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Explain the character of Stanley Webber in the story, "The Birthday Party."

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tanyasanjivi | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM via web

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Explain the character of Stanley Webber in the story, "The Birthday Party."

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted February 20, 2012 at 12:08 AM (Answer #1)

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In the play "The Birthday Party" by Harold Pinter, the character of Stanley Webber represents many things in the Theater of the Absurd.  He has isolated himself from the world, living as the only resident in a boarding house which reinforces Pinter's idea that we are all isolated. He has lost the desire to care about his appearance, looking slovenly and lost.  Stanley claims to be a musician, but there is no real evidence to prove that he is, and Pinter keeps the reader wondering what is real and what is illusion through Stanley Webber. Stanley is suddenly in fear when Goldberg and McCann arrive at the boarding house though Pinter does not reveal why or who the two men are.  Stanley protests even to the point of violence, but at the end has lost even his ability to do that as he is hauled away by the two men to his unknown fate.

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