , t h e s e c o n d w h e n he b e g s M i c k t o b r i n g h i m a p a i r o f s h o e s a f t e r he h a s b e e n a p p o i n t e d t o a n d a c c e p t e d t h e j o b o f c a r e t a k e r . I n A c t I I I t h e r e a r e t w o q u i c k b l a c k o u t s , b o t h o f w h i c h f o l l o w l i n e s b y D a v i e s , t h e f i r s t e m p h a s i z i n g t h e f a c t t h a t A s t o n h a s g o n e l e a v i n g D a v i e s t a l k i n g t o h i m s e l f , t h e s e c o n d m a r k i n g a r e v e r s e s i t u a t i o n w h e n D a v i e s e x i t s a n g r i l y d a r k l y t h r e a t e n i n g t o r e v e n g e h i s e x p u l s i o n w i t h t h e l i n e "Now I know who I c a n t r u s t . " (p.69) T h e s e f a d e s a n d b l a c k o u t s a l l m a r k t h e p a s s a g e o f t i m e w i t h i n t h e a c t s . I n A c t s I a n d I I , m o r e o v e r , t h e r e a r e f a d e s t o b l a c k o u t m a r k i n g t h e p a s s a g e o f t i m e f r o m n i g h t t o m o r n i n g , w h i c h m o r e t r a d i t i o n a l l y m i g h t b e e x p e c t e d t o o c c u r a t a n i n t e r v a l . P i n t e r h a s n e e d e d t o s h u t t l e h i s c h a r a c t e r s i n a n d o u t a s t h e two s t r u c t u r a l c y c l e s make i r o n i c c o u n t e r -82 p o i n t , a n d t h e t i m e s e q u e n c e s h a v e n o t b e e n a m e n a b l e t o t i d y p r o g r e s s i o n w i t h i n t h e a c t s . Y e t t h e b l a c k o u t s a r e n o t m e r e l y a s u b s t i t u t e f o r t h e m o r e c o n v e n t i o n a l s c e n e d i v i s i o n . T h e y s e e m t o owe s o m e t h i n g t o t h e f a d e s a n d d i s s o l v e s a n d c r o s s - c u t s o f t h e m e d i a o f r a d i o a n d t e l e v i s i o n d r a m a . I t may b e o b j e c t e d t h a t t h e a c t d i v i s i o n s t h u s s h o w a c e r t a i n u n s u r e n e s s a n d a l a c k o f s t r u c t u r a l c o h e s i o n . T h e d o u b l e c y c l e h a s t a k e n n o t t w o a c t s b u t , s u r p r i s i n g l y , t h r e e i n w h i c h t o u n f o l d . T h e b r e a k o n M i c k ' s q u e s t i o n a t t h e e n d o f A c t I s e e m s a c u r i o u s o n e — i t w o u l d p e r h a p s h a v e b e e n m o r e l o g i c a l t o h a v e t h e b r e a k e l s e w h e r e . B u t t h e moment i s a s u b t l e o n e , t h e a u d i e n c e i s g i v e n a n i n t e r v a l i n w h i c h t o t a k e i t i n a n d l i v e o n t h e s u s p e n s e e n t a i l e d i n t h e l i n e , a n d i n t h e s i t u a t i o n , a n d t h e q u e s t i o n o f M i c k ' s i d e n t i t y . I t s e e m s l i k e t h e same o l d P i n t e r ? t h e n we r e t u r n t o o u r s e a t s a n d f i n d t h a t i n s t e a d o f l e a v i n g u s m y s t i f i e d , P i n t e r e x p l a i n s M i c k ' s p r e s e n c e . We r e c o g n i z e a m o v e m e n t a w a y f r o m t h e e a r l y k i n d o f m y s t i f i c a t i o n t o w a r d s a h i n t e r e s t i n t h e r i c h i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e s i t u a t i o n a n d t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s f o r t h e i r own s a k e s , t h o u g h we a r e s t i l l i n t h e w o r l d w h e r e we c a n n o t b e l i e v e e v e r y t h i n g a c h a r a c t e r s a y s . I n T h e C a r e t a k e r , a s t h e t i t l e i m p l i e s , P i n t e r ' s s t r u c t u r e s u c c e e d s i n d r a m a t i z i n g t h e s h i f t s o f p s y c h i c c o n f l i c t i n a s t r a n g e t r i a n g l e o f g u a r d i a n s h i p , w h e r e M i c k a c t s a s a b r o t h e r l y w a t c h e r o v e r A s t o n , a n d A s t o n w a t c h e s o v e r D a v i e s , w h i l e D a v i e s t r i e s t o w a t c h o u t f o r h i m s e l f b y p l a y i n g up t o e a c h b r o t h e r i n t u r n a n d p r e t e n d i n g t h a t he c o u l d b e c o m e a c a r e t a k e r , w a t c h -i n g o v e r t h e r o o m . M i c k ' s s t r a i n a t w a t c h i n g o v e r A s t o n p e r h a p s 8 3 comes out i n h i s speech i n -which he t e l l s Davies he w i l l no longer bother with the house and i t s mess; t h i s contrasts s t a r k l y with his grandiose schemes f o r an i n t e r i o r decor i n the manner of Homes and Gardens magazine. Davies* expulsion from the t r i a n g l e r e l a t i o n s h i p i s comparable to the appear-ance of the same syndrome i n A S l i g h t Ache and The Dwarfs, and, moreover, i t foreshadows the l a t e s t of P i n t e r ' s plays f o r the stage, Old Times. Another s t r u c t u r a l feature of The Caretaker i s the lar g e number of l o n g i s h anchor speeches. These a t t e s t to the way the power c o n f l i c t s between the characters operate i n terms of language and s i l e n c e . Aston i s at h i s weakest i n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Davies when he confesses about the mental h o s p i t a l . Davies i s s i l e n t l y t h i n k i n g , and uses his knowledge l a t e r . Mick i s able to demolish the c r i n g i n g Davies, on the other hand, wi t h h i s t o r r e n t s of exuberant language, p r o v i d i n g a s e r i e s of comic tours de force which have become j u s t l y famous, and which i n t h e i r s u r r e a l f l i g h t s a n t i c i p a t e The Homecoming. Aston's s i l e n c e at the end i s more powerful than Davies' words. Davies' words become a weapon which Mick simply turns against him. The words reveal Davies; but Mick uses them to hide behind. The s i l e n t smile between the brothers reveals the strength of the bond which holds them together. The structure of The Caretaker i s a s t r i k i n g change from the t i g h t one act form.of The Dumb Waiter. The t h r i l l e r element has gone, and the crazy violence of The Birthday Party has been toned down, though the mental disorder s t i l l remains. The struggle f o r the room between the three male characters i s complicated by the f a c t o r of family k i n s h i p . Out of t h i s basis 84 P i n t e r elaborates an i n t e r e s t i n g double c y c l e s t r u c t u r e which s t r e t c h e s , perhaps a l i t t l e too d i f f u s e l y , over three a c t s . But the t h i r d act of The Caretaker i s not f a i r l y evenly a n t i -c l i m a c t i c i n e f f e c t as i s that of The B i r t h d a y Party. The c y c l e s of breakdown of communication inter-connect to provide p i v o t a l i r o n i e s and r e v e r s a l s , and are accompanied by a new element i n h i s work f o r the stage: the experimental manipulation of time s h i f t s and l i g h t i n g which may owe something to h i s work f o r r a d i o and t e l e v i s i o n . There i s thus revealed a t e n s i o n between r e a l and i l l u s o r y time. The i l l u s o r y world of the p l a y i s , i n f a c t , P i n t e r a t h i s most r e a l i s t i c , so t h i s s l i g h t emphasis on i l l u s i o n forms a kind of counterweight. Within t h i s play, we r e a l i z e , P i n t e r has b u i l t up and explored through t h e i r v arious i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p s three characters each of whom nurses an i l l u s i o n . Davies nurses the i l l u s i o n of g e t t i n g himself sor t e d out once he can get to Sidcup, or once he can become caretaker; Aston wants to b u i l d a shed; Mick wants to t u r n the slum f l a t i n t o a g l o s s y penthouse apartment. P i n t e r ' s next stage play a f t e r The Caretaker d i d not appear f o r another f i v e years. Apparently he had d i f f i c u l t y i n w r i t i n g i t j I d i d a l o t of things i n the meantime, but w r i t i n g a stage play, which i s what I r e a l l y wanted to do, I couldn't. Then I wrote The Homecoming, f o r good or bad, and I f e l t much b e t t e r . But now I'm back in-the same boat — I want to write a play, i t buzzes a l l the time i n me, and I can't put pen to paper. Do you think you'd ever use f r e e r techniques as a way of starting; w r i t i n g again? I can enjoy them i n other people's plays — I thought the Marat/Sade was a damn good evening, and other very d i f f e r e n t plays l i k e The Caucasian 85 C h a l k C i r c l e I ' v e a l s o e n j o y e d . B u t I ' d n e v e r u s e s u c h s t a g e t e c h n i q u e s m y s e l f . D o e s t h i s make y o u f e e l b e h i n d t h e t i m e s i n a n y w a y ? I am a v e r y t r a d i t i o n a l p l a y w r i g h t — f o r i n s t a n c e I i n s i s t o n h a v i n g a c u r t a i n i n a l l my p l a y s . I w r i t e c u r t a i n l i n e s f o r t h a t r e a s o n ! A n d e v e n w h e n d i r e c t o r s l i k e P e t e r H a l l o r C l a u d e R e g y i n P a r i s w a n t t o do a w a y w i t h t h e m , I i n s i s t t h e y s t a y . F o r me e v e r y t h i n g h a s t o do w i t h s h a p e , s t r u c t u r e , a n d o v e r - a l l u n i t y . 0 C l e a r l y he i s s t i l l c o n c e r n e d a b o v e a l l w i t h s t r u c t u r e a n d t h e k i n d o f f a i r l y o r t h o d o x s t a g e t e c h n i q u e s w i t h i n w h i c h h e m a k e s h i s f a s c i n a t i n g d r a m a t i c i m a g e s . D e s p i t e t h e y e a r s o f w o r k i n g i n d i f f e r e n t m e d i a w h i c h s e p a r a t e T h e C a r e t a k e r a n d T h e Home-c o m i n g , P i n t e r s t i l l h a s h i s e y e f i r m l y o n t h e s p e c i a l e x i g e n -c i e s o f w r i t i n g f o r t h e s t a g e , T h e H o m e c o m i n g p r o v i n g t o b e a t o u r de f o r c e i n t h e t h e a t r e . T h e f i v e y e a r p e r i o d b e t w e e n T h e C a r e t a k e r (i960) a n d T h e H o m e c o m i n g (1965) w a s a v e r y a c t i v e a n d s u c c e s s f u l o n e f o r P i n t e r * i n J u l y i960 N i g h t S c h o o l was t e l e v i s e d ; i n D e c e m b e r i960 T h e D w a r f s w a s b r o a d c a s t o n t h e B.B.C. T h i r d P r o g r a m m e ; i n May 1961 T h e C o l l e c t i o n w a s t e l e v i s e d ; i n N o v e m b e r 1962 L o s e y ' s f i l m T h e S e r v a n t ( s c r e e n -p l a y b y P i n t e r ) o p e n e d i n L o n d o n ; i n D e c e m b e r 1962 P i n t e r s t a r t e d w o r k w i t h C l i v e D o r m e r o n t h e f i l m o f The C a r e t a k e r ; i n M a r c h 1963 T h e L o v e r w a s t e l e v i s e d ; i n t h e p e r i o d o f F e b r u a r y t o M a r c h 1964 t h e B.B.C. T h i r d P r o g r a m m e b r o a d c a s t n i n e s h o r t s k e t c h e s b y P i n t e r ; i n 1964 J a c k C l a y t o n ' s f i l m T he P u m p k i n E a t e r ( s c r e e n p l a y b y P i n t e r ) a p p e a r e d ; a n d f i n a l l y , i n M a r c h 1965 T e a P a r t y w a s t e l e v i s e d b y B . B . C . I , f o r B r i t i s h a n d E u r o p e a n - w i d e a u d i e n c e s . P i n t e r w o n a w a r d s f o r h i s s c r e e n -86 p l a y s o f b o t h T h e S e r v a n t a n d T h e P u m p k i n E a t e r , a n d t w o t e l e v i s i o n a w a r d s f o r t h a t s u p e r b p i e c e o f w o r k T h e L o v e r . I t i s c l e a r , t h e n , t h a t i n t h o s e y e a r s P i n t e r l e a r n e d t o m a s t e r t h e a r t o f w r i t i n g f o r f i l m i c m e d i a . H i s a b i l i t y t o g r a s p v e r y r a p i d l y t h e e s s e n t i a l s o f t h i s k i n d o f w r i t i n g a s o p p o s e d t o s t a g e w r i t i n g w a s r e v e a l e d w h e n he w o r k e d a t m a k i n g a f i l m o f T h e C a r e t a k e r . P i n t e r w a s a t f i r s t v e r y r e l u c t a n t to w o r k o n a f i l m o f t h e p l a y b e c a u s e he f e a r e d c o m p l i c a t e d a s p e c t s o f f i l m p r o d u c t i o n , a n d h a d b e e n t o o c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e p l a y i n i t s s t a g e p r o d u c t i o n s . He w a n t e d a r e s t f r o m i t . B u t P i n t e r w a s p e r s u a d e d , a n d s o o n b e c a m e e x c i t e d b y l o o k i n g a t h i s s c r i p t f r o m a d i f f e r e n t p o i n t o f v i e w , t h a t o f t h e f i l m d i r e c t o r , C l i v e D o n n e r i ...we h a d t o s e e i t a n d w o r k o n i t i n t e r m s o f m o v e m e n t f r o m o n e t h i n g t o a n o t h e r . . . I t s e e m e d t o me t h a t w h e n y o u h a v e t w o p e o p l e s t a n d i n g o n t h e s t a i r s a n d o n e a s k s t h e o t h e r i f he w o u l d l i k e t o b e c a r e t a k e r i n t h i s h o u s e , a n d t h e o t h e r b l o k e , y o u k n o w , who i s w o r k - s h y , d o e s n ' t w a n t i n f a c t t o s a y n o , . . . b u t a t t h e same t i m e he w a n t s t o e d g e i t r o u n d . . . N o w i t s e e m s t o me t h e r e ' s a n e n o r m o u s a m o u n t o f i n t e r n a l c o n f l i c t w i t h i n o n e o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s a n d e x t e r n a l c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n t h e m — a n d i t ' s e x c i t i n g c i n e m a . • • • Y o u c a n s a y t h e p l a y h a s b e e n " o p e n e d o u t " i n t h e s e n s e t h a t t h i n g s I ' d y e a r n e d t o d o , w i t h o u t k n o w i n g i t , i n w r i t i n g f o r t h e s t a g e , c r y s t a l l i s e d w h e n I came t o t h i n k a b o u t i t a s a f i l m . U n t i l t h e n I d i d n ' t know t h a t I w a n t e d t o do t h e m b e c a u s e I ' d a c c e p t e d t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f t h e s t a g e . 7 I n t h e same i n t e r v i e w P i n t e r w e n t o n t o comment o n d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n f i l m s a n d s t a g e w o r k , t a k i n g i n t o a c c o u n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n a c t i n g s t y l e s i 8-7 I ' m n o t s u r e I agree t h a t the c inema w i l l be a b l e t o g a i n i n s u b t l e t y . I t h i n k t h a t when one t a l k s i n these terms one t h i n k s o f a s t a g e m i l e s away w i t h a v a s t a u d i e n c e and the c h a r a c t e r s v e r y s m a l l . But I t h i n k you c a n be as s u b t l e on a s t a g e as you c a n i n Q the f i l m . You j u s t do i t i n a d i f f e r e n t way. P i n t e r en joyed the f a c t t h a t i n m a k i n g the f i l m on l o c a t i o n i n an o l d house i n L o n d o n the a c t o r s and crew were w o r k i n g amid r e a l i t y r a t h e r t h a n amid the a r t i f i c i a l w o r l d o f a s t a g e s e t . He was f a s c i n a t e d by the t o t a l p r o c e s s o f f i l m i n g and f o l l o w e d i t k e e n l y t h r o u g h t h e v e r y i m p o r t a n t e d i t i n g p r o c e s s e s . Stage p e r f o r m a n c e s must go t h r o u g h complete each t i m e the p l a y i s done, and t h e d i r e c t o r a t the moment o f per formance has no f u r t h e r c o n t r o l . The f i l m d i r e c t o r i s f a r more i n c o n t r o l o f h i s a c t o r s ' p e r f o r m a n c e s , and once he has f o o t a g e o f t h e p e r f o r m a n c e s o f scenes as he wants them, he has the f u r t h e r c o n t r o l o f the e d i t i n g room i f need b e . P i n t e r was q u i c k to g r a s p t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n and see i m p o r t a n t i m p l i c a t i o n s w h i c h Dormer e m p h a t i c a l l y a g r e e d with« W e l l , t h i s e d i t i n g s t a g e was f o r me, o f c o u r s e , c o m p l e t e l y new, I t was the f i r s t t i m e , and an a b s o l u t e e y e - o p e n e r . . . . I t ' s g r e a t t h a t one c a n move f rom one t h i n g t o a n o t h e r , o r d u p l i c a t e i t , o r c u t i t o u t , the wreck t h a t can be wreaked i n e d i t i n g . 9 He r e c a l l e d the moment i n the l a s t a c t o f The C a r e t a k e r when M i c k and A s t o n s t a n d and exchange a s m i l e , b e f o r e M i c k goes o u t . T h i s moment he e x p l a i n e d , was not the same on f i l m as i t was on the s t a g e because . . . Y o u d o n ' t get the complex t h i n g w h i c h makes i t so much o f a moment on the s t a g e . The d i s t a n c e , the s e p a r a t i o n cannot be the same. 88 The balance, the timing, and the rhythm to t h i s , the s i l e n t music, as i t were, are determined i n so many d i f f e r e n t ways, and I know we both f e l t , C l i v e and I , there was something to come there. I s a i d some-thi n g , I don't know what, and C l i v e s a i d , 'We want to go from one to the other, one to the other, to the other.' Now the balance of the whole th i n g i s that i f you don't go to the other then there's no point made, but i f you go from the other back to the f i r s t then the point i s overmade. The balance, the e d i t i n g balance, i s c r u c i a l , as everyone knows, but i t needs an eye and a r e l a x a t i o n which the f i l m affords you, and no other medium can. You can s i f t i t , you see, and the s i f t i n g i s of value. Of course, on the stage, you can say to the g i r l , 'Go out, t h i s won't do, t r y another one...' and i f you make a de c i s i o n and you're proved wrong you correct i t . But i n f i l m s you're dealing with something that's going to be f i n i s h e d once you make a dec i s i o n . You cannot go on changing ad_i n f i n i t u m , and you may make a de c i s i o n and s i x months l a t e r you say, 'That was e n t i r e l y wrong.'10 This p r a c t i c a l grasp of the differences between f i l m and stage ev i d e n t l y enabled P i n t e r to dramatize i n The Homecoming c e r t a i n concerns of his which cropped up i n the f i l m s and the t e l e v i s i o n plays without compromising that theatre technique that he had developed i n the previous stage plays. The ambiguous treatment of woman as mother and whore which appreared i n A Night Out and l a t e r i n Night School, The C o l l e c t i o n , The Lover and Tea Party, and the middle-class characters of the l a s t three of these plays f i n d t h e i r echoes i n Ruth and her husband, Teddy, the l e c t u r e r i n Philosophy. In s l i c i n g away the woman as mother/whore theme f o r development i n The Homecoming, P i n t e r did not b r i n g t r a i l i n g with i t a bundle of T.V. and f i l m techniques. He went back to The Caretaker's pondering of a r e l a t i o n s h i p i n v o l v i n g brothers, and the r e s i s t a n c e to and acceptance of a stranger. In The Homecoming the f a m i l y l i v i n g room i s the environment i n which these two major concerns are explored. The dead J e s s i e and her l i v i n g counterpart, the daughter-in-law, Ruth, are the ambiguous females hated and adored i n the male household. The eldest son, Teddy, and hi s w i f e , Ruth, are the guests. While Teddy v i s i t s , remains p r e t t y w e l l aloof and departs; Ruth i s not only accepted i n t o the family but stays as i t s most powerful f i g u r e , dominating the remaining males. We can see that the concern w i t h f a m i l y and guest i n The Caretaker i s thus taken up i n The Homecoming and elaborated by the a d d i t i o n of the concern w i t h the female. Whereas Davies was guest and perhaps f a t h e r surrogate r o l l e d i n t o one, now there are two guests (Teddy and Ruth); two separate fathers (Teddy and Max), who are a lso father and grandfather r e s p e c t i v e l y ; and there are two mother f i g u r e s , Ruth and the memory of J e s s i e . The two brothers of the e a r l i e r play have now m u l t i p l i e d to t h r e e i Teddy, Lenny and Joey, besides the two brothers of the older generation — Max and Sam, not to mention the three l i t t l e boys we l e a r n Teddy and Ruth have produced, making a m i r r o r image of the fa m i l y we see. But i f P i n t e r has elaborated on the concerns of The Caretaker i n t h i s way, and produced a play three pages longer, he has at the same time tightened the s t r u c t u r e , arranging a two-act pattern as opposed to the three acts i n the e a r l i e r play. Furthermore, unity of time i s achieved i n that the momentous events of the play a l l occur i n the twenty-four hour span between successive evenings. Add to 90 t h i s the f a c t that the present happenings r e f l e c t the past and perhaps foreshadow the future; i n the past J e s s i e had betrayed Max, l e a v i n g three motherless boys, just as the a i l i n g Ruth leaves Teddy and her three boys. Take into account also that the structure of The Homecoming i s i n some respects a compressed v e r s i o n of the Ibsenesque structure (as i n Ghosts) of e x p o s i t i o n , development, withheld f a c t s revealed i n a c l i m a c t i c scene (Sam's collapse) l e a d i n g to a r e s o l u t i o n . A l l t h i s adds up to a play of dense texture, P i n t e r ' s s u b t l e s t and most complex piece of craftsmanship f o r the stage up to that point i n h i s career. P a r a d o x i c a l l y , t h i s subtle and complex fashioning was the means of c o n t r o l l i n g the most barbarous of m a t e r i a l , the diseased imagination. The core idea of the play, that the male members of the family should use one woman i n common as whore, housekeeper, mother s u b s t i t u t e , surrogate daughter, and s i s t e r , i s by normal standards d i s g u s t i n g and u t t e r l y taboo i n our s o c i e t y . I t i s a product of the diseased imagination. Max's house and family are a s p a t i a l and animate image of the diseased rather than the normal imagination: the f i r s t s i x scenic u n i t s up to the f i r s t blackout i n Act I b u i l d up t h i s image, an almost demonic inverse of f i l i a l love and family s o l i d a r i t y . Max's opening monologue gives us the opposite of a father i d e a l — we l i s t e n to a memory of gangsterism and violence* sense the spark of hatred f o r the mother Jes s i e and the f r i e n d , Mac, which leaps from the subtext i n the pause 91 Max. He always had a good word f o r her. Pause. Mind you, she wasn't such a bad woman. (p.9) and then the comic r e v e r s a l of i d e a l i z e d motherhood becomes a raucous blaspheming laughter of S w i f t i a n i n t e n s i t y as "mother-hood" i s torn apart by b i t t e r n e s s , and the son tears apart the honour due to fathers Max. Even though i t made me s i c k just to look at her r o t t e n s t i n k i n g face, she wasn't such a bad b i t c h . I gave her the best bleeding years of my l i f e , anyway.' LENNY. Plug i t , w i l l you, you stupid sod, I'm t r y i n g to read the paper, (p.9) The fath e r curses the son, and curses himself; the son c o o l l y reminds him he i s going mad MAX. L i s t e n ! I ' l l chop your spine o f f , you t a l k to me l i k e that! You understand? T a l k i n g to your lousy f i l t h y father l i k e that! LENNY. You know what, you're g e t t i n g demented. (p.9) The a l t e r c a t i o n i s shockingly, h o r r i f y i n g l y funny, and i t i s an example of the v i o l e n t language which i s the mode i n t h i s family and which expresses t h e i r power struggles. I t gives us the deeply ambivalent a t t i t u d e of Max towards the dead J e s s i e , and i t suggests i n l i t t l e the diseased imagination which seems an hereditary f a c t o r i n t h i s world. Max's imagination f i x e s upon horses, and he fancies he can look into the eye to t e l l which f i l l y i s a " s t a y e r . " He seems to connect horses and women; he a l s o , i n h i s swearing, connects h i s family with female animals, 92 b i t c h e s . Worsted by h i s son, Max turns to b u l l y i n g h i s brother, Sam. He taunts him with having i l l i c i t sex i n the back of the car he i s paid to d r i v e . When Sam objects that he doesn't mess up h i s boss's car, and adds da r k l y not "Like other people," t h i s seems to touch a raw nerve i n Max, as i f his l i f e at one point was contingent on back-seat love-making. I t i s at t h i s point that Max's imagination comes up wi t h the best desecration of h i s brother's sexual l i f e he can think of« MAX. When you f i n d the r i g h t g i r l , Sam, l e t your fa m i l y know, don't fo r g e t , w e ' l l give you a number one send-off, I promise you. You can b r i n g her to l i v e here, she can keep us a l l happy. We'd take i t i n turns to give her a walk round the park. (p.15) This i s the core idea of the a c t i o n which w i l l f o l l o w i n Act I I , i t i s the expression of Max's diseased imagination. At t h i s point i t is an elaborate sexual taunt, a blow at Sam f o r reminding him of what was (as we f i n d out from Sam i n h i s r e v e l a t i o n before c o l l a p s i n g ) the p a i n f u l part of Max's r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h J e s s i e , her i n f i d e l i t y with Mac i n the back of Sam's car. The Max, Mac, Jessie t r i a n g l e of l u s t and violence i s counterbalanced by a Max, Sam, J e s s i e r e l a t i o n s h i p of a f f e c t i o n and respect. Max's diseased idea f o r Sam's sexual l i f e becomes, i r o n i c a l l y , a r e a l i t y f o r Teddy and h i s wife, Ruth; when Max suggests the "plan" i n Act I I he elaborates his barbaric scheme, taking into account "the human considera-t i o n s " which must take care to give Ruth the material conditions she i s accustomed to. The other members of the family add t h e i r ideas and contribute to the working out and making " r e a l " of the 9 3 s i t u a t i o n . R u t h c o o l l y a g r e e s , t r a n s f e r r i n g t h e d i s e a s e d a n d r a u c o u s f a m i l y c o n f e r e n c e o n t o a c a l c u l a t e d b u s i n e s s l e v e l e n s u r i n g h e r p e r s o n a l c o m f o r t , t a k i n g o v e r t h e r o l e o f c o m m u n a l w h o r e i n a w a y w h i c h m a k e s h e r a c e n t r e o f p o w e r a n d a f o c u s o f l u s t . Sam's r e a c t i o n t o t h e s i t u a t i o n w h i c h h a s d e v e l o p e d i s a s e n s e o f o u t r a g e w h i c h p r o m p t s h i s r e v e l a t i o n o f J e s s i e ' s i n f i d e l i t y . T h e s h o c k i s t o o m u c h f o r h i m . Max a n d t h e o t h e r s r e g a r d h i m a s a n u n f o r t u n a t e i n t e r r u p t i o n . Max p r o j e c t s h i s own d i s e a s e d i m a g i n a t i o n o n t o h i s b r o t h e r , t r e a t i n g h i m a s a s o r t o f madman, d e n y i n g t h e r e v e l a t i o n b y i n s i s t i n g i t i s m e r e l y a p r o d u c t o f Sam's m i n d . B u t t h e c o r e b e t r a y a l a n d s u f f e r i n g w h i c h i s a t t h e h e a r t o f t h i s g r a c e l e s s c i r c l e o f m a l i c e , t h i s i r o n i c r e v e r s a l o f "home s w e e t home," i s s u r e l y J e s s i e ' s b e t r a y a l o f M a x . T h i s s e e m s t o b e t h e i n v i s i b l e w orm w h i c h h a s f l o w n i n t o M a x ' s i m a g i n a t i o n a n d p o i s o n e d i t . T h e f i n a l s c e n e l e a v e s u s w i t h a b i t t e r p a r o d y o f t h e f a m i l y g r o u p p h o t o g r a p h ; a n d , i r o n i c a l l y , t h e t y r a n t f a t h e r w h o s e i m a g i n a t i o n h a s r u n i t s c o u r s e f a c e s a s i t u a t i o n he h a d n o t e n v i s a g e d i h i s p o w e r h a s g o n e , t h e o b j e c t o f h i s l u s t now r e i g n s s e r e n e a b o v e t h e f a m i l y , a n d he i s s o b b i n g b e c a u s e o f t h e t y r a n t a g e a n d h a l f - b e g g i n g , h a l f - d e m a n d i n g e v e n a k i s s , a l b e i t a n i n c e s t u o u s o n e - P i n t e r , m o r e o v e r , h a s n o t o n l y made t h e a c t i o n o f h i s p l a y o u t o f t h e e x p l o r a t i o n a n d r e a l i z a t i o n o f M a x ' s d i s e a s e d i m a g i n a t i o n , b u t h a s e m p h a s i s e d t h a t t h e a c t i o n i s e n c l o s e d b y t h e t e r r i b l e f i g u r e o f Max. T h e o p e n i n g a n d c l o s i n g s c e n e s o f t h e p l a y a r e h i s m o n o l o g u e s ( L e n n y b a r e l y b o t h e r s t o s p e a k a t t h e b e g i n n i n g , a n d no o n e r e s p o n d s t o h i s w o r d s a t t h e e n d ) , s o 94 t h a t i t i s M a x ' s i m a g i n a t i o n t h a t e n c l o s e s t h e t o t a l a c t i o n . I r o n i c a l l y a g a i n , t h i s i s o n l y f i t t i n g , f o r w a s he n o t t h e h e a d o f t h e f a m i l y ? P i n t e r h a s u n f l i n c h i n g l y f o l l o w e d M a x ' s d i s e a s e d i m a g i n a -t i o n i n t o a d a r k n i g h t o f t h e s o u l , b e g i n n i n g A c t I a t e v e n i n g a n d e m e r g i n g f r o m A c t I I t h e f o l l o w i n g e v e n i n g . I t i s h i s d i s t i n c t i o n t o h a v e p r e s e n t e d o n e o f t h e m o s t d e t e s t a b l e o f d r a m a t i c p e r s o n a g e s , a n d , w i t h o u t r e c o u r s e t o m o r a l i s i n g o r l a p s e s i n t o s e n t i m e n t a l i t y , f o r c e d f r o m u s o u r c o m p a s s i o n , i n t h e f i n a l s c e n e , f o r t h i s s n i v e l l i n g r u i n o f a man. I n l i f e we w o u l d n e e d t o b e s a i n t s . I n a r t , e v e r y t h i n g , a l m o s t , i s p o s s i b l e . I t m ay b e o b j e c t e d t h a t T h e H o m e c o m i n g i s a h o r r i f y i n g p o r t r a i t o f a f a m i l y w h i c h n o t o n l y l a c k s a m o t h e r b u t a l s o l a c k s , a n d t h i s i s t h e w r i t e r ' s f a u l t , a m o r a l c e n t r e . I n d e f e n c e o f t h e p l a y o n e c a n a r g u e t h a t t h e s t r u c t u r e i s a n a u s t e r e o n e . P i n t e r c o n t r o l s h i s d i s g u s t i n g m a t e r i a l a n d s h a p e s i t i m p e c c a b l y . T h e p o r t i o n u p t o t h e f i r s t b l a c k o u t i n A c t I i n t r o d u c e s a l l t h e members o f t h i s a n t i - f a m i l y , g i v i n g u s a n i r o n i c p i c t u r e o f home l i f e . A f t e r t h e b l a c k o u t i t i s n i g h t -t i m e a n d we s e e T e d d y a n d R u t h a r r i v e . He w a n t s t o s t a y , s h e w a n t s t o g o . B y t h e e n d o f A c t I I t h e s e a t t i t u d e s h a v e , i r o n i c a l l y , b e e n r e v e r s e d . T h e s e c o n d b r o t h e r , L e n n y , a p p e a r s , b u t i n s t e a d o f a f a m i l y w e l c o m e , T e d d y a n d R u t h r e c e i v e a n o n -w e l c o m e . When L e n n y a n d R u t h a r e a l o n e , t h e y do n o t s p e a k a s b r o t h e r a n d s i s t e r - i n - l a w , b u t a s h o s t i l e a d u l t s t r y i n g t h e i r s e x u a l s t r e n g t h , R u t h e m e r g i n g a s d o m i n a n t . A f t e r t h e n e x t 95 " b l a c k o u t t h e i d e a o f t h e f a m i l y i s r e s t a t e d , f u r t h e r e l a b o r a t e d ? b u t w h e n T e d d y a n d R u t h come down t h e m e e t i n g i s a t a b l e a u o f s t u n n e d s i l e n c e r a t h e r t h a n e m b r a c e s . T h e f a t h e r g r e e t s h i s d a u g h t e r - i n - l a w b y i g n o r i n g h e r , t h e n r e f e r s t o h e r i n t h e t h i r d p e r s o n a s a d i s e a s e d p r o s t i t u t e , l a t e r i m p l y i n g t h a t h e r c h i l d r e n may n o t a l l b e l o n g t o T e d d y . H i s h o s t i l i t y t o t h e woman i s a t i t s g r e a t e s t , a n d t h e n he t u r n s t o h i s s o n a n d w a n t s to k i s s a n d c u d d l e . I t i s a n i n f e r n a l v e r s i o n o f f a t h e r l y a f f e c t i o n , l o a t h s o m e i n i t s m i s o g y n y , e x p l o i t a t i o n o f f i l i a l e m o t i o n , t h i n l y v e i l e d h o m o s e x u a l i t y , a n d c r o w i n g , g l e e f u l , g l o a t i n g c o n t e m p t . I t p r o v i d e s a b r i l l i a n t r e v e r s a l o f f e e l i n g , a n i m p l i c a t i o n o f M a x ' s i n s e c u r i t y i n t h a t he n e e d s t o t e s t h i s r e t u r n i n g s o n ' s l o y a l t y , i n t h i s h i d e o u s w a y , a n h o r r i f i c c l i m a x t o t h e a c t a n d , i n f i v e r e s o n a n t w o r d s , o n e o f t h e m o s t p o w e r f u l c u r t a i n l i n e s i n t h e d r a m a o f t h e l a s t t w o h u n d r e d o d d y e a r s ? a f a t h e r ' s b l e s s i n g i s made t o s e e m l i k e a c u r s e : MAX. Y o u s t i l l l o v e y o u r o l d D a d , e h ? T h e y f a c e e a c h o t h e r . TEDDY. Come o n , D a d . I'm r e a d y f o r t h e c u d d l e . MAX b e g i n s t o c h u c k l e , g u r g l i n g . He t u r n s t o t h e f a m i l y a n d a d d r e s s e s t h e m . MAX. He s t i l l l o v e s h i s f a t h e r ! C u r t a i n ( p . 4 4 ) So m u c h i s g o i n g o n a t o n c e , a n d a l l i s u l t i m a t e l y t o be h e l d i n t h e i r o n g r i p o f P i n t e r ' s d r a m a t i c i r o n y : t h e e n d o f A c t I I s h o w s Max d e f e a t e d b y t h e d a u g h t e r - i n - l a w a n d d e s e r t e d b y h i s e l d e s t s o n . 96 T h e s e c o n d a c t o p e n s w i t h a b r i e f moment o f b a l a n c e i n w h i c h t h e c i g a r s m o k i n g m a l e s s e e m c o n t e n t a n d e x p a n s i v e . M a x ' s m a u d l i n r e v e r i e i s p u l l e d up s h o r t b y R u t h ' s s i m p l e q u e s t i o n a b o u t t h e g r o u p o f b u t c h e r s . T h e mood i s l o s t , t h e b a l a n c e i s u p s e t , n o r w i l l i t b e p r o p e r l y r e s t o r e d . The mood h a s r e v e r s e d c o m p l e t e l y f r o m g e n i a l i t y t o b i t t e r n e s s ; we a r e b a c k i n t h e r e a l m s o f d i s e a s e , d i s i l l u s i o n a n d t h e s t r u g g l e t o k e e p a f a m i l y s u r v i v i n g ! My m o t h e r wa s b e d r i d d e n , my b r o t h e r s w e r e a l l i n v a l i d s . I h a d t o e a r n t h e m o n e y f o r t h e l e a d i n g p s y c h i a t r i s t s . I h a d t o r e a d b o o k s ! I h a d t o s t u d y t h e d i s e a s e , s o t h a t I c o u l d c o p e w i t h a n e m e r g e n c y a t e v e r y s t a g e . A c r i p p l e d f a m i l y , t h r e e b a s t a r d s o n s , a s l u t b i t c h o f a w i f e — d o n ' t t a l k t o me a b o u t t h e p a i n o f c h i l d b i r t h — I s u f f e r e d t h e p a i n , I ' v e s t i l l g o t t h e p a n g s — w h e n I g i v e a l i t t l e c o u g h my b a c k c o l l a p s e s — a n d h e r e I ' v e g o t a l a z y i d l e b u g g e r o f a b r o t h e r w o n ' t e v e n g e t t o w o r k o n t i m e . (p.47) D e s p i t e t h e f e m a l e r e f e r e n c e , i t i s u n m i s t a k a b l y M a x s p e a k i n g . A l l h i s v e n o m a n d h i s s e l f - p i t y a r e t h e r e ; s o t o o i s h i s t e n d e n c y t o p u s h h i s f a n t a s y a s f a r a s he c a n t a k e i t o r i s a l l o w e d t o g o . A l l t h e s h o w s o f s t r e n g t h b e t w e e n t h e c h a r a c t e r s a r e a k i n d o f game o f d a r e . I t t e s t s how f a r o n e c a n go i n p a i n f u l i n s u l t b e f o r e t h e o p p o n e n t g i v e s i n , o r c r a c k s . T h i s c u r i o u s p s y c h o l o g y i s a f a c t o f l i f e , n o t m e r e l y a n i n v e n t i o n o f P i n t e r ' s . T h u s s u c h m o ments o f c l i m a x a s t h e s p i t t i n g i n c i d e n t a n d M a x ' s e x p l o s i o n i n t o p h y s i c a l v i o l e n c e i n A c t I a r e p a l p a b l e f o r e r u n n e r s o f t h e e x t e n d e d , m o re c e r e b r a l e x a m p l e o f t h i s game w h i c h b e g i n s t o t a k e s h a p e i n A c t I I . The m e m b e r s o f t h e f a m i l y a l l p l a y t h e game, R u t h q u i c k l y a d j u s t i n g b a c k i n t o t h e e n v i r o n m e n t s h e h a s k n o w n s i n c e c h i l d h o o d . M a x ' s o u t b u r s t o f r a g e a n d i n s u l t s a g a i n s t h i s b r o t h e r a r e n o t r e g i s t e r -e d i n a n y d e c i s i v e w a y b y t h e r e s t o f t h e f a m i l y . No o n e i n t e r -97 v e n e s . T h e y a l l i g n o r e i t a n d w h e n i t i s o v e r , c a r r y o n a s i f n o t h i n g h a d h a p p e n e d . Max a n d T e d d y e n a c t a n o r m a l m e e t i n g a n d r e - u n i o n a t i r o n i c o d d s t o t h e s a v a g e r y o f t h e p r e c e d i n g s c e n e i MAX. W e l l , how y o u b e e n k e e p i n g , s o n ? TEDDY. I ' v e b e e n k e e p i n g v e r y w e l l , D a d . MAX. I t ' s n i c e t o h a v e y o u w i t h u s , s o n . TEDDY. I t ' s n i c e t o be b a c k , D a d . ( p .48) A n d now t h e w a y i s c l e a r f o r M a x , l i k e a t r u e f a t h e r , t o g i v e h i s b l e s s i n g t o T e d d y a n d h i s w i f e . T h e s c e n e c o n t r a s t s w i t h t h e c l i m a x o f m o c k e r y a t t h e e n d o f A c t I . B u t i t i s f o l l o w e d i m m e d i a t e l y b y M a x ' s b o a s t a b o u t h i s s o n , w h i c h h a s m o r e t h a n a n e d g e o r i r o n y : MAX. ...How many o t h e r h o u s e s i n t h e d i s t r i c t h a v e g o t a D o c t o r o f P h i l o s o p h y s i t t i n g d own d r i n k i n g a c u p o f c o f f e e ? P a u s e . (p.49) We c a n f e e l i n t h e p a u s e t h e i n e v i t a b i l i t y o f i r o n y b e c o m i n g f i e r c e b a t t l e s o o n e r o r l a t e r . B u t R u t h i n i t i a t e s t h e n e x t s c e n e , a n d - h e r e we h a v e t h e t u r n i n g p o i n t o f t h e a c t a n d , i n d e e d , o f t h e w h o l e p l a y . F o r R u t h b e g i n s t o r e m e m b e r " h e r o l d l i f e . RUTH. I w a s . . . d i f f e r e n t . . . w h e n I m e t T e d d y . . . f i r s t . TEDDY. No y o u w e r e n ' t . Y o u w e r e t h e same. (p.5 0 ) The c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s t h e c r u x o f t h e p l a y . F o r R u t h h e r memory o f l i f e i n t h e s e L o n d o n s l u m s a n d h e r e x p e r i e n c e a s " p h o t o -g r a p h i c m o d e l " w i t h t r i p s t o c o u n t r y h o u s e s b e c o m e s m o r e c o m p e l l i n g a n d m o r e i m p o r t a n t t h a n t h e s t e r i l i t y s h e f e e l s i n h e r m a r r i a g e t o T e d d y , d e s p i t e h e r t h r e e s o n s ; t h e d e s e r t o f h e r m a r r i a g e i s f i x e d i n h e r memory o f A m e r i c a a s a b a r r e n 98 l a n d . H e r E n g l i s h e x p e r i e n c e i s r i c h i n t h e m e m o r y , t h i r s t -q u e n c h i n g , i m a g e d b y w a t e r a n d l i g h t . I t i s s e t a g a i n s t t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l i m a g e o f h a p p y w i f e a n d m o t h e r w h i c h T e d d y p r e s e n t s i n h i s v e r s i o n o f t h e i r m a r r i a g e . T h e s t y l e , a n d t h e s l o w , h e s i t a n t d e l i v e r y o f R u t h ' s m e m o r i e s a r e i n t e r e s t i n g t o o i n t h a t t h e y a n t i c i p a t e t h e s t y l e a n d m a n n e r o f t h e memory m o n o l o g u e s i n P i n t e r ' s n e x t s t a g e p l a y s — t h e s h o r t L a n d s c a p e a n d Silence» RUTH. T h a t w a s b e f o r e I h a d . . . a l l my c h i l d r e n . P a u s e . N o , n o t a l w a y s i n d o o r s . P a u s e . O n c e , o r t w i c e we w e n t t o a p l a c e i n t h e c o u n t r y , b y t r a i n . Oh, s i x o r s e v e n t i m e s . We u s e d t o p a s s a . . . a l a r g e w h i t e w a t e r t o w e r . T h i s p l a c e . . . t h i s h o u s e . . . w a s v e r y b i g . . . t h e t r e e s . . . t h e r e w a s a l a k e , y o u s e e ...we u s e d t o c h a n g e a n d w a l k down t o w a r d s t h e l a k e . . . w e w e n t down a p a t h . . . o n s t o n e s . . . t h e r e w e r e . . . o n t h i s p a t h . Oh, j u s t . . . w a i t . . . y e s . . . w h e n we c h a n g e d i n t h e h o u s e we h a d a d r i n k . T h e r e w a s a c o l d b u f f e t . (p.57) B y t h e e n d o f t h e a c t we h a v e r e a l i z e d t h a t i t i s R u t h ' s home-c o m i n g , n o t T e d d y ' s , t h a t we h a v e w i t n e s s e d . S h e g r o w s i n memory a n d s e l f - a w a r e n e s s a n d p o w e r . S h e l i t e r a l l y e m b o d i e s t h e t r u t h o f f e m a l e p o w e r . H e r a r g u m e n t i s i r r e f u t a b l e . L o o k a t me. I...move my l e g . T h a t ' s a l l i t i s . B u t I w e a r . . . u n d e r w e a r . . . w h i c h m o v e s w i t h me... i t . . . c a p t u r e s y o u r a t t e n t i o n , (p.53) Woman, a n d man f o r t h a t m a t t e r , e m b o d i e s t r u t h . I n t e l l e c t u a l -i z i n g , s u c h a s T e d d y ' s l e c t u r e s may be s u p p o s e d t o c o n t a i n , a n d 99 t h e b a i t - t h e - p h i l o s o p h e r - g a m e L e n n y p l a y s , a r e b r o u g h t t o a h a l t a n d s i l e n c e d b y R u t h ' s p h y s i c a l i t y . H e r e v o c a t i o n o f h e r own d e s i r a b l e b o d y i s c o n t r a s t e d w i t h t h e w a s t e l a n d o f r o c k a n d s a n d i n A m e r i c a . A s R u t h ' s r e t u r n t o h e r home c o u n t r y b u i l d s up h e r s e l f - a w a r e n e s s a n d p o w e r , s o T e d d y r e a l i z e s t h e d a n g e r , a n d t r i e s t o t a k e h e r a w a y . B u t i t i s t o o l a t e . R u t h ' s d a n c e w i t h L e n n y a n d k i s s o f a c c e p t a n c e f o l l o w s w i f t l y . J o e y a n d M a x j o i n i n t h e game o f m a k i n g T e d d y j e a l o u s . B u t T e d d y a n d R u t h ' s m a r r i a g e w a s o v e r a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e p l a y , a s t h e A m e r i c a s p e e c h e s make c l e a r , a n d s o T e d d y c a n l e a v e t h e f a m i l y v e r y c a s u a l l y , h i s p a i n i m p l i e d o n l y b y h i s n e g l e c t i n g t o t a k e h i s f a r e w e l l o f R u t h . H i s c o o l n e s s i s i n v u l n e r a b l e , b u t i t h a s b e e n a c h i e v e d a t a t e r r i b l e c o s t — t h e c u t t i n g a w a y o f e m o t i o n a l i n v o l v e m e n t . H i s i n t e l l e c t u a l a l o o f n e s s i s t e r r i f y -i n g ! Y o u ' r e j u s t o b j e c t s . Y o u j u s t . . . m o v e a b o u t . I c a n o b s e r v e i t . I c a n s e e w h a t y o u d o . I t ' s t h e same a s I d o . B u t y o u ' r e l o s t i n i t . ' Y o u w o n ' t g e t me b e i n g . . . I w o n ' t b e l o s t i n i t . BLACKOUT. ( p . 6 2 ) The b l a c k o u t s i g n i f i e s m o r e t h a n t h e p a s s i n g o f a f e w h o u r s . T h e c u r r e n t o f T e d d y ' s f e e l i n g h a s f a i l e d . A f t e r t h e b l a c k o u t L e n n y t e s t s T e d d y ' s b o a s t e d l a c k o f i n v o l v e m e n t . He i r o n i c a l l y p l a c e s t h e s t e a l i n g o f h i s c h e e s e r o l l o n a f a r m o r e i m p o r t a n t l e v e l t h a n t h e s t e a l i n g o f R u t h . B u t T e d d y c a n n o t b e b r o k e n . A t t h e e n d o f L e n n y ' s h a r a n g u e , i n v o k i n g t h e s e n s e o f f a m i l y s o l i d a r i t y i n t h e i m a g e o f t h e m i n " t h e b a c k y a r d h a v i n g a q u i e t g a n d e r a t t h e n i g h t s k y , " w h e n he t r i u m p h a n t l y f i n i s h e s w i t h 100 t h e s a r c a s m o f r h e t o r i c a l q u e s t i o n s , T e d d y t i m e s a p e r f e c t l y c o o l l a u g h l i n e i L E N N Y . B u t do we g e t i t ? H a v e we g o t i t ? I s t h a t w h a t y o u ' v e g i v e n u s ? P a u s e . TEDDY. Y e s . ( p . 6 5 ) T e d d y ' s r u t h l e s s , c o l d n a t u r e s e e m s t o h e s i g n a l l e d a n d m e a s u r e d b y t h e w a y he c a n c a l m l y a l l o w h i m s e l f t o h e r e n d e r e d R u t h - l e s s b y L e n n y a n d J o e y . N o t e v e n t h e g r o t e s q u e d i s c u s s i o n i n f r o n t o f h i m b y J o e y a n d L e n n y a b o u t R u t h ' s s e x p l a y i n b e d c a n e n r a g e h i m . T h e h u m o u r i s g r o t e s q u e a n d l i n g u i s t i c a l l y v e r y f u n n y t L E N N Y . D o n ' t t e l l me y o u ' r e s a t i s f i e d w i t h o u t g o i n g t h e w h o l e h o g ? P a u s e . J O E Y . I ' v e b e e n t h e w h o l e h o g p l e n t y o f t i m e s . S o m e t i m e s . . . y o u c a n b e h a p p y . . . a n d n o t go t h e w h o l e h o g . Now a n d a g a i n . . . y o u c a n b e h a p p y . . . w i t h o u t g o i n g a n y h o g . ( p . 6 8 ) The v e r i s i m i l i t u d e o f t h e s p e e c h p a t t e r n s , t h e r e p e t i t i o n o f t h e p r o v e r b i a l a n d t e l l i n g a n i m a l i m a g e , t h e t i m i n g o f t h e p a u s e s , a n d t h e c o n f r o n t a t i o n o f t h e s h a r p L e n n y b y t h e n e t t l e d J o e y i s m a s t e r l y . A n d t h e h u m o u r l e a d s r i g h t i n t o t h e b u i l d i n g o f s u s p e n s e a s t h e game r i s e s t o i t s a m a z i n g c l i m a x w h e n M a x e l a b o r a t e s t h e p l a n t o k e e p R u t h , w h i c h i n t u r n b u i l d s t o t h e c r i s i s o f w h e t h e r T e d d y o r s h e w i l l r e a c t , w h i c h l e a d s t o t h e f u r t h e r c l i m a x o f h e r d e c i s i o n t o a c c e p t t h e p r o p o s a l . T h e game r e v e r s e s . R u t h h o l d s a l l t h e t r u m p s . She h a s p l a y e d t h e f a m i l y game a n d won. T e d d y h a s g o n e . Sam h a s c o l l a p s e d . R u t h d o m i n a t e s w h i l e i t p l e a s e s h e r t o do s o . T h e s t r u c t u r e t w i s t s i n a f i n a l i r o n i c r e v e r s a l t o show u s M a x , l o s i n g . A n i n t e r e s t -101 i n g l i g h t i s shed upon Max's l a s t monologue hy Paul Rogers, the actor who created the r o l e j INTERVIEWERj In the end, when you are on your knees to her, the game has "broken down? ROGERS* Oh, yes, i n the sense that she's accepted and I didn't expect her to accept, and he's gone and I didn't expect him to go. As f a r as I , Max, am concerned, the end of the play i s f a r more s h a t t e r i n g than i t i s to any audience. I t i s completely and u t t e r l y and c a t a s t r o p h i c a l l y unexpected. But the game i s s t i l l proceeding when Max i s t a l k i n g about the photograph, which he knows i s outrageous... So the question i s whether i t ' s going to be your defeat. W i l l she k i s s you? That i s the f i r s t time you are r e a l l y "down." Harold doesn't know what happens a f t e r that; n either do I . That's where Harold chooses to leave us. Max i s i n a moment of absolute defeat. Yet i t was Harold's wish that you should f e e l the aggression, so that the words are a demand, not- a request... And there's something that you haven't seen before i n the play, and that's fe a r . Max i s a f r a i d and i t ' s expressed i n the words "I'm not an old man," which a c t u a l l y i s a very simple expression of an emotion that i s so complex that you couldn't express i t , and at the same time there's t h i s absurd awareness that p h y s i c a l l y he's going.H This t i g h t s t r u c t u r e which r i s e s to a great climax at the end of each act holds together, as we have seen, a system of power games and shocking, i r o n i c juxtapositions of f e e l i n g . Over a l l , there i s the moral dimension of laughter. Why can we laugh at the s i t u a t i o n s and words of the play? In general i t i s because the image of the family on the stage i s a l l the time incongruous-INTERVIEWER t ROGERS t l y at odds with what we expect from our conventional idea of a 102 family. The amorality and immorality we see i s at odds wi t h our norms. And yet, u l t i m a t e l y we are l i n k e d to t h i s f a m i l y i n s o f a r as we are forced to accept i t as part of our moral universe as human beings — we can recognize the hatred Max has grown up i n and which goes f a r to e x p l a i n the hideousness of h i s family; we can recognise the family s o l i d a r i t y between the men, despite t h e i r e t e r n a l s p a r r i n g ; we can f e e l compassion f o r t h e i r need f o r l o v e , and acknowledge the curious and c r u e l but very r e a l love-bond which e x i s t s i n the f a m i l y as they s i t q u i e t l y i n the backyard, or when they d i s g r a c e f u l l y conspire to get Ruth. Ruth, a f t e r a l l , rediscovers h e r s e l f and prefers to stay with them, at l e a s t f o r the eternal time being of the f i n a l tableau, rather than with Teddy. I t i s t h i s s e l f -discovery which becomes the most important f a c t o r i n the r e s o l u -t i o n of the play. Ruth t r a v e l s upwards to become queen of the "nest," while Teddy t r a v e l s through on an even keel and Max plummets down, a f a l l e n king. The p a t r i a r c h a l order has become matr i a r c h a l . The r e j e c t e d male, Teddy, must journey back i n t o the s t e r i l e wasteland that i s America i n Ruth's imagination and memory. Pin t e r ' s structure gives us a powerful f u s i o n of r e a l i s -t i c surface and archetypal dream. I t i s easy to see the Oedipal desires f o r Ruth as a mother fig u r e and counterpart of J e s s i e i n the male household. Max and Teddy are the fathers i n the play. I t i s they who lose Ruth. But the thematic extensions of the s i t u a t i o n are not stated so much as embodied i n the r e a l i s t i c s i t u a t i o n i t s e l f . P i nter's a r t i s l i k e Ruth's body. 1 0 3 I t i s i t s e l f , a show which i_s i t s meaning. P i n t e r i s one of those a r t i s t s who, l i k e W.B. Yeats, a f a v o u r i t e poet of h i s , f e e l that man can embody t r u t h rather than know i t . There are many things we cannot know about the characters i n The Homecoming, yet what i s there f o r us to see i s c l e a r l y , economically a r t i c u l a t e d , words and s i l e n c e s , a l i v e with a vigorous sub-text which makes the play an e x c i t i n g one f o r actors. The s t r u c t u r e i s t i g h t and compactt . there i s a vigorous c l a r i t y about i t , and yet i t i s s t i l l mysterious. What i s n ' t s a i d i s often as important as what i s s a i d — and i n t h i s aspect of the s t r u c t u r e , moments such as Sam's eating an apple i n Act I a f t e r Max has b u l l i e d him s e x u a l l y , Lenny's standing and l o o k i n g s i l e n t l y at his e lder brother f o r the f i r s t time i n s i x years, without greeting him, Ruth's d r a i n i n g of the glass of water, Max's s i l e n t contemplation of Teddy and Ruth when they appear i n the morning, the play f i n d s some of i t s most t e l l i n g t h e a t r i c a l e f f e c t s . Nor are these s i l e n c e s to be mistaken f o r i n a r t i c u l a t e -ness; the characters know each other of o l d , and Ruth has been r a i s e d i n t h i s area. She too knows the idiom. The challenges, i n s u l t s , c o n f l i c t s and b a i t i n g s amount to a complete language, a mode every i m p l i c a t i o n of which the characters can pick up. The long harangues, and the structure i s r i c h i n them, do not shock the characters as they shock the audience. Lenny's boasts about h i s v i o l e n c e , such as his beating of the whore under the arch, do not d i s t u r b Ruth. She i s used to t h i s kind of t a l k . She.merely asks a simple question which punctures the whole thing, as she does with Max's butcher speech. She knows how to 104 d e a l w i t h t h e s e men. She c a n e v e n p r e v e n t J o e y f r o m g o i n g " t h e w h o l e hog" and c o n v i n c e him t h a t i t i s n o t so bad a f t e r a l i i The s t r u c t u r e i s , as we have s e e n , r i c h i n i r o n i e s and c o n t r a s t s . One b i n d i n g , o v e r a l l c o n t r a s t i s t h a t b e t w e e n t h e c o o l d e t a c h m e n t o f t h e p h i l o s o p h e r Teddy and t h e u n r e a s o n a b l e , p u s h i n g , a l m o s t yahoo n a t u r e s o f Max and L e n n y and J o e y . T h e r e i s a l s o t h e l a r g e e f f e c t o f t h e d e l i b e r a t e j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f p r e s e n t w i t h p a s t t i m e , o f R u t h w i t h J e s s i e , o f Teddy w i t h Max, o f R u t h ' s t h r e e s o n s w i t h t h e t h r e e s o n s o f J e s s i e . And a l l t h i s e m p h a s i s on g e n e r a t i o n and t i m e i s h e l d c o n c r e t e l y i n t h e image o f L e n n y d i s t u r b e d b y t h e t i c k i n g away o f t i m e i n t h e n i g h t so t h a t he c a n n o t s l e e p and must f i n d a way t o " s t i f l e " h i s c l o c k i n A c t I , and i n t h e image o f Max b i t t e r l y d e n y i n g t h e f a c t o f h i s o l d age i n A c t I I . What c o n n e c t s t h e p r e s e n t and t h e f u t u r e w i t h t h e p a s t i s memory. I t i s memory w h i c h s e n d s Teddy b a c k t o A m e r i c a , memory o f what he l i k e s t h e r e ; i t i s memory w h i c h k e e p s R u t h i n L o n d o n and i n d u c e s t h e c r u c i a l d e c i s i o n o f t h e p l a y . Memory i s b u i l t i n t o t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p l a y , t h e n , a s a p o w e r f u l theme, a f o r c e i n t h e c h a r a c t e r -i z a t i o n , and a c r u c i a l f a c t o r i n p l o t r e v e r s a l . Whereas t h e n o t i o n o f f a m i l y bonds had been e x p l o r e d i n The C a r e t a k e r and Tea P a r t y , and t h e s e x u a l power o f t h e f e m a l e and t h e a m b i g u i t y o f m ale a t t i t u d e s t o h e r had been w o r k e d o v e r i n s u c h p l a y s as The B i r t h d a y P a r t y , N i g h t S c h o o l , The C o l l e c t i o n , The L o v e r and Tea P a r t y , P i n t e r had n e v e r b e f o r e made memory s u c h an i m p o r t a n t and c r u c i a l s t r u c t u r a l f o r c e i n h i s work. I n t h i s r e s p e c t , 105 T h e H o m e c o m i n g l e a d s o n t o t h e t h r e e l a t e s t s t a g e p l a y s , L a n d s c a p e , S i l e n c e a n d O l d T i m e s . T h e H o m e c o m i n g i s , t h e n , c e n t r a l l y p l a c e d w i t h i n t h e P i n t e r o p u s t o d a t e . I t l o o k s b a c k t o p r e v i o u s l y e x p l o r e d t h e m e s , a n d a n t i c i p a t e s t h e m a j o r c o n c e r n o f t h e l a s t t h r e e w o r k s . I t i s a l s o t h e m o s t p o w e r f u l a n d s h o c k i n g o f h i s w o r k s s o f a r . A n d t h e s h o c k s a r e s o p o w e r f u l l y c o n v e y e d b e c a u s e o f h i s m a s t e r y o f t h a t f a i r l y t r a d i t i o n a l r e a l i s t i c s t r u c t u r e w h i c h he c o u l d i n v e s t w i t h a d i s t u r b i n g a m b i g u i t y o u t o f K a f k a a n d B e c k e t t . The H o m e c o m i n g i s h i s m a s t e r p i e c e , h o l d i n g t e r r o r a n d c o m p a s s i o n f o r o u r b a s i c human c o n d i t i o n i n t h e g r i p o f t o u g h i r o n y a n d l a u g h t e r . I t i s t h e p e a k , t h e m a t u r i t y o f h i s e a r l y m e t h o d . W h e r e c o u l d he go n e x t ? H i s a n s w e r w a s o n c e m o r e t o s l i c e a w a y a n d e x p l o r e a new c o n c e r n , m e m o r y , p a r i n g down a s u s u a l ? b u t t h i s t i m e w i t h a r a d i c a l c h a n g e i n s t r u c t u r a l m e t h o d . 1 0 6 CHAPTER I V THE PAST IS ANOTHER COUNTRYt LANDSCAPE, SILENCE AND OLD TIMES I f e l t that a f t e r The Homecoming,...! couldn't any longer stay i n the room with t h i s hunch of people who opened doors and came i n and went out. Landscape and Silence are i n a very d i f f e r e n t form. There i s n ' t any menace at a l l . 1 The marked change of shape and manner i n P i n t e r ' s work was noted by the reviewers as w e l l as by the w r i t e r himself. The j o u r n a l i s t s noted by and l a r g e the d r a s t i c change to a smaller k i n d of play owing something to Beckett i n the narrow-i n g of dramatic experience i n t o a bare, elegiac l y r i c i s m . Most reviewers of the double staging of Landscape and Silence found that the former was the more s u b s t a n t i a l play and the b e t t e r of the two. Indeed, I r v i n g Wardle i n The Times ( 3 J u l y , 1 9 6 9 ) r e f e r r e d to these " T h e a t r i c a l Twins i n Pools of S o l i t u d e , " c a l l i n g Landscape "a short masterpeice," while admitting that Silence l e f t him c o l d . The majority of c r i t i c s approved of the plays w i t h i n t h e i r l i m i t s , yet there were some d i s s e n t i n g voices. P i n t e r ' s new, more stringent economy, whereby greater s t r e s s was placed on language and f a r l e s s on t h e a t r i c a l e f f e c t s , was seen as a retrograde movement to a p o s i t i o n where l e s s and l e s s was being said about more and more, while Walter Kerr, who saw the i n f e r i o r New York production, 3 noted the break with a l l that P i n t e r had done previously, and lamented t h i s new dramaturgy i n which nothing happened i n a s t a s i s a. l a Beckett. I t was a mistake, Kerr argued, f o r P i n t e r was l e s s of a poet 1 0 7 than Beckett and more of a dramatist. But i f the a f f i n i t i e s w ith Beckett were noticed, so also was that manipulation of time past, the play and i n t e r -play of memory, which perhaps owed something to Joyce, Proust and Ibsen. I t might have been as much to the point to r e c a l l that i n f l u e n t i a l and widely acclaimed radio play, Dylan Thomas' Under M i l k Wood, i n which characters dream out fragments from t h e i r past. One reviewer, indeed, n e a t l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d Ibsen's r e t r o s p e c t i v e e x p o s i t i o n technique f o r dramatising the loom of the past from P i n t e r ' s very d i f f e r e n t "collage of the past."'' P i n t e r confesses to a l i k i n g f o r the works of Yeats: i t i s tempting to think of P i n t e r ' s f r e s h pre-occupation with the dreaming back over past experience as owing something to Yeats's theory of the p u r g a t o r i a l dreaming-back of ghosts. Yet t h i s cannot be stressed, f o r the plays are t o t a l l y u n l i k e Yeats's, which have a f a r more sensuously t h e a t r i c a l surface of costume, mask, music, song and dance. And Yeats's poetic resources are f a r greater than the smaller e f f e c t s of P i n t e r ' s prose. The search f o r a d e f i n i t i o n of Pi n t e r ' s new dramatic idiom i n both Landscape and Sil e n c e , i t seems, had best s t a r t i n an examination and d e s c r i p t i o n of str u c t u r e . I f these plays are, as several reviewers believed, i n t e r e s t i n g as te c h n i c a l exercises i n a r e f i n e d , evocative prose, often l y r i c a l i n e f f e c t , they are also i n t e r e s t i n g f o r t h e i r new l i m p i d , i n s i s t -ent m u s i c a l i t y of contrasting s t y l e s and characters; there i s gentleness as opposed to violence, and coarseness rather than 108 overt b r u t a l i t y . This new gentleness had been a n t i c i p a t e d by the b l i n d negro of The Room, but gentleness now constitutes a dominant mood, b r i n g i n g a moving poignancy to the hesitancies and s i l e n c e s , and a subtle sense of ir o n y to the dramatic s i t u a t i o n i n both Landscape and Si l e n c e . Although Landscape was f i r s t performed on the r a d i o ^ i n England i t demands a stage production i f the audience i s to be f u l l y aware of i t s s i t u a t i o n , f o r t h i s i s summed up i n a s t r i k i n g and unchanging v i s u a l tableau. Beth, a woman i n her l a t e f o r t i e s , s i t s i n the kitchen of a country house w i t h Duff, a man i n h i s e a r l y f i f t i e s t BETH s i t s i n an armchair, which stands away from the t a b l e , to i t s l e f t . DUFF s i t s i n a c h a i r at the r i g h t corner of the t a b l e . The background, of a sink, stove, etc., and a window, i s dim. Evening. NOTE i DUFF r e f e r s normally to BETH, but does not appear to hear her voice. BETH never looks at DUFF, and does not appear to hear h i s voice.(p.8) The " r e l a t i o n s h i p , " such as i t i s , of Duff and Beth i s figured f o r t h i n the p o s i t i o n i n g of the characters (separated by a long table) and t h e i r respective a t t i t u d e s (Duff addressing himself to Beth, yet apparently unhearing, and Beth seemingly t o t a l l y i n d i f f e r e n t to Duff). Beth's unawareness of Duff makes i t apparent to a theatre audience that.they may be hearing, i n her speeches, the i n t e r n a l monologue of her w i s t f u l thought. Duff's image i s that of a man c o n t i n u a l l y t r y i n g to s t a r t a conversation, e l i c i t a response, though never managing to succeed 109 a n d n e v e r a b l e t o i m a g i n e w h a t i s g o i n g o n i n h e r h e a d o r i n t h e w o r d s s h e s p e a k s . T h u s we a r e p r e s e n t e d w i t h t h e i m a g e o f t h e l o q u a c i o u s p a r t n e r a n d t h e w i t h d r a w n p a r t n e r a g a i n . D u f f h a s 226 l i n e s , w h i l e B e t h h a s 1 6 8 . B u t i n t h e e a r l i e r , m o r e r e a l i s t i c p l a y s , t h e w i t h d r a w n p a r t n e r w a s s i l e n t . Now we a r e t a k e n i n s i d e t h a t s i l e n c e , t o h e a r t h e v o i c e w i t h i n t h e s k u l l . F r o m t h i s v i s u a l t a b l e a u a n d t h i s s i t u a t i o n f o l l o w s t h e t o t a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p l a y , f o r i t c o n s i s t s o f t w o m o n o l o g u e s , o n e i n t e r n a l , t h e o t h e r e x t e r n a l ; o n e s e l f - c o n t a i n e d , f r a g i l e , r u m i n a t i v e , t h e o t h e r o u t - g o i n g , o f f e r i n g c o n t a c t , b u t f a c t u a l ; o n e o b s e s s e d b y g e n t l e l o v e - m a k i n g l o s t i n m e m o r y , t h e o t h e r c o a r s e , f a i t h l e s s , b r u t a l l y s e x u a l a t i t s c l i m a x . T h u s t h e p l a y d o e s n o t u s e d i a l o g u e b u t a d o u b l e m o n o l o g u e p a t t e r n . T h e m o n o l o g u e s c a n b e s e e n t o h a v e c r o s s - r e f e r e n c e s t o e a c h o t h e r a t c e r t a i n p o i n t s , l i k e r u n g s j o i n i n g t h e two u p r i g h t s o f a l a d d e r . A s t h e p l a y p r o g r e s s e s a n d we c l i m b t h i s l a d d e r o f m o n o l o g u e s we c a t c h h o l d o f r u n g s o f i r o n y r u n n i n g b e t w e e n t h e s p e a k e r s . One s u c h r u n g i s D u f f ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f B e t h a s " g r a v e , " w h i c h c o n n e c t s h i m w i t h t h e v e r y w o r d s h e r e m e m b e r s h e r g e n t l e l o v e r h a v i n g u s e d o f h e r . P e r h a p s D u f f was t h i s l o v e r . B o t h s p e a k e r s a r e s i t t i n g t o g e t h e r i n t h e k i t c h e n a s s e r v a n t s i n a c o u n t r y h o u s e , b u t we l e a r n t h a t t h e y h a v e a p p a r e n t l y i n h e r i t e d i t f r o m t h e o w n e r , M r . S y k e s . B e t h i s a s e r v a n t , y e t s h e r e m e m b e r s h e r g e n t e e l s k i l l w i t h t h e s k e t c h -b o o k . T h i s c o n t r a s t s w i t h D u f f ' s p r o w e s s a s c e l l a r m a n . T h e s p e a k e r s a r e p e r h a p s m a r r i e d , a n d h a v e a t a n y r a t e l i v e d t o g e t h e r 110 f o r a l o n g time, yet they have made l i t t l e contact w i t h each other f o r years. Duff sees Mr. Syke's l i k i n g f o r Beth i n a blue dress as a means of showing o f f a l i t t l e to impress guests w i t h a smart, a t t r a c t i v e servant, yet we suspect that as Beth's possible l o v e r , Mr. Sykes l i k e d her to wear blue f o r h i s sake. Beth happens to be t h i n k i n g about the time she and her l o v e r thought of going to a hotel f o r tea or else a dri n k , j u s t as Duff launches i n t o h i s t a l k about a "nut" who came in t o the bar and c a l l e d the beer nothing but "piss ". This i s t y p i c a l of the i r o n i c tension and pattern of a s s o c i a t i o n which operates between the two monologues. The f i n a l rung of irony i s the culminating attempt by Duff to e s t a b l i s h a rapport again with Beth; instead of gentleness he remembers and reminds her of her neurotic routine amid the disorder of the housekeeping; I t ' s b u l l s h i t . Standing i n an empty h a l l banging a bloody gong. There's no one to l i s t e n . No one'11 hear. There's not a soul i n the house. Except me. There's nothing f o r lunch. There's nothing cooked. No stew. No p i e . No greens. No j o i n t . Fuck a l l . (p.28) Coarseness and tension and suppressed s e x u a l i t y w e l l up i n Duff's f i n a l speech to give the play a climax of verbal b r u t a l -i t y i n which he remembers the occasion when he thought Beth would come to him to make love. But, evidently, she did not, and h i s f r u s t r a t i o n mounts i n the co n d i t i o n a l tense, "I would have had you...," into a v i s i o n of a comic, grotesque, v i o l e n t rape, a fantasy which ends with the h o r r i b l y peremptory word "slam," the sentence b i t t e n o f f i n pain, l o s s , rage, f r u s t r a -t i o n . Silence f o l l o w s . We f e e l f o r Duff. We r e a l i z e that he I l l could well have heen her lover on the beach. This p o s s i b i l i t y makes us feel the pathos of a man once young and sensitive now trapped i n the coarseness which has come to him i n middle age. Will Beth pity him, coming out of her dream to look into his all-too-human eyes? Beth speaks. Ir o n i c a l l y , after the tension and pain of his speech, hers i s a tender, gentle sublimation of her experience. Memory comes as a v i s i o n of sweetness, silence, softness; i t i s a love l y r i c which shapes i n her mindi He lay above me and looked down at me. He supported my shoulder. Pause. So tender his touch on my neck. So so f t l y his kiss on my cheek. Pause. My hand on his r i b . Pause. So sweetly the sand over me. Tiny the sand on my skin. Pause. So s i l e n t the sky i n my eyes. Gently the sound of the tide. Pause. Oh my true love I said. (pp. 29-30) This ending, b u i l t from a climax of harsh, ironic contrast i s as moving as anything i n Pinter's work so far. We feel compassion for Duff, the simple, coarse, man's man who cannot connect, as well as for Beth, locked i n a dream of love which 112 i n s u l a t e s her from the r e a l i t y of a l i f e she cannot face, a c h i l d l e s s and l o v e l e s s old age. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , among her memories there i s no sig n of Duff's i n f i d e l i t y . I t i s e i t h e r so p a i n f u l that i t has been suppressed, or she has accepted i t (she k i s s e d him a f t e r hi s confession) as a salve to her own conscience f o r her own i n f i d e l i t y and continuous memory of i t . I t i s also i r o n i c a l l y an ending which, while a f f i r m i n g l o v e , i s nevertheless m e r c i l e s s l y bleak t Duff has t r i e d to reach Beth, but we have seen that he f a i l s , while she dreams her memory, seemingly o b l i v i o u s of h i s f r u s t r a t i o n . At the beginning of the play we have,perhaps been t h i n k i n g "only connect"; by the end of the play we are perhaps t h i n k i n g "can one connect?" The male and female p r i n c i p l e s i n the play are contrasted to y i e l d a f u r t h e r irony. Duff thinks of s e x u a l i t y , while Beth seeks to r e l i v e a love r e l a t i o n s h i p ; yet i t i s Duff who f e e l s a quiet contentment and seeks to r e l a t e to Beth now, even though she i s n e u r o t i c a l l y withdrawn, passing the c h i l d - b e a r i n g age, ignores him, and, l i k e some sort of c r i p p l e , w i l l not go out. Duff comes across as the protector of an inj u r e d woman. Beth, dreaming of love-making and f e r t i l i t y , seems i n the play to be f r i g i d and perhaps s t e r i l e . The non-action and the non-dialogue of the structure springs l o g i c a l l y from the f a c t that the characters are locked i n a s i t u a t i o n which i s a non-relation-ship. There i s a t o t a l l a c k of phy s i c a l a c t i o n f o r the f i r s t time i n P i n t e r ' s work, and there i s no r e a l confrontation, no struggle f o r power. There i s no exposition which leads to 113 c o m p l i c a t i o n s , p o i n t e r s , h i n t s a n d p a u s e s , r e v e r s a l s , r e c o g n i -t i o n s , c r i s e s a n d c l i m a x e s i n a l o g i c a l l y c o n n e c t e d c h a i n w h i c h i s r o u n d e d o f f b y a j o l l y , o r d i s m a l f o r t h a t m a t t e r , d e n o u e m e n t . I n s t e a d we f i n d a t i m e p r e s e n t o f t h e p e r f o r m a n c e w h i c h u n f o l d s f r o m B e t h ' s f i r s t w o r d s , a w i s h I w o u l d l i k e t o s t a n d b y t h e s e a . I t i s t h e r e . (p.9) T h i s w i s h i s f u l f i l l e d o n l y b y memory. A n d s o we e n t e r a t a t t e r e d f a b r i c o f t h e p a s t . We a r e n o t i n v i t e d t o p i e c e t o g e t h e r a c o m p l e t e l i f e f o r B e t h a n d D u f f . I n s t e a d we g l i m p s e i n t e n s e m o m e n t s f r o m B e t h ' s l o v e - l i f e w h i c h c o u l d h a v e o c c u r r e d o n a s m a n y a s e i g h t d i f f e r e n t o c c a s i o n s , o r o n j u s t f o u r d a y s — a d a y s h e w a s o n t h e d e s o l a t e b e a c h , a d a y s h e w a s o n t h e c r o w d e d b e a c h , a d a y s h e w a s c a t e r i n g f o r a d i n n e r - p a r t y , a n d t h e m o r n i n g a f t e r w a r d s . We c a n n o t a c c u r a t e l y p l a c e h e r m e m o r i e s i n a s e q u e n t i a l o r d e r . D u f f s t a r t s h i s m o n o l o g u e w i t h a d i r e c t a d d r e s s t o B e t h i n t h e p r e s e n t , b u t c o u c h e d i n t h e p a s t t e n s e * T h e d o g ' s g o n e . I d i d n ' t t e l l y o u . ( p . 1 0 ) When we h a v e h e a r d h i s l a s t s p e e c h we r e a l i z e t h a t t h i s r e m a r k i s a n a t t e m p t a t p l e a s i n g B e t h , who w o u l d p r o b a b l y b e g l a d t o b e r i d o f t h e d o g . D u f f ' s s p e e c h e s a r e m u c h n e a r e r t o t h e p r e s e n t . He r e f e r s t o y e s t e r d a y ' s w a l k a n d d o w n f a l l , h e a t t e m p t s d i r e c t c o n v e r s a t i o n a l a d v a n c e s t o B e t h . T h e many r e b u f f s ( o n a c c o u n t o f h e r o b l i v i o u s n e s s ) b e g i n t o e x a s p e r a t e h i m , a n d i t i s t h e m o u n t i n g v e x a t i o n a n d f r u s t r a t i o n i n h i s s p e e c h w h i c h p r o v i d e s t h e o n e r e a l c l i m a x o f t h e p l a y a s he t r i e s t o b r e a k t h r o u g h B e t h ' s s h e l l w i t h h i s g o n g - b a n g i n g r a p e 1 1 4 speech, perhaps to contact her, perhaps to torment her wit h traumatic memory, perhaps to warn her, perhaps merely to r e l i e v e his own pent-up emotions. But a l l the normal dramatic c o n f l i c t and c r i s i s belongs to the past before the opening of the play. Our structure i s almost t o t a l l y r e t r o s p e c t i v e e x p o s i t i o n and the f a i l u r e to renew a l o s t r e l a t i o n s h i p . Beth and Duff are two points of a love t r i a n g l e which may be expressed as f o l l o w s ; Mr. Sykes Beth Gentle Young Duff [~~~ ^ Unnamed g i r l S i l e n t Unnamed l o v e r Duff Coarse Loud Past Present Past The t r i a n g l e s emerge as our minds are l e d i n t o the l i v e s of the characters from the time present of the elapsing performance by means of excursions into the country of the past, which may be as near as yesterday, as f a r as youth. I t i s a landscape of l o s t r e l a t i o n s h i p s , l o s t happiness. Ruth i n The Homecoming had argued d e c i s i v e l y by drawing a t t e n t i o n to her female physical presence; RUTH. That's a l l i t i s . But I wear... underwear ...which moves with me... i t . . . captures your a t t e n t i o n . Perhaps you m i s i n t e r p r e t . The a c t i o n i s simple. I t ' s a leg...moving. My l i p s move. Why don't you r e s t r i c t . . . your observations to that? Perhaps the fa c t that they move i s more s i g n i f i c a n t . . . than the words which come through them. (pp.52-3) Beth uses a more genteel, but equally sexual version of the same argument! 115 BETH. A l l i t i s , you see...I s a i d . . . i s the l i g h t n e s s of your touch, the l i g h t n e s s of your look, my neck, your eyes, the s i l e n c e , that i s my meaning, the l o v e l i n e s s of my flowers, my hands touching my flowers, that i s my meaning, (p.2k) Where Ruth makes c l i n i c a l statements devoid of lov e , as b e f i t s her r o l e as whore, Beth's words amount to a l y r i c a l evocation of tender l o v e l i n e s s . Where Ruth i s seen embracing the coarse and b r u t a l men of The Homecoming and f i n d i n g them worth s t a y i n g w i t h while her more gentlemanly (though cold and c a l l o u s ) husband has to leave f o r America alone; Beth i s seen to be l i v i n g with a coarse man she nolonger r e l a t e s to, while longing f o r the gentlemanly l o v e r of her youth. This tension between the gentle and the coarse lovers i n a t r i a n g l e r e l a t i o n s h i p appears again i n P i n t e r ' s next play, S i l e n c e , and i n the struggle of the female and male l o v e r s of Old Times. The new dramatic s t y l e P i n t e r adopted i n Landscape, though obviously indebted to other w r i t e r s , as the reviewers were quick to point out, was at the same time another d r a s t i c example of the strategy we have come to expect of him from the study of h i s st r u c t u r e s . A f t e r a movement of complication and b u i l d i n g up (The Caretaker and The Homecoming) we can see the paring away from e a r l i e r work of some r i c h or f r u i t f u l concern — i n t h i s case the dramatic use of memory i n a coarse-gentle love t r i a n g l e — which i s then presented i n simple one-act form. In the case of Landscape, the use of memory affected the whole use of time, and the broken r e l a t i o n s h i p of Beth and Duff precluded dialogue r e s u l t i n g i n the ladder of monologue 1 1 6 s t r u c t u r e already described. P i n t e r had been content to sketch i n the Beth/Duff l i n e of the t r i a n g l e s l e a v i n g the l o v e r on the beach and the unnamed g i r l as uncertain memories, the former obviously f a r more important than the l a t t e r . In S i l e n c e , h i s next play, P i n t e r gives us a l l three points of the t r i a n g l e i n the characters Rumsey, E l l e n and Bates. A l l three have monologues, SQ that the pa t t e r n i s complicated a l i t t l e . I t i s f u r t h e r complicated by the f a c t that the characters do not only r e c a l l the past i n t h e i r p a r a l l e l monologues but also enact c r u c i a l scenes from i t . At the same time, Silence i s structured i n a more complicated way than Landscape, using a pattern which focusses our a t t e n t i o n on the nature of memory and the whole question of the v e r i f i c a t i o n of the past. The austere immobility of the characters and the r e f u s a l of t h e a t r i c a l elements above the bare minimum of the p o s i t i o n i n g of the characters on the stage which we found i n Landscape i s relaxed a l i t t l e i n S i l e n c e , P i n t e r a l l o w i n g movement and dialogue on three occasions i n the play. Yet despite these elaborations on the s t y l e and s i t u a t i o n of Landscape, Silence i s shorter and even barer l i n g u i s t i c a l l y . Thus, as with the r e l a t i o n s h i p of The Homecoming to The Caretaker, S i l e n c e , on a much smaller scale, i s at the same time e l a b o r a t i n g and compressing to achieve i t s v a r i a t i o n on the concerns of the e a r l i e r partner. These miniature plays, seemingly l i t t l e more than exercises i n drama at i t s minimal l i m i t s , are nevertheless among the most t i g h t l y and c a r e f u l l y wrought of P i n t e r ' s works. Their 11? b r e v i t y i s perhaps p a r t l y on account of that, and p a r t l y a r e s u l t of the more c a r e f u l a t t i t u d e to his w r i t i n g which P i n t e r has adopted as he has matured. P i n t e r described the w r i t i n g of Silence i n t h i s ways I t was one of those happy things that r a r e l y happen with me...I always f e e l a f t e r completing something that I ' l l never wr i t e again, but then came Sil e n c e . I t took a long time to w r i t e — longer i n f a c t than any f u l l - l e n g t h play of mine ...My plays are g e t t i n g shorter...words are so tender. One act plays are a l l I seem to be able to w r i t e at the moment. I doubt i f I w i l l ever w r i t e something mammoth...1 think evenings i n the theatre tend to go on too long. I f e e l the audience w i l l have quite enough with mine... Th e y ' l l be glad to get out. They won't want any more... V I t i s c l e a r that P i n t e r himself took very s e r i o u s l y the task of w r i t i n g t h i s play; i t was important to him, obviously, i n terms of language. I t was also important i n that i t was structured i n an e n t i r e l y new way f o r P i n t e r . Where Landscape's ladder of monologues dramatized the aftermath of action', i t yet achieved a r h e t o r i c a l climax i n Duff's l a s t speech which was analogous to the major climax of the e a r l i e r P i n t e r plays. Beth's l a s t l i n e was as moving a l i n e , and as much a c u r t a i n l i n e , as several i n the e a r l i e r plays. Yet i n Silence we f i n d a s t ructure which i s organized i n such a way that the three monologues b u i l d up a collage of memory, statement and s h i f t s to dialogue, which E l l e n ' s perception of her own memory patterns completes about two t h i r d s of the way through the play. The rest of the play repeats the previous part but not i n f u l l , g i v i n g the e f f e c t of half-remembered memory fading into s i l e n c e . The structure i s 118 d e l i b e r a t e l y a n t i - c l i m a c t i c , and the numerous s i l e n c e s which punctuate the c l o s i n g l i n e s d e l i b e r a t e l y make the audience uncertain as to which i s the l a s t l i n e u n t i l the l i g h t s fade a f t e r a f i n a l long s i l e n c e . This i s the denial of the c u r t a i n l i n e . I t i s an ending device more usual i n the concert h a l l than i n the theatre. A c l o s e r examination of t h i s s t r u cture w i l l reveal that i,t i s not merely a copy of the wholesale r e p e t i t i o n that obtains i n Beckett's Play. Silence proceeds by means of monologues from the three characters, E l l e n , Rumsey and Bates, together wi t h three episodes of enacted dialogue. The sections of monologue and dialogue are interrupted by s i l e n c e s . The Methuen hardback e d i t i o n , f i r s t published i n 19&9 a n d the Grove Press e d i t i o n , f i r s t published i n 1970, contain two extra speeches by E l l e n which have been cut from the Methuen paper-back e d i t i o n f i r s t published i n 1970. The f u l l e r s t r u c ture , can be seen i n the f o l l o w i n g diagrami STRUCTURE OF SILENCE IN METHUEN HARDBACK EDITION, 1969 Unit Rumsey E l l e n Bates V ? \2° XX XI ;*8 id /3 It L 0 N S ; L. E N C E The Arabic numerals represent the 35 scenic units of Silence which are cut o f f from each other by si l e n c e s (the v e r t i c a l l i n e s ) . The green l i n e marks the s i l e n c e a f t e r which the 1 1 9 m o n o l o g u e s o f R u m s e y a n d B a t e s " b e g i n t o r e p e a t i s o l a t e d l i n e s f r o m u n i t 1. T h e l o w e r l i n e o f n u m e r a l s s h o w s w h i c h u n i t s a r e b e i n g r e p e a t e d . T h e b l a c k h o r i z o n t a l l i n e s s h o w who i s s p e a k i n g i n e a c h s c e n i c u n i t . When t h e l i n e s a r e r e d , t h e s p e a k e r s a r e r e p e a t i n g s e l e c t e d l i n e s f r o m t h e i r e a r l i e r s p e e c h e s i n t h e p l a y . T h u s , i n u n i t s 1 a n d 2 we c a n t e l l t h a t a l l t h r e e c h a r a c t e r s a r e s p e a k i n g m o n o l o g u e s we h a v e n o t p r e v i o u s l y h e a r d ; i n u n i t 15 R u m s e y a n d B a t e s a r e s p e a k i n g m o n o l o g u e s made u p o f l i n e s f r o m t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e m o n o l o g u e s i n u n i t 1; i n u n i t 1 7 a l l t h r e e c h a r a c t e r s a r e d o i n g t h i s ; i n u n i t 32 R u m s e y s p e a k s a l i n e o f m o n o l o g u e w h i c h f i r s t o c c u r s i n u n i t 1 a n d w h i c h i s r e p e a t e d i n u n i t 15 ( t h i s d o u b l e r e p e t i t i o n i s d e n o t e d b y t w o h o r i z o n t a l r e d l i n e s ) . I n u n i t s 3, 7, a n d 11 t h e s p e a k e r l i n e s a r e e q u i p p e d w i t h a r r o w h e a d s t o r e p r e s e n t t h a t t h e y a r e d i a l o g u e n o t m o n o l o g u e u n i t s . T h e l a r g e a r r o w h e a d i n u n i t 5 r e p r e s e n t s t h e c u r i o u s , i n t e r l a c e d , l y r i c a l m o n o l o g u e s w h i c h s u g g e s t l o v e - m a k i n g b e t w e e n R u m s e y a n d E l l e n . T h e p a t t e r n o f s t r u c t u r e f o r t h e h a r d b a c k t e x t i s e x t r e m e l y s y m m e t r i c a l . T h e p a t t e r n o f s p e e c h i n u n i t s 1 - 1 4 i s r e p e a t e d p r e c i s e l y i n u n i t s 18 -31, e x c e p t f o r t h e f a c t t h a t P i n t e r h a s g i v e n E l l e n a l i n e r e p e a t e d f r o m u n i t 1 i n b o t h u n i t 23 a n d 30. The e x t r a l i n e i s i n e a c h c a s e s i g n i f i c a n t l y p l a c e d ! i n 23 R u m s e y a n d B a t e s r e p e a t c r u c i a l p h r a s e s d e s c r i b i n g r e s p e c t i v e l y u n s u r e e y e s i g h t a n d a f e e l i n g o f d i s i n t e g r a t i o n w i t h i n t h e h e a d •— E l l e n s i m p l y h a s " I l o o k t h e m i n t h e i r e y e s . " — P i n t e r ' s r e c u r r i n g i m a g e o f a s l i g h t a c h e a n d l o s s o f e y e s i g h t i s t h u s e m p h a s i z e d ; i n 30 B a t e s r e p e a t s h i s l i n e f r o m 13, " S l e e p ? T e n d e r l o v e ? I t ' s o f 120 no importance.", "but by adding E l l e n ' s l i n e from 1, "I k i s s them there and say," P i n t e r subtly enriches the moment by i r o n i c j u x t a p o s i t i o n and reminds us o f a younger Bates eager f o r Ellen's love. Units 15 - 17 can be seen to provide a bridge between the r e p e t i t i o n of the pattern made up of Rumsey and Bates monologues repeating some l i n e s from t h e i r speeches i n 1, and an E l l e n monologue of new ma t e r i a l emphasising her awareness, her i s o l a t i o n , her uncertain memory, and a casual acknowledgement that she has been married. The s u r p r i s i n g casual tone here i s a kind of climax; the thoughts about memory, i t s uncertainty and i t s tendency to fade away provide an i n t r o -duction to the enactment of t h i s very theme i n the second part of the p l a y i I t i s only l a t e r , i n my room, that I remember. Yes, I remember. But I'm never sure that what I remember i s of to-day or of yesterday or of a l o n g time ago. And then often i t i s only h a l f things I remember, h a l f things, beginnings of things, (p.46) The s e l e c t i o n of c r u c i a l l i n e s from the e a r l i e r units i n the second part of the play renders t h i s sense of the e f f o r t to remember, the way the memory c l i n g s to i n s i g n i f i c a n t and c r u c i a l scraps of our experience. The device, of course, draws i n the audience's experience too, f o r as we hear the scraps repeated we begin to remember b i t s of the e a r l i e r speeches and r e a l i z e that the characters are l i k e old people whose minds run over past experiences. The e f f e c t of the dramatic structure would be t o t a l l y missed i f i t were not f o r the fun c t i o n i n g of that very mechanism of memory i n the audience. 1 2 1 U n i t s 32 - 35 f o r m a c o d a i n w h i c h E l l e n ' s l a s t l i n e i n 34 c o m p l e t e s t h e t o t a l p a t t e r n o f r e p e t i t i o n b y r e c a l l i n g t h e c l i m a c t i c w e d d i n g i n f o r m a t i o n o f u n i t 16, w h i l e R u m s e y a n d B a t e s i n 32 a n d 33 r e c a l l m i n i m a l t r i v i a f r o m 1 a n d 15 r e d u c e d t o a m e r e t w o a n d t h r e e w o r d s ; a n d i n 35 t h e i r d o u b l e r e p e t i t i o n s b e g i n t o b u i l d a g a i n t o s i g n i f i c a n t m e m o r i e s , R u m s e y w a l k i n g w i t h h i s g i r l a n d B a t e s i n t h e c r o w d e d m a r k e t p l a c e o f t h e t o w n . T h e l i n e s t h e y r e p e a t a r e , i n f a c t , t h e f i r s t l i n e s o f t h e i r f i r s t m o n o l o g u e s i n t h e p l a y , t h u s h i n t i n g a t a c i r c u l a r s t r u c t u r e a n d a t e n d e n c y f o r m e m o r y t o b u i l d up a g a i n a f t e r r e a c h i n g a m i n i m a l p o i n t . T h i s s e n s e o f r e n e w e d b u i l d - u p i s , t h o u g h , h i n t e d a t o n l y , f o r i n p e r f o r m a n c e t h e i n c r e a s e d s i l e n c e s w h i c h o c c u r i n t h e s e c o n d p a r t o f t h e p l a y g i v e t h e l a s t 7 u n i t s a m a r k e d s e n s e o f r a l l e n t a n d o a n d a t t e n u a t i o n . I f t h e s i l e n c e s a r e s l i g h t l y l e n g t h e n e d t o w a r d s t h e e n d t o m o u n t t o t h e f i n a l l o n g s i l e n c e , a n d t h e l i n e s a r e d r o p p e d s e n s i t i v e l y a n d q u i e t l y i n t o t h e s i l e n c e s , t h e a t m o s p h e r e b e c o m e s t e n s e w i t h f e e l i n g , a n d t h e e n d i n g w o r k s b e a u t i f u l l y . A s i t s t a n d s , t h i s s e e m s t o b e t h e m o s t p e r f e c t l y p a t t e r n e d o f P i n t e r ' s s t r u c t u r e s . Y e t t h e c u t t i n g o f u n i t s 14 a n d 31 f r o m t h e M e t h u e n p a p e r b a c k e d i t i o n o f 1970 i s i n t e r e s t i n g i n a t l e a s t t w o w a y s . The c u t t i n g o f l 4 ' s m o n o l o g u e e n t a i l e d t h e r e m o v a l o f a l i n e r e p e a t e d f r o m i t a t 31» t h u s p r o v i n g t h a t P i n t e r w a s t o t a l l y a w a r e o f t h e v e r y r i g i d s y m m e t r y o f t h e p l a y a n d t h e way he h a d a v o i d e d a n y new m a t e r i a l a f t e r u n i t 1 7 . H a d he c u t 14 w i t h o u t r e m o v i n g 31 t h e s y m m e t r y w o u l d h a v e b e e n r u i n e d t o t a l l y b e c a u s e 31 w o u l d t h e n h a v e a p p e a r e d t o b e 122 a n i n t r u s i o n o f new m a t e r i a l . T h e e m b o d i m e n t o f m e m o r y w o u l d h a v e b e e n c o n f u s e d b y f r e s h t h o u g h t . T h e s e c o n d i n t e r e s t i n g t h i n g a b o u t t h e c u t i s t h a t P i n t e r h a s d e t e c t e d a f l a w i n t h e s t r u c t u r e we h a v e d e s c r i b e d . T h e c u t p a s s a g e r e a d s a s f o l l o w s i E L L E N A l o n g way a l o n g w a y a l o n g w a y o v e r t h e h i l l s I c a n s e e l i g h t s f a r f a r a w a y . F a r f a r i n t o t h e d i s t a n c e o v e r t h e h i l l s w h i c h a r e b l a c k t h e s k y j u s t l e s s b l a c k a n d l i g h t s f a r f a r a w a y a l o n g l o n g w a y a w a y o v e r t h e h i l l s w h i c h a r e b l a c k . F r o m w h e r e I am I c a n s e e l i g h t s f a r a w a y i n t h e d i s t a n c e . A s my e y e s c l o s e I s e e l a s t o f l i g h t s f a r o v e r b l a c k a c r o s s b l a c k u n d e r my e y e s f a r a w a y l i g h t s o v e r h i l l s c l o s i n g . S i l e n c e T h e p a s s a g e i n i t s e l f i s i n f e r i o r t o t h e w r i t i n g o f t h e o t h e r m o n o l o g u e s , s t r a i n i n g a s i t d o e s f o r a n e f f e c t o f p o e t i c p r o s e b y m e a n s o f e a s y r e p e t i t i o n s w i t h o u t a t t h e same t i m e a d d i n g t o o u r k n o w l e d g e o f E l l e n ' s c h a r a c t e r o r h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h e i t h e r o f t h e men. I t i s m e r e l y a p e r c e p t i o n a n d d e s c r i p t i o n a d d i n g n o t h i n g t o t h e d r a m a t i c s i t u a t i o n : b y c u t t i n g i t a w a y P i n t e r n o t o n l y t i g h t e n s t h e s t r u c t u r e f u r t h e r , b u t a t t h e same t i m e d i s c o v e r s a n o t h e r t e l l i n g a n d i r o n i c c r o s s - c u t g i v i n g a c l i m a x t h r o u g h d r a m a t i c c o n t r a s t w h e r e p r e v i o u s l y he h a d m e r e l y a l o o s e l y r i c i s m . F o r b y r e m o v i n g lk P i n t e r now e n d s p a r t o n e o f t h e p l a y w i t h 13, B a t e s ' p o w e r f u l r e s e n t m e n t a n d h a r s h c y n i c i s m : F r o m t h e y o u n g p e o p l e ' s r o o m — s i l e n c e . S l e e p ? T e n d e r l o v e ? I t ' s o f no i m p o r t a n c e , (p.4-5) 123 C r o s s - c u t t o R u m s e y , a n d h i s g e n t l e , r o m a n t i c r e v e r i e i I w a l k w i t h my g i r l who w e a r s — ( p . 4 6 ) T h i s h i t o f s u r g e r y h a s n e a t l y p r o v i d e d m o r e e m o t i o n a l t e n s i o n a t t h e c e n t r a l t u r n i n g p o i n t , t h e c r u x o f t h e p l a y . T h e s t r u c t u r e a s i t now s t a n d s i s a n i m p e c c a b l e a n d b e a u t i f u l e x a m p l e o f m e t i c u l o u s c r a f t s m a n s h i p . W hat o f t h e t h e w , s i n e w a n d f l e s h o f t h i s s t u r d y s k e l e t o n ? T h e p l a y ' s t w o - p a r t p l a n g i v e s r i s e t o p a r a l l e l s a n d a t t e n d a n t i r o n i e s a n d c o n t r a s t s . I n t h e f i r s t p a r t o f t h e p l a y t h e t h r e e p o r t i o n s o f d i a l o g u e a t 3, 7 a n d 11 e n t a i l m o v e m e n t b y B a t e s a n d E l l e n b u t n o t R u m s e y . T h i s u n d e r l i n e s t h e f a c t t h a t B a t e s d e s i r e s E l l e n t h o u g h s h e w i l l r e j e c t h i m . E l l e n ' s t wo " v i s i t s " t o R u m s e y ' s s t a g e a r e a s i m i l a r l y show t h a t s h e d e s i r e s h i m , b u t t h a t he w i l l r e j e c t h e r . I n 11 he t e l l s h e r t o f i n d a y o u n g e r man. I n t h e s e c o n d p a r t o f t h e p l a y , t h e r e p e t i t i o n o f a f e w l i n e s f r o m t h e s e u n i t s i s n o t a c c o m p a n i e d b y m o v e m e n t . As t h e p r o p o r t i o n o f s i l e n c e t o w o r d s i n c r e a s e s , s o t h e c h a r a c t e r s b e c o m e i m m o b i l e . I f t h e i r v o i c e s a l s o b e c o m e l e s s a n i m a t e d i n p e r f o r m a n c e , a s t r a n g e p o i g n a n c y c a n be a c h i e v e d . T h e s h a p e o f t h e p l a y a n d t h e r e s t r i c t i o n o f m o v e m e n t i t d e m a n d s w e r e e m p h a s i s e d i n t h e L o n d o n p r o d u c t i o n b y means o f t h e t e c h n i c a l i t i e s o f s e t a n d l i g h t i n g , J e r e m y K i n g s t o n ' s P u n c h r e v i e w o f P e t e r H a l l ' s L o n d o n p r o d u c t i o n p r e s e r v e s t h e d e t a i l s t h a t . . . t h r e e c h a r a c t e r s a r e s e a t e d o n b l a c k c h a i r s a r r a n g e d i n a d i a g o n a l a c r o s s a s t a g e o f t i l t e d g l a s s ... s t r o n g l y l i t f r o m a b o v e ... s h a d o w s a g a i n s t b a c k o f s t a g e . . . t h e y l o o k l i k e p e o p l e t r a p p e d i n a b l o c k o f i c e . A n o t e b y t h e d i r e c t o r , P e t e r H a l l , i n f o r m s us t h a t t h e y a r e ' s o m e t i m e s o l d , s o m e t i m e s y o u n g ' . . . 9 124 P i n t e r ' s d i r e c t i o n s at the beginning of the play, and t h i s e l a b o r a t i o n of them, are almost a b s t r a c t , i n d i c a t i n g a kind of limbo inhabited by a performance time which may coincide with a time present of the characters i n which they may be seen as f a i r l y young (twenties, middle t h i r t i e s and f o r t y ) ; but t h i s time present does not progress s e q u e n t i a l l y , e x i s t i n g only as a collage made up of memories of e a r l i e r time when E l l e n was a l i t t l e g i r l and p r o j e c t i o n s into a future old age of the characters i n which they remember l e s s and l e s s of the v i v i d and urgent moments of the youth we glimpse. Thus i n 1 E l l e n i s loved by both men i n time present. As Martin E s s l i n notes 10 i n The Peopled Wound, the best book on P i n t e r so f a r , and the best d i s c u s s i o n of Silence I have seen i n p r i n t , a f t e r the f i r s t s i l e n c e we are i n another time sequence i n which Rumsey i s alone w i t h h i s animals, Bates i s an i r a t e o l d man complaining about noisy music and love-making from young neighbours, and E l l e n i s g e t t i n g older ('I'm o l d , I t e l l her, my youth was somewhere else...But I'm s t i l l quite p r e t t y r e a l l y . . . * ) . This i s t y p i c a l of the f l u i d i t y of time as i t i s handled by P i n t e r i n t h i s play. The enacted dialogues seem to take place i n a time contemporaneous to that of theperiod of the Ellen/Bates/Rumsey sexual a c t i v i t i e s . But i n the f i r s t v i s i t by E l l e n to Rumsey the conversation seems to enact the beginning of the love a f f a i r between the grown-up E l l e n and the f o r t y year ol d Rumsey. Subtly, P i n t e r plants a memory of E l l e n ' s childhood w i t h i n the conversation when Rumsey reminds her of the l a s t time she v i s i t e d his house — as a l i t t l e g i r l . The l a s t s e c t i o n of 125 t h i s dialogue i s t e a s i n g l y ambiguous. I t i s the b i t about whether i t gets darker the higher one i s . This could be heard as a flashback to the childhood v i s i t , time having s o f t l y s i f t e d back i n t o the past. On the other hand i t could be that the awkwardness of t h e i r f i r s t meeting as adult l o v e r s i s conveyed i n Rumsey's non sequitur to E l l e n ' s remark! ELLEN I t ' s very dark outside. RUMSEY I t ' s high up. ELLEN Does i t get darker the higher you get? (p.42) Her question could then be seen as gently teasing him. She i s drawing a t t e n t i o n to h i s i l l o g i c a l i t y . And perhaps she i s s u b t l y i n v i t i n g him to take her higher up, to take her u p s t a i r s to bed*. The next enacted dialogue between E l l e n and Rumsey contrasts s t a r k l y with the happy, p l a y f u l and charming mood evoked here. Rumsey c u r t l y t e l l s her to get a younger man. The h i s t o r y of t h e i r a f f a i r i s telescoped into these two c r u c i a l enactments. The three dialogue passages i n f a c t act out f o r us minimally the dramatic s i t u a t i o n at the core of the plays the monologues weave a f a b r i c of thought and rumination, and, l i k e the glass stage i t s e l f , suggest the p a l l i d r e p e t i t i o n s or r e f l e c t i o n s of memory. These are not merely disconnected memories, but as we have shown, they are d e l i b e r a t e l y patterned 1 2 6 to make a drama of contrasts and receding memory, with the s i l e n c e s not only marking o f f each scenic u n i t , hut also denoting subtle time s h i f t s , and conveying the gaps between people. In per-formance, of course, the actors can use the contrasts between words and s i l e n c e s to b u i l d emotional tensions w i t h i n the s i l e n c e s , and by gauging the tension i n the audience and timing the next utterance to come just at the r i g h t moment, very power-f u l e f f e c t s can be obtained. Silences have d i f f e r e n t d e n s i t i e s , P i n t e r , as an actor himself, knows t h i s as w e l l as anyone. But i f the actors do not time the play properly and c o n t r o l the s i l e n c e s , the a t t e n t i o n of the audience could wander. Landscape and Silence both demand a f a i r amount of concentration from t h e i r audience. The a t t e n t i o n i s upon the words. P i n t e r has moved away from a more t r a d i t i o n a l t h e a t r i c a l i t y towards increased s t r e s s on the text at a time when the fashionable impetus i n the theatre i s towards the c u l t of t o t a l theatre, plays l i k e Shaffer's The Royal Hunt of the Sun and Weiss's Marat-Sade, theories l i k e those of Artaud, groups l i k e The L i v i n g Theatre of J u l i a n Beck and his company, and experimental d i r e c t o r s l i k e Brook i n England and Grotowski i n Poland. But i f P i n t e r ' s technique i s l e s s spectacular i n a l l senses of the word, the perfect l i t t l e structure of Silence marks a break-through f o r him i n the exploration of a very f l u i d and preg-nant n a r r a t i v e method untrammelled by the demands of sequential time. He can move from present to past to future l o o k i n g back on i t s past which i s a kind of present. 1 2 7 Walter Kerr took P i n t e r to task f o r i m i t a t i n g Beckett without being able to make his prosaic statement s i n g w i t h the voice of true p o e t r y . 1 1 But the very t i t l e of h i s review, "A Break With Anything P i n t e r Has Done Before," points to the importance of Landscape and Silence w i t h i n the P i n t e r canon. He had achieved a very compressed way of c o n t r a s t i n g images, moods, themes, men, types of sexuality> darkness, l i g h t , country, town, childhood, adulthood, prime, o l d age, speech, s i l e n c e , noise, music, acceptance, r e j e c t i o n , gentle-ness, coarseness, f u l f i l m e n t , f r u s t r a t i o n , l o v e , and i s o l a t i o n . The work i s small but not merely i m i t a t i v e of Beckett, I t i s a l i m i t e d type of drama, yet i t has not become as narrow and as nearly non-existent as Beckett's dramaticules and sketches such as Come and Go and Breath. A f t e r S i l e n c e , the reviewers wondered where P i n t e r could go next. P i n t e r ' s admirers might w e l l have feared that he could e a s i l y follow h i s own characters, B e c k e t t - l i k e , into the s i l e n c e . But study of h i s tendency to pare away before b u i l d i n g again would have indic a t e d a more o p t i m i s t i c view. And t h i s would have been amply j u s t i f i e d , f o r what followed was a subtle two-act play i n c o r p o r a t i n g some of the lessons of Landscape and Silence. I t was Old Times. The idea of the love t r i a n g l e associated with memory i s f u r t h e r complicated and developed i n Old Times. P i n t e r has made a t r i a n g l e i n v o l v i n g Deeley, his wife "Kate, and her former (perhaps bisexual) f r i e n d , Anna, which i n turn contains the 128 added f a c t o r that Deeley and Anna have perhaps also had an a f f a i r . Moreover, the ex p l o r a t i o n of memory i s used as i n Landscape and Silence to reveal an incomplete p i c t u r e of the past youth of the characters, a l l i n t h e i r e a r l y f o r t i e s , but i t now complicates P i n t e r ' s more usual concern w i t h a c t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s between people. We are back to dialogue and anchor speeches rather than separate monologues. But the dialogue i s co o l , r e s t r a i n e d , seemingly desultory. We are back i n h i s world of conversation as a kind of b a t t l e . But memory, whether ac t u a l or invented, i s a new and potent weapon i n that b a t t l e , which i n the case of Old Times turns out to be the struggle of Deeley and Anna f o r possession of Kate. The structure i s a two-act one reminiscent of The Home-coming i n that an i n t r u d e r , Anna, a r r i v e s i n the f a m i l y u n i t of the married couple. A struggle ensues between male and female p r i n c i p l e s . Kate, i t seems, i s the p r i z e . The weapons are memories, f a l s e memories and counter-memories. The duel occurs i n a converted farmhouse (the country s e t t i n g again, as was used i n Landscape) one Autumn night. Time i s not s p e c i f i e d . But at one point Deeley t a l k s with the slang of the hippy seventies when he describes h i s meeting with Anna i n the Way-fa r e r s Taverni We had a scene together. She freaked out. She didn't have any bread, so I bought her a drink. She looked at me with b i g eyes, shy, a l l that b i t . (p.69) Yet t h i s event i s supposed to have occurred twenty years before. The characters are s p e c i f i e d as i n t h e i r early f o r t i e s . But 1 2 9 t h i s would set the i n c i d e n t i n about 1951• Yet the person i n hi s twenties i n 1951 would not be c h e r i s h i n g "Smoke Gets i n Your Eyes" and the other n o s t a l g i c songs Deeley and Anna si n g over Kate at another point i n the play, and which they associate with t h e i r f i r s t knowing her. Moreover Odd Man Out, a f i l m both Deeley and Anna claim to have seen (perhaps on d i f f e r e n t occasions) with Kate was made i n 19^6. A l l t h i s may point to the f a c t that the characters are i n t h e i r e a r l y f o r t i e s not i n the time present of the performance (1971) but a few years e a r l i e r , the s e t t i n g being the l a t e s i x t i e s . Why should t h i s e f f e c t have been created? There are two probable needs being s a t i s f i e d . The play s h i f t s i n time i n a curious way. I t s a c t i o n t r a n s p i r e s between the time before the " a r r i v a l " of Anna i n Act I when Deeley and Kate discuss her, and the conversation which ensues from the time Deeley appears with the l a t e - n i g h t drinks that same day. But there are forays into the past of twenty years before, and there i s . also the suggestion that memory can shape the f u t u r e , f o r Anna warns Deeley» There are things I remember which may never have happened but as I r e c a l l them so they take place. DEELEY What? (p.3 2 ) Deeley i s obviously and j u s t i f i a b l y disconcerted. The time s h i f t thus f i t s i n with the general preoccupa-t i o n with the problem of memory i n these l a t e s t stage plays. The second need P i n t e r has i s a constant need of the a r t i s t — 130 the need to distance the material of h i s a r t ; P i n t e r i s now i n h i s e a r l y f o r t i e s , f a c i n g what Conrad c a l l e d "the shadow l i n e " of l i f e , a c r i s i s point i n middle-age where one's regrets and f a i l u r e s are p a r t i c u l a r l y t e l l i n g as one faces the f a c t that youthful a s p i r a t i o n s are fading. We face, a f t e r that melancholy event, the f o r t i e t h birthday, the journey towards death, l o s t opportunities and l o s t hopes. P i n t e r ' s characters face the s t e r n Autumnal of t h e i r l i v e s , as does the playwright himself; but he has probably placed t h e i r f o r t i e s i n the l a t e 1960's rather than the e a r l y 1970's. This need to distance may w e l l be the more pressing because Old Times contains c e r t a i n auto-b i o g r a p h i c a l d e t a i l s about P i n t e r and h i s f r i e n d s , C o l i n B l a k e l y ( l i k e Deeley an Irishman) Dorothy T u t i n , V i v i e n Merchant (h i s wife) and Peter H a l l . An interviewer f o r Plays and Players reportedi B l a k e l y admits that P i n t e r writes 'from a very p r i v a t e sphere,' and i t i s f a s c i n a t i n g to n o t i c e that the careers of the quintet which shaped Old Times f o r the stage run i f not on p a r a l l e l , then on remarkably comparable l i n e s . '...There are some very s u b l i m i n a l things which Harold has w r i t t e n i n t o the play. For instance, Deeley was supposed to have met h i s wife at a f l e a p i t which was showing the o l d Carol Reed f i l m Odd Man Out. They say that Robert Newton, who played an a r t i s t i n the movie, brought them together. Now the character Newton played was based on a r e a l author i n B e l f a s t — and I knew him ten years ago! In the second act of Old Times Deeley invents a character at a party where he i s supposed to have met h i s wife's f r i e n d , Anna, i n the past and looked up her s k i r t . That man at the party i s c a l l e d Luke ("a b i g chap with a ginger beard"). In Odd Man Out Robert Newton played the part of LukeyI Harold has a home movie of the f i l m . 'There are c e r t a i n l i n e s i n the play which I can a c t u a l l y envisage Harold saying — but that's because I know him w e l l . Lines I've had trouble with — i f I 1 3 1 g i v e a p a r o d y o f H a r o l d s a y i n g t h e m t h e y w o u l d b e a b s o l u t e l y r i g h t . I b r o u g h t t h i s up w i t h P e t e r H a l l t h e . o t h e r d a y — a c e r t a i n l i n e w h i c h h a d b e e n b o t h e r i n g me. H a r o l d w o u l d g e t a w a y w i t h t h i s l i n e . P e t e r ' s a n s w e r wa s t h a t w h e r e a s I k n e w H a r o l d a n a u d i e n c e d i d n ' t . On s t a g e t h e c h a r a c t e r i s n o t H a r o l d P i n t e r a t a l l — b u t t h e p a r t h e ' s w r i t t e n . So I h a d t o f i n d t h e r i g h t d e l i v e r y t h r o u g h t h e p a r t . T h a t ' s t h e r i g h t s o l u t i o n . 1 2 P i n t e r ' s own m e m o r y o b v i o u s l y , i n t h e d e t a i l o f Odd Man O u t a l o n e , h a s b e c o m e p a r t o f t h e w e a v e o f m e m o r i e s i n h i s p l a y . T i m e a n d m e m o r y a r e , t h e n , c r u c i a l t o t h e s t r u c t u r e o f O l d T i m e s . T h i s s t r u c t u r e h a s g r e a t s y m m e t r y a n d e c o n o m y . A s w i t h T h e H o m e c o m i n g i t l e a d s u s t o a n e n d i n g i n a t a b l e a u o f m a l e f r u s t r a t i o n a n d n e e d f o r a f f e c t i o n b e f o r e a n i m p a s s i v e f e m a l e ; a s w i t h S i l e n c e i t l e a d s t o t h r e e c h a r a c t e r s i m p l i c a t e d i n a p a s t w h i c h h a s b e c o m e a s i l e n c e . B u t t h e s t y l e a n d e f f e c t s o f t h e p l a y a r e d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h o s e o f i t s p r e d e c e s s o r s . I w o u l d d i v i d e t h e p l a y i n t o n i n e t e e n s c e n i c u n i t s , e l e v e n i n A c t I a n d e i g h t i n A c t I I . T h e f i r s t u n i t o f t h e p l a y i s t h e d i m l y l i t t a b l e a u o f A c t I ; L i g h t d i m . T h r e e f i g u r e s d i s c e r n e d . D E E L E Y s l u m p e d i n a r m c h a i r , s t i l l . K A T E c u r l e d o n a s o f a , s t i l l ANNA s t a n d i n g a t t h e w i n d o w , l o o k i n g o u t . S i l e n c e . ( p . 7 ) T h e a t m o s p h e r e e s t a b l i s h e d i s o f c a l m , o f r e l a x a t i o n , b u t w i t h a h i n t o f d e j e c t i o n i n t h e s l u m p e d f i g u r e we d i s c o v e r i s D e e l e y . T h e s i l e n c e a l l o w s t h i s p i c t u r e t o t a k e e f f e c t . A n n a , t h e f i g u r e a t t h e w i n d o w , i s r e m o v e d f r o m t h e o t h e r s , o u t s i d e t h e i r a u r a , y e t u n m i s t a k a b l y t h e r e . T h e l i g h t s come up i n t h i s s u b d u e d 1 3 2 opening on a w e l l - o f f , middle-class s i t t i n g room, a fashion-ably converted farmhouse room. This i s neither the slums of London or Birmingham, nor the servants' k i t c h e n , nor the f r i g i d limbo of Silence. As unit 2 progresses we f i n d that sur p r i s e s occur, but they are subdued e f f e c t s , i n e l u c t a b l y accumulating. P i n t e r s t a r t s i n medias res» KATE ( R e f l e c t i v e l y ) Dark. Pause, (p.7) I t could be a remark about the way the evening has crept upon them as they s i t i n t h e i r room. I t could f i x the time as ni g h t , as the d i r e c t i o n s s p e c i f y . But then Deeley's question "Fat or t h i n ? " a l t e r s i t a l l , and we r e a l i s e that they are t a l k i n g about a person Kate knows and Deeley has not seen. He has, we may assume, been questioning Kate about t h i s person. As the unit progresses we overhear a conversation i n which Kate refuses to accord her only friend- from past years the status of best f r i e n d . What, we wonder, has she got against t h i s f riend? We l e a r n that Kate's f r i e n d s t o l e her underwear, and that Kate w i l l not remind her of t h i s (Deeley apparently thinks that i t would be fun to do so). Nor i s Kate l o o k i n g forward to her f r i e n d ' s v i s i t ; i n f a c t she has "almost t o t a l l y f o r -gotten her" ( p . 1 2 ) . Kate i s revealed as cold, unexcited at the prospect of renewing an old r e l a t i o n s h i p ; Deeley i s warmly curious, and displays a c e r t a i n subtlety of mind i n h i s idea of watching Kate's reactions to see " i f she's the same person" ( p . 1 2 ) . This means that Deeley w i l l see i f the f r i e n d has been 1 3 3 changed over the years by watching Kate's r e a c t i o n to her. But what of Kate? Has she not changed too over the years? Or has Deeley an i n k l i n g that he might know the woman? Why i s he so curious about her? Deeley wants to know whether she i s married. He i s abrupt when he lea r n s that the two f r i e n d s had l i v e d together. What does he suspect? Some kind of l i a s o n ? The f a i r l y l a c o n i c converse has r a i s e d our expectations about a v i s i t o r soon to a r r i v e i n the good old t r a d i t i o n of many a well-made play. Our i n t e r e s t i n Deeley*s rather obsessive c u r i o s i t y makes h i s dismi s s a l of the topic r i n g a l i t t l e f a l s e t Anyway, none of t h i s matters, (p.17) The present dismisses the past, but i r o n i c a l l y the past i s a l l the time standing there i n the person of Anna. She suddenly moves to s i t on the second sofa and unit 3 begins with her conjuring of the two as young g i r l s l i v i n g e x c i t e d l y i n London, going to opera, concerts, b a l l e t . Anna _is the v i s i t o r they have been t a l k i n g about. She has simply moved i n to t a l k on cue. C l e a r l y she i s not introduced i n a r e a l i s t i c way. Immediate-l y f u r t h e r questions are r a i s e d . Is she more than a f r i e n d on a v i s i t ? Is she dead? Is she the s p i r i t of the past i t s e l f ? Time mocks us, and Anna's genteel, s p i n s t e r i s h , rather coy manner i s at the same time subtly mocking by being rather too complimentary t How wise you were to choose" t h i s part of the world, and how sensible and courageous of you both to stay permanently i n such a s i l e n c e . (p. 1 9 ) Her words are at odds with the picture she has given of culture v u l t u r e s , dashing about i n the excitement of the c i t y . She 1 3 4 s e e m s t o "be h i n t i n g t h a t K a t e b e l o n g s m o r e t o L o n d o n t h a n t o t h e c o u n t r y , t h a t t h e p a s t w a s r i c h , b u t t h i s p r e s e n t l i f e b y t h e s e a i s d u l l . A n n a ' s move f o r w a r d h a s n o t o n l y a l t e r e d t h e s i t u a t i o n b u t jumped us f o r w a r d u n t i l a f t e r d i n n e r t h a t same e v e n i n g w i t h o u t P i n t e r ' s u s u a l b l a c k o u t d e v i c e . T h e s t r u c t u r e i s b y no m e a n s a s c o n v e n t i o n a l a s i t s h i n t - w a i t p a t t e r n h a d s u g g e s t e d . U n i t 4 b e g i n s w i t h A n n a m o v i n g b a c k t o t h e w i n d o w . S h e h a s made a l i t t l e s o r t i e i n t o t h e p r e s e n t l i f e o f K a t e , a n d h a s f o u n d D e e l e y ' s i n f l u e n c e , t a k i n g K a t e f r o m L o n d o n a n d t h o u g h t s o f Y e a t s t o t h e c u l t u r a l i s o l a t i o n o f t h e c o u n t r y a n d t h o u g h t s o f d o m e s t i c i t y . T h e l a n d s c a p e a n d s e a s c a p e A n n a c o n t e m p l a t e s f r o m t h e w i n d o w i s a s c a l m a n d u n r u f f l e d a n d c o l d a s K a t e ' s p e r s o n a l i t y . D e e l e y ' s c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h h e r now r e v e a l s A n n a i n h a b i t s " a v o l c a n i c i s l a n d " — i s h e r t e m p e r a m e n t s i m i l a r l y v o l a t i l e ? T h e d o r m a n t v o l c a n o i m a g e f i x e s t h e m a n n e r o f t h i s p l a y . F e e l i n g s a n d j e a l o u s i e s s m o u l d e r b e n e a t h t h e s u r f a c e o f t h e d i a l o g u e . A n n a a n d D e e l e y b e g i n t o t a l k o f K a t e a s i f s h e w e r e n ' t t h e r e — a n d m uch o f t h e p l a y p r o c e e d s i n t h i s mode. F o r D e e l e y , K a t e i s c u r i o u s l y a b s e n t , a l m o s t l i k e a g h o s t w h o s e f a c e he h o l d s i n h i s h a n d s , T h e n I k i n d o f l e t i t g o , t a k e my h a n d s a w a y , l e a v e i t f l o a t i n g , ( p . 2 4 ) I r o n i c a l l y , he seems c l o s e r t o A n n a , , f i n d i n g h e r m ore i n t e r e s t i . t h a n t h e woman he h a s m a r r i e d : he s h o w s o f f b y i n s u l t i n g K a t e i n f r o n t o f A n n a , We're f o r c i n g h e r t o t h i n k . We m u s t s e e y o u m o r e o f t e n . Y o u ' r e a h e a l t h y i n f l u e n c e . ( p . 2 5 ) 135 Deeley, at the height of h i s confidence, i s c r u e l ; he does not foresee that he w i l l he reduced to tears. Deeley and Anna l a v i s h praise upon praise on Kate, the mutual l o v e -object (Anna i n a Freudian s l i p has already reduced Kate to a casserole, a t a s t y dish) reaching a b r i l l i a n t comic climax i n u n i t 5 as they both s i n g l i n e s from n o s t a l g i c love songs over Kate. The l o v e r s ' cooing of a fragmented dewy duet over Kate i s an e f f u s i o n of n o s t a l g i a , but also a short way with the s p h i n x - l i k e female. The extravagant praise and adulation of the s m i l i n g l o v ers i s loaded with irony; both f e e l the l o s s of the Kate they loved. Deeley provides the climax to the episode» Oh, how the ghost of you c l i n g s . . . (p.2 9 ) The episode breaks the calm surface of the play. I t i s i r r e s i s t -i b l y funny and at the same time the moment catches up the theme of memory. Moreover, the complicity of Deeley and Anna, seem-i n g l y ganging up i n fun at Kate's expense, i s a turning point — fun, mockery and n o s t a l g i a are broken by the rumbling of Deeley's b i g gun: duet turns into duel as out of the s i l e n c e comes Deeley's memory of how he picked up Kate i n a f l e a p i t of a cinema. The genial and j o c u l a r use of memory has given way before something more dangerous. Deeley's anchor speech which begins uni t 6 i s a challenge and an a s s e r t i o n of superior-i t y as w e l l as a s l y d i g at the Lesbianism he seems to suspect i n Anna. What otherwise i s the point of his story of the two l e s b i a n usherettes? The speech has something of the suppressed violence we have come to recognise i n such outpourings, but i t 136 i s much more innocuous on the surface than say the viciousness of Lenny i n The Homecoming. I t contains perhaps an ohlique reference to Deeley's p o s i t i o n as dependent partner rather than s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t p e r s o n a l i t y since the moment he met Kates I was o f f centre and have remained so. (p.30) The speech reaches a comic peak on i t s l a s t l i n e as Deeley throws down the gauntlet to Anna, a s s e r t i n g his s o l i d a r i t y w ith Kate and the s o l i d i t y of t h e i r marriages So i t was Robert Newton who brought us together and i t i s only Robert Newton who can tear us apart, (p.30) But Anna i s a match f o r him. Her l a u g h - l i n e sweeps his a s s e r t i o n away with f u r t h e r laughter. Deeley may w e l l f i n d that time has taken Kate away from him already. Unit 7 proceeds with Anna parrying as Deeley remembers h i s f i r s t making love to Kate, and rubs i n the p a i n f u l (to Anna) memory with f u r t h e r jokes, using the accommodating Robert Newton as an e n t e r t a i n i n g l e i t m o t i f s And then at a s l i g h t l y l a t e r stage our naked bodies met, hers cool , warm, high l y agreeable, and I wondered what Robert Newton would think of t h i s . What would he think of t h i s I wondered as I touched her profoundly a l l over. ~(To ANNA. ) What do you think he'd think? (p.31) Deeley i s having h i s fun not only at the expense of Anna, but als o , of course, at the expense of his wife. And yet again, there i s irony against him, f o r i n what sense we wonder has Deeley ever touched Kate profoundly, cool and detached as she i s ? How can she be "warm?" Deeley's offensive covers weakness. 137 Anna responds to the jealousy by throwing doubt on Deeley's memories as things which may never have happened. She also issues her enigmatic warning which f a s c i n a t i n g l y claims she can f a b r i c a t e memories which w i l l happen i n the future. She gives us an example which we f i n d l a t e r to be an exact account of the unhappy dumbshow which ends the play. This man c r y i n g i n our room. (pp. 32-33) Yet Anna adds a d e t a i l too which does not occur at the end of the play. This i s an irony against hers she w i l l not i n the event manage to drive him out. She has the man go out, l e a v i n g her alone w i t h her Katey. Her gentleness i s c h i l l i n g as she muses s I t was as i f he had never been. (p.33) Deeley i s ready f o r her, though, and demonstrates his confidence and c o n t r o l l e d f r o n t by making l i g h t of i t a l l with a risque" j e s t ; Of course he'd been. He went twice and came once. (p.33) Unit 8 begins with Kate a s s e r t i n g her s i l e n t s e l f again by g e t t i n g up to take a c i g a r e t t e . The duel has developed r a p i d -l y since she l a s t got up to serve the coffee i n unit 3 a f t e r Anna's introductory monologue. Her moves enclose the f i r s t part of the struggle. Her f e e l i n g s come out i n one clipped, t e l l i n g sentence, a rebuke to both her vassals; You t a l k of me as i f I were dead. (p.3*0 Kate i n s i s t s she l i v e s i n the present; i t i s , a f t e r a l l , the others who have been l i v i n g i n the past with t h e i r memories. 138 Anna comes into the present and makes her boldest move so f a r , openly wooing Kate i n f r o n t of her husband, who again pushes the scene to a climax by a n g r i l y i n t e r r u p t i n g Anna. In u n i t 9 Deeley b e l i t t l e s h i s seriousness i n h i s own wooing and proposal. He counters Anna and punishes Kate, "a s l i p of a g i r l not l o n g out of her swaddling clothes whose only claim to v i r t u e was s i l e n c e " (p.35). Perhaps Kate i s "dead" f o r him now, a f t e r twenty years of marriage! A c l a s s i c female f i g u r e , I sa i d to myself, or i s i t a c l a s s i c female posture, one way or the other long out-worn. (p.36) The female p r i n c i p l e i t s e l f seems to reside i n Kate, the cat-l i k e , s e l f - c o n t a i n e d , i n d i f f e r e n t sphinx and the more sinuous, serpentine Anna. The image of marriage Anna presents i s an el a b o r a t i o n of "taking the plunge" into a sort of s u i c i d a l jump i n t o a r i v e r . The image r i p p l e s i n the play i t s e l f , sending a wave as f a r as Kate's f i n a l speech describing Anna as a corpse, muddied as i f by drowning. The metaphor i s used to suggest the danger of f a l l i n g i n l o v e . Kate's love i s a sort of s u i c i d e to Anna, i t seems, f o r her compliments to Deeley about his r e c i p r o c a t i n g the love and being a r t i s t i c come across as s l y l y , b i t i n g l y i r o n i c . Under his influence Kate seems to have regressed to an i n t e l l e c t u a l vegetables I was interested once i n the a r t s , but I can't remember now which ones they were. (p.37) Kate's remark has a double edge. I t confirms Anna's d i g at Deeley, but i t i s also a rap over the knuckles f o r Anna, who c l e v e r l y seizes the opportunity to remind her of the v i s i t s 139 to the Tate t but also of a v i s i t to Odd Man Out perhaps before Deeley knew them or perhaps on the occasion Deeley picked up Kate — the speech i s i r o n i c a l l y set against h i s i n unit 6 by the scathing omission of a l l d i r e c t mention of h i s presence, and oblique acknowledgement of h i s unimportance i n the master-f u l l i t t l e phrase which asserts that they saw the f i l m "almost alone." Unit 10 begins as an innocuous e f f o r t to make conversa-t i o n , Deeley t e l l i n g of h i s job, that of an i t i n e r a n t f i l m -maker apparently, but i t r i s e s to a c r i s i s of rudeness as Deeley shows his suspicions of Anna's s e x u a l i t y and h i s fear of the p o s s i b i l i t y of Kate's complicity when he suggests that Kate would e n t e r t a i n , i n more ways than one, Anna's husband. Deeley's remarks show that he probably suspects t h i s husband i s a f i c t i o n , and he s t a r t s poking fun at Anna by suggesting he might be an I t a l i a n with C h r i s t i a n names reminiscent of those of the f i l m d i r e c t o r s Ponti and P a s o l i n i . Deeley hints f u r t h e r that he thinks Anna's l i f e i n S i c i l y i s a f i c t i o n by coming out with the preposterous boast that he i s r e a l l y Orson Welles. Kate t r i e s to make normal conversation to save the s i t u a t i o n but Deeley i n s u l t s Anna through the c u l t i v a t e d and a r t i s t i c , s o p h i s t i c a t e d and wealthy world she would have them believe she i n h a b i t s — to Deeley, such people are "mainly p r o s t i t u t e s of a l l kinds." Kate t r i e s to t a l k to Anna, but her f r i e n d can only stare. Unit 11 ends the act with the punishment of Deeley by both women. The past i s not r e c a l l e d now; i t i s r e l i v e d , re-enacted. We see them as i f they were twenty years 140 younger, l i v i n g i n t h e i r shared f l a t . Anna even r e c i t e s the names of men they could ask over to spend the evening with them, and perhaps the night! The s i t u a t i o n i s a neat r e v e r s a l of the beginning of the play. Then Kate and Deeley were i n the present time of the play, Anna standing s i l e n t , a f i g u r e i n a timeless limbo, apart, not yet involved, not yet a r r i v e d , and representing the past about to impinge i n the near future. Now i t i s Deeley who stands apart. Kate and Anna i n the time present of the play enact time past, a past i n which Deeley had not yet impinged upon them. He was an unknown fut u r e , destined to change Kate's l i f e . Deeley t r i e s to b r i n g them back into the time present of the play by i n t e r r u p t i n g about the casserole. But i t i s no use, Anna has won. But f i n a l l y , i t i s Kate who holds the power; she decides to run her own bath, enacting the past p h y s i c a l l y i n the routine of the present. She goes out, and we are i n the present again, the two combatants standing and watching each other. Act I I opens with time having jumped forward enough f o r Kate to be having her bath and f o r Deeley to have made coffee. But our f i r s t view of the set suggests that time could have jumped backward. Deeley i s not on stage. The set i s now the bedroom, the symmetry of the structure suggested by Pin t e r ' s d i r e c t i o n ! The divans and armchair are disposed i n p r e c i s e l y the same r e l a t i o n ~ t o each other as the f u r n i t u r e i n the f i r s t a c t , but i n reversed p o s i t i o n s . (p.47) The l i g h t s are dim again, but i t i s Anna who possesses the room, 141 a l o n e , s a v e f o r t h e d i m l i g h t f r o m t h e b a t h r o o m d o o r w h i c h s i g n i f i e s t h e p r e s e n c e o f K a t e . I n P e t e r H a l l ' s L o n d o n p r o -d u c t i o n , t h e f u r n i t u r e w a s i n a t r i a n g l e a r r a n g e m e n t s t r e s s i n g t h e c h a r a c t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s . B u t w i t h D e e l e y n o t y e t o n t h e s t a g e we g e t a n i m a g e o f t h a t t y p i c a l e v e n i n g o f t h e p a s t w h e n A n n a a n d K a t e l i v e d t o g e t h e r . T h e t a b l e a u i s l e f t t o r e g i s t e r i n t h e s i l e n c e w h i c h p r e c e d e s t h e e n t r y o f D e e l e y a n d t h e b e g i n n i n g o f u n i t 2 o f t h i s a c t . D e e l e y s t a r t s w i t h a q u i e t l i t t l e p l o y a b o u t t h e way t h e b e d s c a n be a r r a n g e d i n v a r i o u s p e r m u t a t i o n s , a n d t h e n f i r e s a t p o i n t b l a n k r a n g e s he t e l l s A n n a he r e m e m b e r s h e r f r o m t h e p a s t . T h e h i n t s i n I , u n i t 2, a n d h i s c u r i o s i t y a b o u t A n n a a r e d e v e l o p e d . D e e l e y t e l l s u s how A n n a h a d n o t b e e n s o p r i m , b u t a b o h e m i a n w e a r i n g t h e p o s t - w a r ( e x i s t e n t i a l i s t ) r i g - o u t " a b l a c k s c a r f , a n d a b l a c k s w e a t e r , a n d a s k i r t . . . A n d b l a c k s t o c k i n g s " o n j a u n t s t o T h e W a y f a r e r s T a v e r n w h e r e s h e w a s " d a r l i n g o f t h e s a l o o n b a r " ( p . 4 9 ) a mong t h e a r t y - c r a f t y d e n i z e n s o f t h a t h o s t e l r y who i n c l u d e d a m o n g t h e i r n u m b e r t h e g i n g e r - b e a r d e d L u k e . D e e l e y c o u l d b e a t t a c k i n g w i t h a f a l s e memory. A n n a d e f e n d s h e r s e l f b y d e n y i n g a l l r e c o l l e c t i o n o f t h i s p o r t i o n o f h e r p a s t . He b e c o m e s d i r e c t l y a n d c o a r s e l y s e x u a l , i m p l y i n g A n n a was a w h o r e , a n d k n o c k s h e r l e s b i a n t e n d e n c i e s b y s t r e s s i n g t h e g r o s s n e s s o f t h e men a t t h e p a r t y a n d h i s own l u s t f u l a n d b l a t a n t g a z i n g up h e r s k i r t . A n n a ' s r e p l y t o t h i s r i g m a r o l e i s a m a s t e r l y a n d e x q u i s i t e p i e c e o f c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . She a s s u m e s a l o f t y , p a t r o n i z i n g p i t y f o r D e e l e y , q u i e t l y e a r n e s t i n t h e mode o f g e n t e e l h a u t e u r a n d g i r l i s h r o m a n t i c i s m s h e h a s e s t a b l i s h e d s 142 I've r a r e l y heard a sadder stor y (p.52) But then she admits that i t was she Deeley remembered. Perhaps Anna now wants Deeley to woo her. But a f t e r a s i l e n c e i n which we have time to r e a l i z e that she was indeed at The Wayfarers or that she i s going along with Deeley f o r her own devious purposes, unit 3 moves on with Deeley*s next ploy — to allow Anna's i n t e r e s t i n h i s wife but to e s t a b l i s h sexual rank over her i n the speculations on how to dry Kate a f t e r her bath. I f Anna i s indeed a l e s b i a n , Deeley's proposal that they make an a l l i a n c e f o r the drying of Kate must be d i s t a s t e f u l as w e l l as normally embarrassing. Deeley seems to be t r y i n g to r u f f l e her feathers, but he does not succeed. He even i n s u l t s Anna about her age and her changed looks. Just as Anna was talked about before her move to enter the a c t i o n i n Act I, so Anna and Deeley now i n Act I I have b u i l t up suspense about Kate, before she enters wearing a bathrobe and begins unit 4 by s m i l i n g at Deeley and Anna. I t i s she who now takes up the p o s i t i o n l o o k i n g out of the window, but Deeley now repeats the song ploy of Act I. His and Anna's comp l i c i t y i n t h i s suggests that they both resent Kate's power over them. They now s i n g only one song, the l i n e s summing up the theme of the struggle of each l o v e r to r e t a i n a p a r t i c u l a r memory image of Kate. As i n Act I, the song sequence i s funny and yet now i t i s tenser, l e s s g e n i a l , "The way you hold your kn i f e — , " and i s followed i n unit 5, a f t e r Kate's speech i n time present about the s o f t e r water preferable to the London water, by Anna and 143 Kate p l a y i n g another round of the "get Deeley" game. P i n t e r has hinted that there might he a c u r i o u s l y sensual drying of Kate scene, and Deeley now strengthens that h i n t by b r i n g i n g up the subject to break the s p e l l of the re-enactment of the past. Kate's smile gives Deeley and Anna f u r t h e r opportunity f o r admiring her almost g l o a t i n g l y . This ploy i s n e t t l i n g her at l a s t ; she abruptly complains the coffee i s cold. Anna's o f f e r to make more leads again i n t o the enactment of a cosy evening of t h e i r past and the di s c u s s i o n of boy-friends. Kate prefers C h r i s t y , an I r i s h name suggesting i t might be Deeley's ( t h i s s u b t l e t y could e x p l a i n why P i n t e r has given h i s man a surname and h i s women C h r i s t i a n names). This gives more point to Deeley's managing to break i n t o the Kate/Anna dialogue; KATE He's so gentle, i s n ' t he? And h i s humour. Hasn't he got a l o v e l y sense of humour? And I think he's...so sen-s i t i v e . Why don't you ask him round? DEELEY He can't make i t . He's out of town. (p.63) I f C h r i s t y i s Deeley, he i s true to form here, r e v e a l i n g h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c humour. Unit 6 provides another climax of anger i n t h i s a c t, f o r Anna's account of l i f e with Kate and borrowing underwear leads to Deeley's d e s c r i p t i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p as a marriage, and then h i s outburst as an outraged husband, whereupon Anna t r i e s to avert c r i s i s by immediately backing down to assert the surface, normal s i t u a t i o n of the play; 1 4 4 But what can you p o s s i b l y f i n d d i s t a s t e f u l ? I've flown from Rome to see my oldest f r i e n d , a f t e r twenty years, and to meet her husband. What i s i t that worries you? (p.6?) Deeley's seemingly i r r e l e v a n t outburst about Anna's husband i s r e a l l y a r e c o g n i t i o n that he and Deeley are counterparts; but the I t a l i a n man Anna i s neglecting f o r a while and being u n f a i t h f u l to i n her pursuit of Kate has compensations i n the " s l i m - b e l l i e d Cote d'Azur thing" whereas Deeley fi n d s himself neglected or reje c t e d by Kate, mocked by Anna DEELEY ...deprivations and i n s u l t s , why should I waste valuable space l i s t e n i n g to two — KATE ( S w i f t l y . ) I f you don't l i k e i t go. DEELEY Go? Where can I go? (p.67) This i s the c r i s i s and turning point of the Act and of the structure as a whole, f o r Kate's a t t i t u d e to her marriage i s exposed. Her marriage i s dead. Deeley t r i e s to shrug i t o f f with a joke, but they a l l f a l l s i l e n t . Unit 7 begins with Anna's statement that she comes not to disrupt but to celebrate. Her words are mannered, noble, and s t y l e d to r e c a l l the d e s c r i p t i o n of London girlhood i n Act I. Deeley cuts s t r a i g h t through t h i s mood with his anchor speech confessing he knew Anna years ago, but by the end of the speech, Anna has perhaps merged into Kate. Perhaps Anna i s the Kate he knew as a young man, the Kate he married and who has now become the cool, shy s e l f of the country housewife. 145 This i s why Kate can e x p l a i n j u s t why Anna f e l l i n love with Deeley. On the r e a l i s t i c l e v e l , Deeley i s merely h u r t i n g Kate and Anna hy d e l i b e r a t e l y using h i s confusion of them i n h i s memory as an o f f e n s i v e . But Kate i s not put down. She comes to the attack w i t h the i m p l i c a t i o n that she knew of the a f f a i r w i th Anna, knew that Anna had loved Deeley. This i s another s u r p r i s e , and a r e v e r s a l , f o r Kate has now entered the f r a y and we suddenly r e a l i z e , as perhaps she has done, that Anna could have come not to win Kate but to sever her marriage, of which she i s jealous, and take Deeley, who has indeed found Anna sexually s t i m u l a t i n g ! no wonder she was r e l u c t a n t to remember much about Anna at the beginning. The v i s i t has s t i r r e d up o l d times muddier and more dangerous than had been supposed. Deeley, l i k e C h r i s t y , i s seen as d i f f e r e n t from the other, crass men i n a very funny l i t t l e exchange i n which Kate and Deeley are together again. S i g n i f i c a n t l y now Anna d e l i v e r s her l a s t l i n e of the play, and P i n t e r s p e c i f i e s that she says i t c o l d l y . She reverses her e a r l i e r denial that she knew Deeley when he looked up her s k i r t . Kate has sat s m i l i n g and keeping calmly alo o f ; as soon as she has seen the s i t u a t i o n she has brought the issue to a head by challenging Deeley and now she dismisses Anna. Af t e r the climax and r e v e r s a l we have just discussed, the play does not wind down. P i n t e r pushes to a further climax by g i v i n g Kate a long speech with which she dominates the end of the play. Where Act I ended with Anna defeating Deeley and then Kate taking c o n t r o l , Act I I ends with Deeley defeating Anna, 1 4 6 the reverse of the expectancy aroused by Act I and the change of set i n Act I I , but then Kate not only takes c o n t r o l but also subjugates the unhappy Deeley. Kate's command i s e s t a b l i s h ed i n her anchor speech, the monologue which leads to the f i n a l dumbshow and tableau. She s t a r t s by dismissing Anna to the limbo of dead f r i e n d s h i p s ( p i c k i n g up the imagery of Deeley's previous anchor speech to which she had l i s t e n e d so c a r e f u l l y ) such as those of the Edgware Road gang who were considered dead because they had not been seen or contacted f o r so long. Kate also uses Anna's memory of watching Kate unseen against her now: I remember you l y i n g dead. You didn't know I was watching you. I leaned over you. Your face was d i r t y . You l a y dead, your face scrawled with d i r t , a l l kinds of earnest i n s c r i p t i o n s , but unblotted, so that they had run, a l l over your face, down to your throat, (pp. 7 1 - 2 ) The speech i s s t a r t l i n g i n i t s imagery — the c u l t u r a l preten-sions and p r e s c r i p t i o n s , and the expressions of love and a f f e c t i o n are l i k e a mask of d i r t over Anna's face, streaked and wet: i t suggests a made-up face ruined by tears and g r i e f at the break-up of a l o v e - a f f a i r , perhaps Anna's a f f a i r w ith Deeley and with Kate when she r e a l i z e d that Deeley would marry Kate. Thus Anna i s now as one of the dead. Kate's cool s e l f -possession i s alarming and even h o r r i b l e . Where Anna's g r i e f i s imaged as a death, bones "breaking through your face," Kate does not even f e e l discomposed: But a l l was serene. There was no s u f f e r i n g . I t had a l l happened elsewhere. Last r i t e s I did not f e e l necessary. Or any ce l e b r a t i o n . (p.72) 1 4 ? The l a s t i s the n a s t i e s t cut of a l l . We know wit h f u l l force now why Kate could c o l d l y deny i n Act I that Anna had been her best f r i e n d . Kate had a l l those years ago taken Deeley away from her, r e a l i z i n g that she loved him. Twenty years l a t e r she has once again fought her f r i e n d to the death. Twenty years ago she had gone and taken a bath, just as now she has emerged from a bath. Twenty years ago Anna had, of course, gone away from t h e i r room and Deeley had moved i n , just as now Anna i s once more dismissed to the s i l e n t limbo from which she emerged. The speech i s s t a r t l i n g i n i t s c r u e l t y , too, f o r i t i s a l l d e l i v e r e d at Anna i t s v i c t i m l i k e a deadly f u s i l l a d e . We had a choice of two beds. Your bed or my bed. To l i e i n , or on. To grind noses together, i n or on. He l i k e d your bed. (p.72) Yet i t i s able too to h i t at Deeley and wound wi t h the r e v e l a t i o n to Anna that he has been a v i c t i m of Kate's sexual f r i g i d i t y j He though I was going to be sexually f o r t h -coming, that I was about to take a long promised i n i t i a t i v e , (p.73) Kate t e l l s how she plastered his face with d i r t . She was t r y i n g to make him resemble Anna, evidently. But what i s t h i s imagery of d i r t y f a c e s ? Here, once more, the understanding of the structure depends on our memory. The image of the dead Anna r e c a l l s a drowned corpse, d i r t streaked by water over the face. But i n Act I Anna had lik e n e d f a l l i n g i n love to jumping into a r i v e r . She has jumped f o r Kate and f o r Deeley, and she has 148 drowned. But Kate "never did things l o o s e l y or c a r e l e s s l y , r e c k l e s s l y , " instead she waited f o r r i p p l e s . Anna remembered that Kate had jumped f o r love of Deeley. But Kate's element i s not Anna's. The desecration of love Anna accepts. Deeley does not, p r e f e r r i n g a f r i g i d marriage and a change of place. Kate bathes not i n the waters of love but i n the domestic bathroom. She has become h o r r i b l y invulnerable to love. Her speech ends with a c r u e l d e n i a l that Anna had ever e x i s t e d ; i t i s also a c l e v e r way of tormenting Deeley with jealous specula-t i o n ; He asked me once, at about that time, who had s l e p t i n that bed before him. I t o l d him no one. No one at a l l . Long s i l e n c e . (p»73) That s i l e n c e allows the f u l l weight of her words to sink i n . We have had revealed to us the r u t h l e s s power of the strongest character i n the play. She i s f r i g i d , c o l d , implacable, un-swayed by sentiment. The d u e l l i n g of Deeley and Anna has been a s o r t of genteel game of f i s t i c u f f s i n t o which at the climax of the play Kate has sprung l i k e a lynx. P i n t e r has used a subdued, symmetrical structure to reveal the anguish of l o v i n g , the pain of r e j e c t i o n , and the cool power of a woman h o r r i b l y impervious to other people. No wonder she has no f r i e n d s . The f i n a l tableau sums i t up and f i x e s the s i t u a t i o n which has turned through a f u l l c i r c l e to reach the grouping with which Act I had opened. Moreover, i t s dumbshow makes Anna's memory of the man "crying i n our room" come to pass. Act i o n on the stage can usually be assumed to be representa-t i o n of what i s happening at a s p e c i f i e d time unless i t i s meant 1 4 9 to be a p a r t i c u l a r dream or v i s i o n . In Old Times, however, we have the very subtle device whereby the mime at the end may have happened i n the past (as Anna's true memory of twenty years p r e v i o u s l y ) , may be going to happen i n the fut u r e , may be happening now, may never be going to happen or may never have happened ( f o r how can Anna have a memory before the event?) — i n the theatre however, such s u b t l e t y i s i n a sense wasted. Deeley sobs. I f the actors have acted with c o n v i c t i o n , i f the f i n a l monologue has worked and revealed the depths of i t s callousness, then we w i l l be moved by Deeley's dependence upon Kate, and by h i s sobbing. And we s h a l l have compassion f o r the shadowy Anna. And i f at the same time we are aware of the dangerousness of a l l three i n t h i s t r i o , t h i s i s as much complexity as we need. The play w i l l have worked. Before, P i n t e r had achieved t h i s amount of sub t l e t y only i n the juxta-p o s i t i o n of words. Now he has managed to f i n d a context power-f u l enough to suggest a complexity of time and r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n which the dumbshow could achieve bewildering complexity from a few simple a c t i o n s . I f the v e r i f i c a t i o n of the past has been c a l l e d i n doubt, so now i s the v e r i f i c a t i o n of the moment, elap s i n g as i t does before our eyes, i n the sudden harsh l i g h t of the Peter H a l l production. P i n t e r has reached a l i m i t here, though, f o r i f the ambiguities of the ending are too many, then our i n t e r e s t i t s e l f i s threatened. Moreover, the subdued, desultory tone i s also a danger. I f the whole i s played too nonchalantly on the surface we s h a l l miss the reco g n i t i o n by Kate of what i s 150 happening between Deeley and Anna, and t h i s would impair the r e v e r s a l and climax. Old Times i s a new, complex and subtle e x p l o r a t i o n of the resources of memory and t i m e - s h i f t s to produce an e x q u i s i t e l y modulated and f a s c i n a t i n g t r i a n g l e r e l a t i o n s h i p ; i t needs exq u i s i t e and subtle performance. The r o l e of Kate i s b r i l l i a n t l y contrived f o r i t s sudden r e v e l a t i o n , but i t demands an actress able to s u s t a i n her power throughout the whole play with hardly any l i n e s at a l l . And the t r i a n g l e r e l a t i o n s h i p i t s e l f e x i s t s w i t h i n a c i r c u l a r movement. Each character seems i n turn powerfully placed at the apex of the t r i a n g l e , but i t revolves to the point at which the tableau at the end of the play seems a mirror image of the tableau we had at the beginning. The characters are the same. The l i g h t i n g c h i l l i n g l y comes up on the white s e r e n i t y of the merciless Kate. A c r i t i c of the New York production ( P e t e r H a l l d i r e c t i n g a d i f f e r e n t cast from his London one) praised John Bury's l i g h t i n g of the playr Mr. Bury i s a cl e v e r mant he made my f l e s h creep by brightening the l i g h t s instead of dimming them.13 What had begun as dimly apprehended memory had become, i n the course of the evening, t e r r i f y i n g l y c l e a r . The f i n a l enclosed dumbshow, the re-enactment of the core s i t u a t i o n and memory of the play i s frozen into the white l i g h t and tableau. I t i s an emotional trap. One thinks of Sartre's play about a man with two lady companions, one a l e s b i a n , trapped i n the narrow c i r c l e 14 of the h e l l of human being. I mean, of course, Huis Clos. But P i n t e r ' s characters are both inside and outside the c i r c l e . 151 They are hound by memory together, but i n a sense, though Deeley i s the only man i n the play and i s made to f e e l "odd man out" i n the Anna and Kate memory sessions, Anna h e r s e l f i s an odd one out; she i s not married to Deeley and her s e x u a l i t y i s ambiguous. Kate h e r s e l f i s an odd one out i n that she cannot r e l a t e warmly to any other human being. The p a t t e r n of Old Times, then, i s i n a way c l a s s i c a l l y of the P i n t e r world — there i s a struggle f o r possession and the i n t r u s i o n by an i n t e r l o p e r . But the st r e s s of memory as weapon i s a new sub t l e t y derived from the lessons learned i n Landscape, Silence and The Homecoming:. The new spareness of language, the new subdued tone of the "slow, s t i l t e d ceremony of n o s t a l g i a " ! ^ are there. The concern f o r i d e n t i t y and v e r i f i c a t i o n of being and memory s t r i k e us as not only t y p i c a l of P i n t e r and h i s l i k i n g f o r Beckett, but as emerging through enlarged dramaturgical p o s s i b i l i t i e s — the presence of Anna i n the shadows, the a c t i n g out of the past i n the present — which r e c a l l the stagecraft and concerns of P i r a n d e l l o . Further-more, P i n t e r has shown that his world i s f r i g h t e n i n g l y u n i v e r s a l . These saddened, w i s t f u l , d e f i a n t , dangerous people are not denizens of some p a r t i c u l a r working-class room we may not happen to i n h a b i t . They are u n i v e r s a l . They are, perhaps in s i d e us. P i n t e r has not managed to achieve the s p i r i t u a l immensity of Beckett's b r i e f s i g n a l s ; CLOV; Do you believe i n the l i f e to come? HAMM; Mine was always that. 16" But the shadowy dimensions of Old Times and the resonance of 1 5 2 i t s s t r u c t u r e achieve a reverberating s e r i e s of dramatic s i t u a t i o n s out of the stark p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the human s p i r i t which do not achieve a poetry of words which Beckett commands, but c e r t a i n l y give us a d i s t i n c t i v e poetry of the theatre dependent on s t r i c t l y and p r e c i s e l y apportioned words and s i l e n c e s . 153 CONCLUSION We have seen how P i n t e r , through a c a r e f u l and c r a f t s -manlike shaping of his s t r u c t u r e s , paring down, t i g h t e n i n g and v i t a l l y expanding them,arrived at the complexity and power of The Homecoming. This play explored most of the features of h i s e a r l y work: s e c u r i t y and threat, t a l k as an often v i c i o u s weapon, the closed c i r c l e of the room, the mystery of person-a l i t y and i d e n t i t y , the tension between the surface and the depths when people converse, the d i f f i c u l t y and uncertainty of v e r i f i c a t i o n of event and memory, the f i g h t to possess l i v i n g space, the f i g h t to possess a person, the ambiguous and even dangerous aspect of woman, the b r u t a l and gentle aspects of man, the threat to the i n d i v i d u a l of the group, and the power of s i l e n c e . And a l l t h i s was held w i t h i n an i r o n i c study of k i n s h i p . I t i s the most d i s t u r b i n g of P i n t e r ' s plays and the most powerful and thorough-going exploration of the urban lower-class m i l i e u as a paradigm of man's estate i n the whole of h i s work to date. And a l l that savagery was held together with a sense of family, astonishing though that seems, w i t h i n a f a i r l y orthodox sequential structure r i c h i n i r o n i c j uxtapositions. What could he do next? At a point of apogee there seems but one way to go, and that downward. P i n t e r took the plunge with astonishing boldness. He plummeted into the zero zone so p a i n f u l l y inhabited by Beckett. I t was a s u r p r i s i n g change which P i n t e r wrought. Binding and confining his t h e a t r i c a l i t y , 154 and gagging i t even at the end of S i l e n c e , P i n t e r seemed to be rushing on a Beckettian journey to the end of a night i n which characters were frozen and speech would cease. Yet P i n t e r did not reach the exasperating n u l l i t y which Beckett's dramaturgy has reached. He was e x p l o r i n g a new area of un c e r t a i n t i e s — those of memory; he was f i n d i n g new s t r u c t u r e s , abandoning h o r i z o n t a l f o r v e r t i c a l movement and e x p l o r i n g c y c l i c not sequential time, e x p l o i t i n g monologue and not dialogue. Nor was he out of breath, f o r i n h i s l a t e s t play, Old Times P i n t e r has shown that the enterprise of c u t t i n g n a r r a t i v e content, purging h i s prose somewhat, changing h i s s t y l e and tone with the s h i f t i n subject matter, and p e r f e c t i n g miniature structures could be the old strategy, r e c u l e r pour mieux sauter. Old Times i s not only d i f f e r e n t from P i n t e r ' s other work, i t i s also very d i f f e r e n t from that of Beckett. And at the same time, i t i s i r r e s i s t i b l y , to use a word P i n t e r d i s l i k e s , Pinteresque. And now that Old Times i s there, Landscape and Silence appear more l i k e the l o g i c a l fore-runners of i t than l i k e mere i m i t a t i o n Beckett. For despite the v a r i a b l e f a c t o r s (mood, the use of memory, the le s s e n i n g of menace, the f i n d i n g of an elegiac tone and a new tenderness towards words, new kinds of r e l a t i o n s h i p s or lack of r e l a t i o n -ship, new s u b t l e t i e s , d i f f e r e n t u n c e r t a i n t i e s , and the s h i f t from movement, violence and stage business to more stress on the i n t e r p l a y of word and mood i n a manner reminiscent of Chekhov's change from plays of d i r e c t to i n d i r e c t action) despite a l l t h i s evidence of change and growth, P i n t e r ' s plays remain 155 stubbornly and unmistakably his own. Underlying a l l i s h i s sense of the weapons people use, t h e i r stratagems of attack and defence, the f a i l i n g struggle f o r s e c u r i t y and i d e n t i t y and possession, the uncertainty of a l l experience, the c o n f l i c t s of the i n t e r l o p e r w i t h the group. And always, beneath the meticulous p a r t i c u l a r i t y of the texts there i s that non-Euclidean geometry of the human con d i t i o n we a l l can respond to ( P i n t e r i s much t r a n s l a t e d ) ! the psychological t r i a n g l e of s e x u a l i t y , of power-struggle, of family and of possession. P i n t e r rose to fame with a bright generation of new B r i t i s h playwrights astonishing i n the energy and t o t a l l y unforeseen q u a l i t y of i t s t a l e n t , with Osborne, Arden, Wesker, Kops, Alun Owen — yet he does not reek of the kitchen-sink or the soap-box; he i s i n some ways a p r o l e t a r i a n s o c i a l r e a l i s t , yet he i s not j u s t that, nor i s he p o l i t i c a l l y committed or Brechtian; despite The Dumb Waiter he i s not absurdist i n the sense of the f a n t a s t i c Ionesco, nor deracine' l i k e Beckett; his r e a l i s m i s never merely prosaic, but always gapes to reveal that darker dimension of the Kafka world, not shaking w i t h > Kafka's laughter, though, but with the perky guffaws of the cockney world Dickens knew about; i n the heady atmosphere of Artaud's theories, of poor theatre, cruel theatre, t o t a l theatre, l i v i n g theatre, and the rather sweaty f e t i s h of audience p a r t i c i p a t i o n , P i n t e r stares us c o o l l y i n the face, shov/s us the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of people, and i n the s i l e n c e s , tensions and \ tableaux we p a r t i c i p a t e with the compassion and the disgust he wrings from us.We do not forget the s t r i c k e n Rose i n her shabby 156 room, the dumb-founded k i l l e r s , Ben and Gus, and the harsh Irony of the tortured Stanley and h i s b e a t i f i c a l l y s m i l i n g Meg. A r e j e c t e d tramp, a raging old man g r o v e l l i n g f o r l o v e i they sear us, and seem l i k e l y to endure. Our p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s absorbing and emotionally demanding. I t i s not a r e s u l t of fashionable gimmickry or of s h o r t - l i v e d p o l i t i c s which could " be out of date tomorrow. I t i s crafte d c a r e f u l l y from structured human a c t i o n s , s i l e n c e s and language which communicates. P i n t e r speaks to us with gestures, and with those s u b t l e s t of human instruments, words themselves, which are stark, c o l l o q u i a l , simple, yet so moving, so funny and so complex i n t h e i r nuances. P i n t e r ' s structures do not l i e merely on the page. They envelop us and shape our emotions and our thoughts i n the human darkness of the auditorium. 157 NOTES CHAPTER I 1. K a t h e r i n e Burkman, The D r a m a t i c W o r l d o f H a r o l d P i n t e r ( O h i o : S t a t e U n i v . P r e s s , 1 9 7 1 ) , p. 132. M i s s Burkman r e l i e s h e r e on a B.B.C. r a d i o i n t e r v i e w g i v e n b y P i n t e r t o Owen W e b s t e r , 2 J u n e I960, f o r P i n t e r ' s words and a t t i t u d e s . 2. The q u o t a t i o n s f r o m t h e s e p l a y s t h r o u g h o u t t h e t h e s i s a r e a l l t a k e n f r o m t h e Methuen p a p e r b a c k e d i t i o n s s a v e t h o s e f r o m O l d Times w h i c h come f r o m t h e Methuen h a r d b a c k e d i t i o n . F u l l p u b l i s h i n g d a t a may be f o u n d i n t h e b i b l i o g r a p h y . H e r e -a f t e r p a g i n a t i o n f r o m e a c h p l a y as q u o t e d w i l l be g i v e n p a r e n t h e t i c a l l y i n t h e body o f t h e t e x t . I have c o n s u l t e d a l s o t h e Grove P r e s s e d i t i o n s o f t h e p l a y s and t h e Methuen h a r d b a c k e d i t i o n s . Any d i f f e r e n c e s n o t e d , and t h e y a r e m i n i m a l , w i l l he m e n t i o n e d d u r i n g t h e c o u r s e o f my d i s c u s s i o n . 3. B e n e d i c t N i g h t i n g a l e , The New S t a t e s m a n , 25 S e p t . 1970, pp. 394-5-4. H a r o l d P i n t e r q u o t e d by P a t r i c i a B o s w o r t h , "Why D o e s n ' t He W r i t e M o r e ? " New Y o r k T i m e s , 27 O c t . 1968, s e c 2, p. 3. 5. A u g u s t S t r i n d b e r g , Samlade O t r y c k t a S k r i f t e r ( S t o c k h o l m : 1919), I I , p. 172; t r a n s l a t e d by E v e r t S p r i n c h o r n f o r i n c l u s i o n i n P l a y w r i g h t s on P l a y w r i t i n g , ed. Toby C o l e (New Y o r k : H i l l and Wang, 1961), p. 183. 6. Sam S m i l e y , P l a y w r i t i n g : The S t r u c t u r e o f A c t i o n (New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l I n c , 1971), p. 78. 7. Thomas F. VanLaan, The I d i o m o f Drama ( I t h a c a and L o n d o n : C o r n e l l U n i v . P r e s s , 1970), p. 275-8. F r i e d r i c h H e b b e l , f r o m The J o u r n a l s , t r a n s . E r i c B e n t l e y , P l a y w r i g h t s o n P l a y w r i t i n g , p. 286. CHAPTER II. 1 . H a r o l d P i n t e r , " W r i t i n g f o r M y s e l f , " The T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y , 169 ( F e b . 1961), 173. ~ 2. A r l e n e S y k e s , H a r o l d P i n t e r (New Y o r k : H u m a n i t i e s P r e s s , 1970), p. 33. 3' F o r t h i s q u o t a t i o n and t h e s u g g e s t i o n o f i t s r e l e v a n c e t o P i n t e r ' s p a u s e s I am i n d e b t e d t o F r a n k Beardow and Andrew P a r k i n . I q u o t e f r o m t h e i r u n p u b l i s h e d t r a n s l a t i o n o f G. K o z i n t s e v " P r o s t r a n s t v o T r a g e d i i " £"The L a n d s c a n e o f T r a g e d y " ] I s k u s s t v o K i n o . 7 ( J u l y 1971), 103-158 4. B a r r a u l t q u o t e d b y B i l l W a l l i s , " J e a n - L o u i s B a r r a u l t * s R a b e l a i s , " T h e a t r e Q u a r t e r l y , l ( J u l - S e p t . 1971), 93. 5. I b i d . , p. 94. 6. P i n t e r i n t e r v i e w e d b y L a w r e n c e M. B e n s k y , T h e a t r e a t Work, ed. C h a r l e s M a r o w i t z and Simon T r u s s l e r ( L o n d o n : M e t h u e n , 1967), pp. 97-8. 7. R o n a l d Hayman, H a r o l d P i n t e r ( L o n d o n : Heinemann, 1970), pp. 16-17. CHAPTER I I I 1. J . L . S t y a n , " T e l e v i s i o n Drama" i n C o n t e m p o r a r y T h e a t r e ed. J o h n R u s s e l l Brown and B e r n a r d H a r r i s ( L o n d o n : Edward A r n o l d , 1962), p. 203. 2. A r l e n e S y k e s , p. 81. 3 . R o n a l d Hayman, pp. 36-7. 4. J o h n R u s s e l l T a y l o r , A n g e r and A f t e r : A Gui d e t o t h e New B r i t i s h Drama ( L o n d o n : M e t h u e n , 1 9 6 2 ) , p. 340. 5. I b i d . , p. 340. 6. P i n t e r i n t e r v i e w e d by L a w r e n c e M. B e n s k y , T h e a t r e a t Work, p. 109. 7. P i n t e r i n t e r v i e w e d by K e n n e t h C a v a n d e r , " F i l m i n g The C a r e t a k e r , " The T r a n s a t l a n t i c R e v i e w , 13(Summer 1963), 19. 8. I b i d . , p. 20. 9. I b i d . , p. 23. 10. I b i d . , p. 2 4 . 11. P a u l R o g e r s i n t e r v i e w e d by J o h n L a h r , A Casebook on H a r o l d P i n t e r ' s "The Homecoming", ed. J o h n L a h r (New Y o r k : Grove P r e s s , 1 9 7 D . up- 172-3* CHAPTER I V 1. P i n t e r a s q u o t e d on t h e d u s t c o v e r o f "L a n d s c a p e " and " S i l e n c e " ( L o n d o n : "Methuen, 1969). ' 2. C a t h e r i n e Hughes, " P i n t e r i s as P i n t e r Does," C a t h o l i c W o r l d CCX (Dec. 1969), 124 - 6 . 159 3. " I n f e r i o r " according to C l i v e Barnes who reviewed both the London and the New York productions f o r New York Times. See New York Times, 25 J u l y 1969. p«34, and New York Times. 3 A p r i l 1970, p. 43. 4. Walter Kerr, "A Break With Anything P i n t e r Has Done Before", New York Times. 12 A p r i l 1970, Sec. I I , p. 3 . 5. C l i v e Barnes, New York Times, 25 J u l y 1969, p. 34. 6. Written f o r the stage, i t s radio premiere, 25 A p r i l 1968, was necessitated by the Lord Chamberlain's o b j e c t i o n to an obscenity which P i n t e r refused to cut. Radio was not subject to the Lord Chamberlain's censorship. 7. P i n t e r as reported by P.H.S., "The Times Diary", The Times, 11 A p r i l 1969, p. 10. 8. PP. 45-46 i n Methuen hardback e d i t i o n of "Landscape" and "Silence", 1969, and pp. 45-46 i n Grove Press hardback e d i t i o n of "Landscape" and "Silence", 1970. Omitted i n Methuen paperback e d i t i o n of "Landscape" and "Silence", 1970. 9. Jeremy Kingston, "At The Theatre", Punch, CCLVII (9 J u l y 1969), 73-74. 10. Martin E s s l i n , The Peopled Wound 1 The Work of Harold P i n t e r , (New York: Doubleday and Co., 1970), p. 190. 11. Walter Kerr, New York Times, 12 A p r i l 1970, Sec.II, p. 3« 12. " C o l i n B lakely t a l k s to Plays and Players", Plays and Players, l 8 ( J u l y 1971), 2 2 - 4 . 13. Brendan G i l l , The New Yorker, 2? Nov. 1971, p. 89. 14. Martin E s s l i n notes that on 15 Nov. 1965 P i n t e r appeared i n the part of Garcia i n Sartre's No E x i t on B.B.C. Television? The Peopled Wound, p. 20. 15. Charles Marowitz, "Can P i n t e r Be Beckett?" New York Times, 13 June 1971, Sec.II, p. 1. 16. Samuel Beckett, Endgame (London: Faber and Faber, 1958), p. 35. 160 A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY No one has yet published a f u l l study of the dramatic s t r u c t u r e s of P i n t e r ' s plays, and P i n t e r c r i t i c i s m has so f a r been concerned with e l u c i d a t i o n , theme, imagery and language. The c r i t i c a l work a v a i l a b l e has, therefore, been of help i n a general way, but has had only minimal influence on my account of the s t r u c t u r e s of the stage plays. This bibliography l i s t s a l l published books on P i n t e r i n E n g l i s h , and but a few of the a r t i c l e s and reviews. A. PINTER'S WRITINGS! PLAYS The Birthday Party. 2nd ed. London: Methuen, 1965. "The Room" and "The Dumb Waiter." London: Methuen, 1966. The Caretaker. 2nd ed. London: Methuen, 1962. "A S l i g h t Ache" and Other Plays. London: Methuen, 1968. Includes A Night Out, The Dwarfs, and f i v e revue sketches ("Trouble i n the Works," "The Black and White," "Request Stop," "Last to Go," and "Applicant.") "The C o l l e c t i o n " and "The Lover." London: Methuen, 1966. Includes the story "The Examination," f i r s t published i n Prospect (Summer, 1959), PP« 21-25. The Homecoming. London: Methuen, 1966. "Tea Party" and Other Plays. London:Methuen, 1970. Includes The Basement and Night School. "Landscape" and "Silence." LondomMethuen, 1970. Includes Night. Old Times. London: Methuen, 1971» OTHER WRITINGS BY PINTER Poems. Ed. Alan Clodd. London: Enitharmon Press, 1968. "Writing f o r Myself." Twentieth Century, 169, 1008 (February, 1961), 172-75. Includes also a poem by P i n t e r . "Harold P i n t e r and O l i v e r Donner on f i l m i n g The Caretaker." Tr a n s a t l a n t i c Review, 13 (Summer, 1963), 17-26T^ "Dialogue f o r Three." Stand, 6(1963-1964), 4 - 5 . l 6 l " W r i t i n g f o r the Theatre." Evergreen Review, 33 (August-September, 1964), 80-82. "Beckett" i n Beckett at S i x t y ; A F e s t s c h r i f t . London* Calder and Boyars, 1967. Manuscript notes and a page of the t y p e s c r i p t of The Homecoming p r i n t e d i n London Magazine, New Series No. 100, J u l y to August, 1969, pp. 154-155. "Speech* Hamburg 1970." Theatre Quarterly, 1 (July-September 1971), 3 - 4 . B. INTERVIEWS WITH HAROLD PINTER* ( i n c h r o n o l o g i c a l order) "Show Business." Time, Nov. 10, 1961, p. 57. Interview with Lawrence M. Bensky i n The P a r i s Review, 3 9 ( F a l l , 1966), 13-37. Reprinted i n Theatre at Work; Playwrights and Productions i n The Modern B r i t i s h Theatre. Ed. Charles Marowitz and Simon T r u s s l e r . London* Methuen, 1967, pp. 96-109. "Talk of the Town." The New Yorker, 25 Feb. 1967, pp. 34-36. Interview with P a t r i c i a Bosworth. "Why Doesn't He Write More?" The New York Times, 27 Oct. 1968, Sec.2, p. 3. Interview with J u d i t h C r i s t . "A Mystery* P i n t e r on P i n t e r . " Look, 24 Dec. 1968, pp. 77-83. "The Times Diary." The Times, 11 A p r i l , 1969, p. 10. C. BIBLIOGRAPHIES* Adelman, I r v i n g , and Dworkin. "Harold P i n t e r . " In t h e i r Modern Drama. Metuchen, N.J . s Scarecrow Press, 1967, pp. 241-242. Gordon, L o i s G. "Pigeonholing Pinter* A Bibliography." Theatre Documentation, l ( F a l l 1968), 3-20. " S c h r o l l , Herman T. Harold Pinter* A Sfrudy of His Reputation (1958-1969) and a C h e c k l i s t . Metuchen, N.J.s Scarecrow Press, 1971. D. BOOKS AND BOOK REFERENCES ON PINTER: Brown, John R u s s e l l . "Dialogue i n P i n t e r and Others." In his (ed.) Modern B r i t i s h Dramatists. Englewood C l i f f s N T , P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1968, pp. 122-144. ' d ' ' l62 B r o w n , J o h n R u s s e l . " I n t r o d u c t i o n . " I n h i s ( e d . ) M o d e r n B r i t i s h D r a m a t i s t s . E n g l e w o o d C l i f f s , N . J . s P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1 9 6 8 , p p . 1-14. B u r k m a n , K a t h e r i n e H. T h e D r a m a t i c W o r l d o f H a r o l d P i n t e r : I t s B a s i s i n R i t u a l . C o l u m b u s t O h i o S t a t e U n i v . P r e s s , 1971. A C a s e b o o k o n H a r o l d P i n t e r ' s The H o m e c o m i n g . E d . J o h n L a h r . New Y o r k t G r o v e P r e s s , 1971. C o h n , R u b y . C u r r e n t s i n C o n t e m p o r a r y D r a m a . B l o o m i n g t o n , I n d i a n a t I n d i a n a U n i v . P r e s s , 1969, PP- 15-17, 7 8 - 8 1 , 177-81. D a v i s o n , P e t e r . " C o n t e m p o r a r y D r a m a a n d P o p u l a r D r a m a t i c F o r m s . " i n A s p e c t s o f D r a m a a n d The T h e a t r e . New S o u t h W a l e s : S y d n e y U n i v . P r e s s , 19^5, p p . 1 4 3 - 1 9 ? . E s s l i n , M a r t i n . " G o d o t a n d H i s C h i l d r e n : The T h e a t r e o f S a m u e l B e c k e t t a n d H a r o l d P i n t e r . " I n M o d e r n B r i t i s h D r a m a t i s t s . E n g l e w o o d C l i f f s , N . J . : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1 9 6 8 , p p . 5 8 - 7 0 . . The P e o p l e d Wound: The Work o f H a r o l d P i n t e r . New Y o r k : D o u b l e d a y , 1970. . T h e T h e a t r e o f T h e A b s u r d . New Y o r k : D o u b l e d a y , 1969, P P . 231-257. G o r d o n , L o i s G. S t r a t a g e m s t o U n c o v e r N a k e d n e s s . C o l u m b i a , M i s s o u r i : U n i v . o f M i s s o u r i P r e s s . 1969-Hayman, R o n a l d . H a r o l d P i n t e r . L o n d o n : H e i n e m a n n , 1970. H i n c h l i f f e , A r n o l d P. H a r o l d P i n t e r . New Y o r k : T w a y n e P u b l i s h e r s , 196?. H o l l i s , J a m e s R. H a r o l d P i n t e r : The P o e t i c s o f S i l e n c e . C a r b o n d a l e : S o u t h e r n I l l i n o i s U n i v . P r e s s , 1970. K e r r , W a l t e r . H a r o l d P i n t e r . New Y o r k : C o l u m b i a U n i v . P r e s s , 1 9 6 ? . . "The Moment o f P i n t e r . " I n h i s T h i r t y P l a y s H a t h N o v e m b e r . New Y o r k : S i m o n a n d S c h u s t e r " ! 1969, p p . 4 1 - 4 6 . N e l s o n , H u g h . "The H o m e c o m i n g : K i t h a n d K i n . " I n M o d e r n B r i t i s h D r a m a t i s t s . E n g l e w o o d C l i f f s , N . J . : P r e n t i c e -H a l l , 1958, p p . 145-1 6 3 . S t y a n , J . L . " T e l e v i s i o n D r a m a . " I n J o h n R u s s e l B r o w n a n d B e r n a r d H a r r i s , e d s . C o n t e m p o r a r y T h e a t r e . L o n d o n : E d w a r d A r n o l d , 1962, p p . 185-2 0 4 . 163 S y k e s , A r l e n e . H a r o l d P i n t e r . New Y o r k s H u m a n i t i e s P r e s s , 1970. T a y l o r , J o h n R u s s e l l . H a r o l d P i n t e r . L o n d o n : L o n g m a n s , G r e e n , 1969. . "A Room a n d Some V i e w s s H a r o l d P i n t e r . " i n h i s The A n g r y T h e a t r e . New Y o r k s H i l l a n d Wang, 1 9 6 2 , p p . 2 3 1-261. E. BACKGROUND BOOKS: P l a y w r i g h t s o n P l a y w r i t i n g : T h e M e a n i n g a n d M a k i n g o f M o d e r n D r a m a F r o m I b s e n t o I o n e s c o . E d . T o b y C o l e . New Y o r k s H i l l a n d Wang, 1 9 6 I . S m i l e y , Sam. P l a y w r i t i n g s T h e S t r u c t u r e o f A c t i o n . E n g l e w o o d C l i f f s , N . J . s P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1971. T a y l o r , J o h n R u s s e l l . T h e R i s e a n d F a l l o f t h e W e l l - M a d e P l a y . New Y o r k s H i l l a n d Wang, 1967. V a n L a a n , Thomas F. The I d i o m o f D r a m a . I t h a c a a n d L o n d o n : C o r n e l l U n i v . P r e s s , 1970. F. A R T I C L E S s Amend, V i c t o r E . " H a r o l d P i n t e r - Some C r e d i t s a n d D e b i t s . " M o d e r n D r a m a , 1 0 ( S e p t e m b e r 1967). 165-174. B e r n h a r d , F . J . " B e y o n d R e a l i s m : T h e P l a y s o f H a r o l d P i n t e r . " M o d e r n D r a m a , 8 ( S e p t e m b e r , 1965), 185-91. B l a k e l y , C o l i n . " C o l i n B l a k e l y T a l k s t o P l a y s a n d P l a y e r s . " P l a y s a n d P l a y e r s , 18 (No. 1 0 , J u l y 1971), 2 2-24. B r o w n , J o h n R u s s e l l . "Mr. P i n t e r ' s S h a k e s p e a r e . " C r i t i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , 5 ( A u t u m n , 1963), 251-65. D u k o r e , B e r n a r d . "A Woman's P l a c e . " Q u a r t e r l y J o u r n a l o f S p e e c h . 52 ( O c t o b e r 1966), 2 3 7-241. S c h e c h n e r , R i c h a r d . " P u z z l i n g P i n t e r . " T u l a n e D rama R e v i e w , l l ( W i n t e r , 1966), 176-84. S t e i n , K a r e n F. " M e t a p h y s i c a l S i l e n c e i n A b s u r d D r a m a . " M o d e r n D r a m a , 1 3 ( F e b r u a r y 1971). 423-431. W a l k e r , A u g u s t a . " M e s s a g e s F r o m P i n t e r . " M o d e r n D r a m a , 1 0 ( M a y 1967), 1-10. 164 Wallis, B i l l . "Jean-Louis Barrault's Rabelais." Theatre Quarterly, 1(July-September 1971), 83-97-Wray, Phoebe. "Pinter's DialogueJ The Play on Words." Modern Drama, 13(February 1971) , 418-422. G. SELECTED PRODUCTION REVIEWSt The Birthday Party May 19, 1958: L y r i c Theatre, Hammersmith. Brien, Alan. 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"Theatre." Nation, 204(January 23, 1967), 122-123. Kerr, Walter. "The Theatre: Pinter's Homecoming." New York Times, January 6, 196?, p. 29. Landscape with Silence. J u l y 2, 1969: Aldwych Theatre, London. Barnes, C l i v e . "Harold P i n t e r ' s Debt to James Joyce." New York Times, Jul y 25, 1969, p. 34. Hughes, Catherine. "P i n t e r i s as P i n t e r Does." Catholic World, 210(December 1969), 124-126. Kingston, Jeremy. "At the Theatre." Punch, 2 5 7(July 9, 1969), 73-74. Nightingale, Benedict. "To the Mouth of the Cave." New Statesman, 7 8(July 11, 1969). 57-Wardle, I r v i n g . " P i n t e r T h e a t r i c a l Twins i n Pools of Solitude." Times, July 4, 1969, p. 7-A p r i l 2, 1970s The Forum Theatre, New York. Barnes, C l i v e . "Pinter's Small Talk of R e a l i t y . " New York Times, A p r i l 3. 1970, p. 43. 166 Clurman, Harold. "Theatre." Nation, 2 10(April 20, 1970), 4?6. Kauffmann, Stanley. "Landscape and Si l e n c e . 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